Dividing Rocketship Redwood City Prep into Two Campuses will Have a Negative Impact on Students

My name is Abigail Lopez and I have an 8-year-old daughter at Rocketship Redwood City Prep named Kimi. Kimi was diagnosed with non-verbal Autism when she was two and a half years old. She is a second grader now. We have been at Rocketship for two years and her growth has been incredible. Before she started at Rocketship Kimi was not able to communicate verbally, she couldn’t read, and she couldn’t have a relationship with her classmates. Even though we have therapies at home, without help in school, she wasn’t advancing. Because Rocketship provided a lot of services for Kimi and she was able to learn alongside her peers in a general ed classroom she was able to drastically improve academically and emotionally in just 6 months. 

I have been a strong advocate for Rocketship because of our lived experience. My husband and I both volunteer frequently and participate in the Parent Organizing Committee. 

Our Committee was recently informed that the local school district is proposing to split our school down the middle and divide us onto two separate campuses, across town from each other, despite having enough room to adequately house us on one campus. 

Our kids are public school students who deserve one campus in order to best learn.This division of our small elementary school will have significant negative effects on the learning of our students and the stability of our families.

This divide would affect my daughter directly!

I am very concerned that if the school is divided my daughter’s services will also be divided. Her special education teacher will have to travel back and forth giving her less time to work with students. Her Occupational Therapist will have to use her lunch and break time for travel instead of doing social lunches and other activities which Kimi benefits from and which help her social emotional growth. Routine is very important for Kimi and other classmates like her, so if the school gets divided, their learning will also be interrupted. She has a modified school schedule, due to her home therapies, and for that reason she gets PE in the morning instead of the afternoon. If the school gets divided it will be much harder for her to access PE class, which she is legally required to receive. 

In addition, our school has a high population of immigrant families who are looking for stability. For those parents who have more than one child in Rocketship, the idea of traveling back and forth to take their students to multiple campuses is both frustrating and dangerous. Having to be at multiple schools for pick-up and drop-off is nearly impossible, if you want them to be on time, not to mention getting to work, as well. The likelihood of their students missing class will increase significantly.

I am asking that the Redwood City School District consider the many negative effects this decision will have on our families and our teacher’s ability to best serve our students. Please put our kids and our families first!

What do you think?
The following two tabs change content below.
Abigail Lopez

Abigail Lopez

Abigail migrated to the US at age 16 and finished high school at Sequoia High School. She continued her education through Heald College where she studied business administration with an emphasis in accounting. Unfortunately, the school closed before she was able to graduate. She got married and her daughter Kimi came into their lives so she decided to suspend her studies. She was able to get her property and casualty as well as her life license and began working as an Insurance agent, through her job she was able to also work in the community volunteering on food banks and also in renovating schools. Currently she is a stay home mom to be able to be full time with Kimi and have time to go to her therapies and meetings. Her goal is to go back to school and get her degree in Social Services because she wants to become a social worker and be able to help kids with special needs similar to her daughter.

More Comments