Regional Founding Team
We believe that a strong school leader is one of the most important ingredients for a successful region. Among the most important components of success for any school are the talents and capabilities of the school’s teachers, its leader and his/her ability to replicate Rocketship’s school model and culture. For a new region, it is also important that the founding school leaders are familiar with and committed to that region’s neighborhoods and communities. To that end, we look to hire four to six high-performing teachers from potential regions to join our network leadership program in San Jose. Optimally, several of these candidates will demonstrate success in leading Rocketship schools and then return to their region in order to form the founding leadership team.
We devote significant time and energy to develop founding regional leaders and only select veteran Rocketship school leaders for these roles who have demonstrated a track record of opening successful Rocketship schools that quickly generate high student achievement outcomes. We are still a small organization with a limited number of existing veteran school leaders that fit this profile, so we look to our supporters in potential regions for help to identify strong external candidates to bring into the Rocketship leadership development program. We recruit these external school leader candidates from the regions where they will serve, develop them as instructional and community leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then support their transition back to their home regions as founding teachers and school leaders.
This acculturation and training process can take several years’ lead time before opening the first school in a new region. The viability of a new region will depend, in large part, on our ability to issue job offers and receive commitments from future school leaders and future teachers in a specific region. The timing of our expansion in a new region also depends in part on how quickly we are able to secure commitments from high-potential, experienced school leader candidates into our leadership development pipeline. In cases where we have existing, high-performing Rocketship school leaders who are eager to become founding Principals in a new region, we will be able to open schools sooner in those regions. Rocketship’s teacher recruitment and leadership development teams will also work closely with region partners to interview and make job offer decisions about these candidates prior to gaining Rocketship Board approval to expand to the region.