Alma’s 10th Anniversary
Alma del Mar is celebrating its 10th school year! Check out the below video interviews with some of our founding staff and Board of Trustees members as they share early memories, dreams for the next decade, and why they continue to return to Alma each year.
Thank you for supporting Alma’s first decade! We couldn’t have done any of this without you!
Alma Founders Share Their Memories
Alma founders share hopes for 10 more years
Why these Alma founders keep coming back
Ms. Cotugno Reflects
Special message from Mark Rasmussen, president of Buzzards Bay Coalition
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Alma’s 10 Year History Timeline
The state approved Alma’s charter during one of the most competitive years for charter applications in Massachusetts’ history.
The school opened for the first time to 120 New Bedford children in grades K-2. Alma continued to grow by one grade (and about 40 new scholars) during the early years.
The state approved Alma’s first renewal of its five-year charter.
Alma’s new, 43,000 square foot school building, the Sarah D. Ottiwell Campus, opened for 360 scholars in grades K-7. The $21M project was completed on time and under budget.
Alma was granted an additional 90 seats to up its enrollment capacity to 450 scholars. The additional scholars were added over the next several years by creating new sections of scholars in grades K-1 and by adding additional scholars to existing classrooms of subsequent grades.
Alma’s first 8th grade class, known as the Class of 2026 for the year they will graduate from college, graduates from Alma. Many of the scholars came to the school as second graders when Alma opened in 2011.
Alma was the only charter public school to be awarded a significant expansion of an additional 594 seats for a new K-8 school in New Bedford. The Frederick Douglass Campus opens to 200 children in K-2 and 6th grade on August 19. The campus is temporarily located in Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception’s former school building.
Alma’s teachers, scholars and staff nimbly switch to remote learning as the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March. The school provided free meals, laptops, internet, and much more to families in need.
The Alma community paid tribute to Frederick Douglass during a socially-distanced ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking at its new campus located in the Far North End of New Bedford. The project is estimated to cost $25M.
Alma received a clean five-year charter renewal from the state, its second in school history.
Alma introduced a phased-in approach for a safe return to in-person learning for all 800 K-8 scholars between Feb. 1 and May 3. A second facility was leased and renovated to provide temporary school space for 150 Douglass scholars as their new school is built nearby.
Download the Alma del Mar history timeline poster for printing.