About Alma » Academics




Alma del Mar provides a content-rich curriculum that serves to build foundational skills while providing our scholars with critical background knowledge on a variety of topics.

an elementary scholar holds an open book in one hand and a pencil in the other handLiteracy

We believe strong literacy instruction provides the foundation necessary to put our scholars on the path to college. Scholars receive more than 60 minutes of reading and writing instruction each day. Scholars engage with thematic units over the course of the year, with increasing complexity, rigor, and independence throughout their tenure at Alma del Mar. 

In grades Kindergarten through third grade, scholars engage with The Writing Revolution to build their foundational writing skills before applying their sentence, paragraph, and essay writing skills in the older grades. In these grades, scholars also engage in direct phonics instruction, Guided Reading, and Humanities instruction. 

In grades four through eight, scholars engage in thematic units and move through cycles of reading, writing, discussing, and revising to create and revise their content-based understandings and refine their close reading of the text. 

Alma del Mar also provides targeted literacy interventions to ensure that all of our scholars are achieving their full potential.

an elementary scholar uses number blocks at a tableMathematics

Alma del Mar employs a Singapore Math approach and curriculum. Singapore Math emphasizes conceptual understanding, skill development and problem-solving strategies rather than rote memorization of formulas. Scholars move from concrete materials, to pictorial representations, and then to abstract symbols when learning mathematical concepts.

Our teachers have observed the following benefits of using the Singaporean math techniques and strategies:

  • Scholars are energized and excited about the content.
  • Scholars gain deep comprehension of the content.
  • Scholars learn to utilize a variety of problem-solving strategies while simultaneously increasing their academic achievement.
an elementary scholar smiles as she receives a "I Voted" sticker from a polling place worker on Election DayScience & Social Studies
In Kindergarten - 4th grade, we teach Science and Social Studies primarily through Learning Expeditions, 6-12 week investigations into key topics. Based on the *EL Education structure, scholars embark on three-month-long Expeditions each fall and spring. Expeditions integrate content knowledge and service-learning opportunities. Scholars gain a rich understanding of a subject and leverage this knowledge to strengthen their community.  In grades 5th - 8th, scholars engage in Science through rigorous, hands-on curricula that use natural phenomena to engage and deepen scholars' scientific learning.

*EL Education is a leading K-12 nonprofit helping to build great schools in diverse communities across America. For over 25 years, EL Education has been bringing to life a three dimensional vision of student achievement that includes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work. Alma del Mar combines the best practices of the highest performing urban charter schools with EL Education’s in-depth approach to teaching content. In every subject, Alma scholars both master the fundamentals and apply their learning in new ways. Visit ELeducation.org to learn more.