NEW BEDFORD – For the eighth straight year, Alma del Mar scholars have had a strong showing on state assessments. Of particular note this year, Alma’s third grade scholars were among the top-performing in the state on the ELA MCAS test and performed in the top quartile on the Math MCAS test. Middle schoolers at Alma were also the highest performing in the city on both tests.
In addition, Alma’s English Language Learners and scholars who are identified as ‘High Needs’ by the state outperformed their statewide peers on both MCAS tests last spring.
“We’re proud of what our scholars and teachers have accomplished,” said Executive Director Will Gardner. “Our teachers have worked hard and gotten consistently strong results on behalf of kids for eight years now. True to our ethos, we’re also the first to acknowledge that our growth results this year were not as strong as they could be. Our team has already identified a number of improvements we can make to our curriculum and instruction based on last year’s data.”
Alma’s diverse scholars continue to excel academically. Across all grade levels tested, the school averaged a 49 percent passing rate on MCAS English language arts (ELA) exams and 55 percent in math, compared to average statewide passing rates of 52 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
90% of Alma’s third graders met or exceeded expectations on the ELA MCAS, putting their performance in the 98th percentile of all third graders in the state. Likewise, 74% of Alma’s third graders met or exceeded expectations on the Math MCAS, putting them in the 91st percentile of performance statewide.
Alma’s demographics mirror those of New Bedford Public Schools and are significantly higher than the state average: 62% of Alma scholars come from economically disadvantaged households, 79% meet the state’s “High Needs” criteria, 59% are Latinx, and 16% are African American/Black. 24% of Alma scholars are English Language Learners (ELLs) and 19% are students with disabilities.
Across grades 3-8, Alma scholars in these groups excelled in Math and ELA:
- African American/Black scholars scored in the 87th percentile statewide on the Math test
- ELLs scored in the 86th percentile on the ELA test and the 67th percentile on the Math test
- Latinx scholars scored in the 81st percentile on the Math test and the 70th percentile on the ELA test
- Scholars identified by the state as High Needs scored in the 84th percentile on the Math test and in the 74th percentile on the ELA test
- ELLs at Alma passed both MCAS tests at more than twice the rate of their statewide peers
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 650 scholars across two campuses.