Urban Values Drive Charter School Locations

Rocketship Urban Values

Rocketship Public Schools, a public elementary charter school network that is expanding from the West Coast into the East Coast and Midwest, needs to land and build in contexts that will best serve its mission in terms of demographics, economics, and urban form. Supernormal explored the translation of the institutional mission and its value system into a set of quantitative metrics to guide school location optimization in three American cities.

Rocketship Urban Values DC

Supernormal considered a combination of variables representing multiple demographic and spatial factors, ranging from school performance, student body characteristics, household socioeconomics and demographic makeup, accessibility to nearby residential areas, bus routes, and school density.

A combination of map-based and chart-based analysis allowed these comparisons to include both spatial and non-spatial concepts and data sources.

Rocketship Urban Values Chart

Across a range of potential sites, a matrix comparing the relative values of all of these variables allowed the team to assess which areas combined the highest chances for success in their mission with the highest need for new schools and the greatest likely feasibility.


Elizabeth Christoforetti, Will Cohen


Rocketship Public Schools


Completed in 2017.