Important Lessons Rocketship Education’s Founder Was Self-Taught in its First 10 Years

Preston Smith founded Rocketship Education in Redwood City, California, a small town that borders the northern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, in 2006. Although he had already been involved as a primary school instructor and administrator for over a decade before Rocketship’s birth, Smith quickly found out he still had a lot to learn. Below are several things the current chief executive officer of Rocketship learned in the first decade-plus of operation.


Rocketship Education, which is often shortened to RSED, mandates its teachers to visit the homes of their students at least once per school year, typically near the starting of each academic calendar. As RSED has integrated tons of technological educational help into its lesson plans, personalized educational plans for each and every student are more than possible to implement because of the individualized nature of tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and other technological devices. When teachers see what quality of homes students live in, how often they’re busy assisting family members with chores, and how much quiet time in which they can more easily concentrate, among many other dynamics of home living, forming custom learning plans facilitated by technological devices is far more effective.


Every one of RSED’s eighteen locations are placed in neighborhoods with low earnings. Rocketship Education’s schools only teach students from kindergarten through fifth grade. With these two characteristics of RSED in mind, parents must push local school board authorities and educational decision makers into maintaining great schools. Also, even though verbal communication of parents’ demands is more effective than keeping quiet and not pushing for anything in the first place, actually enrolling students in different schools holds much more power than simply asking for high-quality sixth through twelfth grade educational facilities. As such, parents shouldn’t be afraid to enroll their children in the highest-quality schools feasible to attend.


RSED has eighteen schools as far north as Wisconsin, west as California, and east as the District of Columbia. Thanks to its public charter status, Rocketship’s locations are able to solicit and accept grants from governmental agencies, along with funds from independent investors.

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