School Leadership at Rocketship
Rocketship school leaders play a critical role in our mission to eliminate the achievement gap in this lifetime. We offer a variety of leadership positions and pathways to outstanding school leaders.
The principal is the instructional, cultural, managerial, and community leader of the school. All Rocketship principals prepare for their roles by first participating in the Network Fellows Leadership Program (see below).
The Assistant Principal (AP) plays a critical role in fostering a college-preparatory school culture focused on high levels of academic achievement. The AP manages Learning Lab staff towards student outcomes through a highly individualized set of instructional methods including online curriculum and small group tutoring. All APs are also a part of the Network Fellows Leadership Program to prepare to take on principal positions at Rocketship schools (see below).
The Academic Dean plays a critical role in driving academic achievement for students. The Academic Dean leads two primary streams of work: teacher coaching and professional development. Download the academic dean job description or click here to apply for an academic dean position.
The Network Fellows Leadership Program
The Network Fellows Leadership Program is an intensive one-year program designed to support and prepare future principals (Network Fellows) to open and successfully run high-performing Rocketship schools. All Rocketship principals serve as Network Fellows prior to becoming principals.
Program StructureWe believe that on-the-ground experience is the best preparation for school leadership so Network Fellows typically work as assistant principals or academic deans in Rocketship schools while they participate in the Network Fellows Leadership Program. In addition to the experiential learning gained from these roles, Network Fellows also benefit from collaborating with a selective cohort through monthly training workshops, individual coaching, and hands-on opportunities such as external school visits, 360 feedback surveys, and external professional development conferences. Compensation for Network Fellows is based on dean and assistant principal roles and commensurate with experience; all program costs and travel are covered by Rocketship Education.
Pathway to Principal Positions
The goal of the Network Leadership Program is to prepare program participants to move into Rocketship principal positions. Whether or not they actually become principals at the end of the Network Fellows year depends on a variety of factors including their performance, and positions available. Even more importantly, we are deeply invested in helping our Network Fellows find the right principal fit – whether that means taking over an existing Rocketship school, starting a new school in an existing region, or founding a new school in a new region – and finding a strong match with a particular school and community context. Network Fellows who demonstrate interest and readiness in starting new Rocketship schools will be formally selected and begin planning for their new schools by December the year before the school opens. Some Network Leadership Program graduates may continue as assistant principals or academic deans for additional years beyond the program year before moving into a principal role.
Network Fellows - Typical Candidate Profile
- 3-5 years of full time teaching experience demonstrating exceptional results in a K-8 classroom
- 1-2 years of school leadership experience (dean, grade level chair, assistant principal, instructional coach, etc)
- Intention to become principal in 1-2 years
- Highly adaptable and able to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
- Relentless pursuit of high expectations for student achievement
- Strong leadership skills and personal drive to overcome obstacles
- Ability to engage and empower parents, families, and community members
- Ability to coach and develop others
- Meets all additional qualifications for academic dean and assistant principal positions
Founding Fellows Track
The Founding Fellows track is a special opportunity for Network Fellows who are committed to being a part of the founding leadership team for a specific new Rocketship region. Founding Fellows apply to join Rocketship 1-3 years before the start of the region and participate fully in the Network Leadership Program in their first year at Rocketship, including serving in a leadership role in an existing Rocketship school. Additionally, Founding Fellows make several trips each year to the expansion region and work closely with the Rocketship National Development team to take on projects related to founding the new region. Through this work, Founding Fellows prepare to serve on the founding school’s leadership team and eventually become principals of the first few schools in a new region.
Founding Fellows - Additional Qualifications
- Interest in a pre-identified high-potential Rocketship expansion region (see application page for current regional options)
- Willingness to travel to the designated region 2-4 times per year
We are seeking Founding Fellows for 13-14 for the following regions:
- Nashville, TN
- Memphis, TN
- Washington, DC
- Indianapolis, IN
- Las Vegas, NV
- New Orleans, LA
- Dallas, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Houston, TX
To learn more about the application process or to apply for the Network Leadership Program (including the Founding Fellows track) in San Jose, CA or Milwaukee, WI
please click here.
Emerging Leaders is the first step in our pathway to school leadership. Emerging Leaders join a selective cohort of full-time Rocketship teachers interested in expanding their leadership experience beyond the classroom in preparation for school leadership at Rocketship. As part of the program, ELs collaborate with peers across the network, engage in leadership projects, participate in monthly leadership workshops, and build their leadership expertise through school visits, school leader shadowing, and apprentice experiences. Upon program completion, Emerging Leaders are well-positioned to move into academic dean or assistant principals positions and participation in Network Fellows Leadership Program for principal preparation (see above)
Emerging Leaders - Typical Candidate Profile
- 2+ years of full time teaching experience demonstrating exceptional results in a K-8 classroom
- Interest in moving into school leadership in 1-3 years.
- Experience leading adults preferred.
- A willingness to reflect, learn, and take on challenges