Rocketship Education, a network of innovative K-5 public charter schools in Palo Alto, California, has announced a $1 million grant from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to scale-up its "hybrid school" model, which combines classroom instruction with online learning.
Awarded as part of the foundation's commitment to the Corporation for National and Community Service's Social Innovation Fund, the grant will help Rocketship develop the infrastructure necessary to open thirty new hybrid schools nationwide by 2015. The organization currently operates three public charter schools in San Jose, where it is planning to open two more, and is exploring partnerships with a number of other cities, including Denver, Chicago, Tulsa, Houston, and Phoenix.
Rocketship schools serve more than thirteen hundred students, nearly 90 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and 75 percent of whom are learning to speak English as a second language. According to the organization, its schools can be replicated more easily than other charter models because each school operates on traditional public school funding, enabling the organization to dedicate other funds to the development of the infrastructure needed to open and support additional schools.
"Rocketship may be the first charter school network that is fully scalable," said Broad Foundation associate director Luis de la Fuente, "because it successfully attracts and develops great teacher talent, engages all students to achieve academically, and costs far less."