Rocketship Education has recently confirmed the acquisition of the newspaper office which covers approximately 25,000 square feet along Cavallo Road. The complex will be used to build a charter school for grade K students. Rocketship Education, the Redwood City-based non-profit organization, operates 16 charter schools in Washington D.C., where dozens of them are in the Bay area. Rocketship intends to open two more charter schools, making the Antioch school the 19th in its network.
The mission of Rocketship Education is to support children from low-income families who attend low-performing schools. Although the Antioch campus will be open to all students, it is a half mile away from Fremont Elementary and Kimball Elementary. Else Hill, the manager of communication and marketing at Rocketship says that students from the poor neighborhood are entitled to quality education. Else Hill noted that areas with depressed economy often generate less revenue from property tax, affecting education funding.
Rocketship plans to enhance students’ safety by enclosing the school with a fence. Parents must show an ID card to an employee of Rocketship before they are allowed to pick their children. Classrooms will have motion detectors and alarms to deter criminals who would try attack students. Else Hill noted that building a school in an area with high crime rate can help change the neighbourhood for better. For example, cases of homicides have dropped drastically since Rocketship started a charter school in economically depressed regions in Washington, D.C.
Since then crime rate has dropped signficantly. Else Hill attributes this drop to the schools security measure and long hours of operation. She, however, didn’t disclose the cost of Rocketship’s project. The school also intends to construct a playground on the space that newspaper’s warehouse stands. A student doesn’t have to be a resident of Antioch to enroll to Rocketship Education. However, priority is given to students of Antioch Unified School District. Rocketship will start admiting students in November and will hold a lottery early next year to determine who to admit. The Antioch newsroom will vacate the building to move to Lone Tree Way Office park.