FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2021
Alma del Mar’s charter has been renewed by Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley, a timely achievement as the school marks its 10 year anniversary of providing a growing number of New Bedford children with a high-quality education.
“The clean renewal of Alma’s charter is a testament to the incredible work of our scholars, families, teachers and staff,” said Jan Baptist, Chairperson of Alma’s all-volunteer Board of Trustees.”We are so grateful and impressed by the determination of our school community.”
This was the second charter renewal process for Alma. All charter public schools in Massachusetts are required to go through an extensive review process by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education before they can be renewed for another five years. Charter public schools that fail to meet the state’s high accountability standards may be put on probation or have their charter revoked.
In its report, DESE recognized Alma’s commitment to the recruitment and retention of a diverse population of children as well as demonstrated progress in student achievement.
“We appreciate the high bar that DESE sets for schools like ours and the opportunity this process has given us to reflect on our strengths and areas for growth. As we begin this next chapter we look forward to building on the strength of our academic program while continuing to become a more inclusive, supportive and responsive school community” said Will Gardner, Executive Director and Founder of Alma del Mar. “We have also been working diligently to prepare for a return to in-person learning with the goal of ensuring that Alma continues to provide a very safe and engaging learning environment for all scholars.’”
Alma del Mar was founded in 2011 with the mission of putting all scholars on the path to college and challenging them to be service-minded leaders. At that time, Alma educated 120 children in grades K-2 in a former district school building named for Sarah D. Ottiwell. The school has expanded its enrollment twice in response to high demand in the community. Now serving 800 New Bedford children across two campuses, Alma has become the most successful and sought after elementary and middle school of choice in the area.
Construction of a two-level, 52,000 square foot school building is underway for Alma’s new Frederick Douglass Campus, which is temporarily operating out of Immaculate Conception Church’s former school building. By 2023, Alma del Mar will serve more than 1,000 New Bedford children each year.
Due to the school’s enrollment plans, Alma is currently accepting applications for enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year. While any New Bedford child entering grades K-8 is encouraged to apply, school leaders anticipate a majority of openings to occur in Kindergarten and Sixth Grade, the two entry points for the charter public school. Learn more at www.almadelmar.org/apply
About Alma del Mar Charter Schools:
Alma del Mar Charter Schools operates two charter public schools in New Bedford. The schools are tuition-free. Alma’s mission is to put every one of our scholars on the path to college and to challenge them to be service-minded leaders. We achieve this mission by providing a demanding and supportive education to every scholar who walks through our doors. Alma features a longer school day, a longer school year, high expectations for all scholars, and outstanding teachers from across the country. We currently serve 800 scholars across two campuses.