Fort Worth charter school developers say aim is to complement Fort Worth ISD, not compete

Developers of a charter school in southeast Fort Worth say they hope to serve a part of the city where children have struggled.
Rocketship Charter Schools Photo credit Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

Developers of a charter school in southeast Fort Worth say they hope to serve a part of the city where children have struggled. "Rocketship Public Schools" has been approved for a charter school near 287 and Berry. This will be the group's first charter school in Texas.

Rocketship Public Schools says 26,000 students in Tarrant County attend a "chronically underperforming" elementary school.

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"Hopefully, this will help how middle schools are perceived in this area of town and the academic achievement there," says Walter Dansby, former Fort Worth ISD superintendent and board member at Rocketship.

Dansby says Rocketship does not intend to replace Fort Worth ISD schools. He says kids who attend pre-K through third grade at Rocketship can then transition into a Fort Worth ISD middle and high school.

"This is about the kids in Fort Worth. It's also collaborating with Fort Worth ISD to make sure we have quality education throughout," he says. "I think the program we'll have will only enhance what is happening in Fort Worth ISD."

"Today is really about investing and celebrating the opportunity for economic, social and intellectual development for our city," says SaJade Miller, Rocketship superintendent.

Miller says Rocketship will evolve as it receives feedback from parents and the business community in Stop 6.

Fort Worth City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens says parents and community leaders had an opportunity to lay out priorities for the school.

"From day one, when school starts, your children you send are going to be guaranteed a quality education," she says.

Rocketship also operates charter schools in Nasvhville, Milwaukee, the San Francisco Bay area and Washington D.C. The school in Fort Worth should open in the fall of 2022.