Save the Date: Alma del Mar Class of 2026 Graduation

save the date

Last week of school details

Week of June 11th — 15th:

  • Q4 Interim Exams
  • Passage Portfolio presentations (more information to follow)
  • Tues. 6/12—End of year trip!  All day Fieldwork.
  • Fri. 6/15—Last day of school for 8th grade class.  Scholars may wear “Sunday best” attire to school that day.

 

Week of June 18th – 22nd:

  • Optional attendance (more information to follow)
Posted in Ops @ Alma

What is Crew?

At Alma, our work is often complex and highly interpersonal. It’s also creative and performative. We must make sure we are creating an ecosystem in which creative people can thrive while doing highly complex, interpersonal and performative work. Because when our teachers thrive, our scholars thrive. It’s this notion that leads us to our Crew Code – a set of guiding principles focusing on our staff’s behaviors and beliefs that contribute to the culture at Alma del Mar. 

Below is one staff member’s take on one of our guiding principles: Crew.

Hi, everyone. My name is Nurse Tara. And let me start by pointing out how impressive that my mom knew I was going to become a nurse and named me Nurse Tara. I’m introducing myself more out of a residual habit of public speaking etiquette and less out of the need to actually do so because you all know me. And, beautifully, I know you as well.

This? This familiarity? This is an absolute revelation to me. In my previous work for another school system, I spent approximately 10 months working with a group of teachers and other staff members and by the end of my year there I can say I knew probably 5 staff members by name. I did my job, I served my students. I did my paperwork and doled out band-aids and ice packs and sage advice. I made my same corny jokes, and used my same skill set. But nothing about that job felt the same as this career that I have at Alma. I felt isolated. In a building full of instructional staff I felt “other.” I felt, every single day on the short ride to work that I would rather be just about anywhere else. So, what makes the difference?

Right from the start, I had the opportunity to experience Alma culture during my first Alma Institute in August. On my very first day I camped out in my office and calmly assessed (panic face) the state of the records, supplies, all that good stuff. And periodically throughout the day teachers and admin staff popped in to say hey and make me feel welcome. “What is this?” I wondered to myself. Day two I participated in an event in which we all received awards in a mock town hall. My award was in the area of “Crew.” And that was the answer to both of the questions I’d asked myself. What makes the difference? What is this? Crew.

Well sure, yea. Crew. Awesome. But what is “Crew” and what does it really mean? I started to see examples along the way as I started putting roots down. Cake in the break room with a little note welcoming anyone to grab a piece. Birthday songs at morning huddle with much more enthusiasm that most groups of adults can muster before 8 am. Invitations to join colleagues for a drink. A beach PD day with games and smiles and for me, not one awkward moment of feeling like an out of place middle schooler holding a lunch tray and asking for permission to sit at the cool kids’ table.

So, by the start of September I knew what crew was, but it wasn’t until mid-November that I really started to understand what crew meant. I had to have emergency surgery for my inflamed and infected gallbladder. Don’t worry, we have since parted ways and are no longer on speaking terms. I texted Marko while hopped up on morphine, so worried that I was going to be in trouble for having to call out for so many days on zero notice. Instead of a reprimand, I was met with reassurance and encouragement. Within a few days the eternally sunny Jess Summers had signed me up for a meal train. That’s when it happened.

Crew flooded into my home and into my fridge in the form of homemade soups, com bread, roasted pepitas, hot dish, Chinese food, baked French toast, tacos, mac and cheese, cookies, brownies. You name it and there is was on my doorstep in the arms of a colleague who asked how I was doing and if I needed anything. Crew filled up my inbox with emails and texts to let me know that I was missed and that all our kiddos were safe and healthy.

Crew was knowing that I mattered, and that I was supported by the people who I worked with, even when we weren’t at work. At the risk of Trademark infringement, I’ll even say Ohana means family and so does crew.

Posted in Ops @ Alma

Where would your curiosity and love of learning take you?

Something that makes Alma del Mar a unique place to work is that our teachers are given the opportunity to fuel their passion and deepen their content knowledge.
 
Where would your curiosity and love of learning take you?
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For Kate, our middle school art teacher,
it took her to a museum in the heart of Paris,
where she stood in awe of Monet’s water lilies.
 
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For Ned, our fifth grade literacy teacher,
it sent him to historic sites like the Edmund Pettus Bridge
and Ebenezar Baptist Church.
 
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For Nathalie, our first grade co-teacher,
she found herself on a cross-country journey
to research some of America’s most beloved symbols.
 
At Alma, we invest in our teachers not only as educators, but also as lifelong learners. We enable our teachers to look beyond the typical professional development opportunities and actually explore. These adventures, dubbed Almazing Fund trips, are funded by a donor-supported effort to give our incredible educators the chance to experience the world around them and how it relates to their curriculum.
 
These experiences not only deepen our teachers’ understanding of the curriculum they teach but also fuels their passion for the content. We know that when our teachers get excited about the content they’re teaching, our scholars will too.
 
But we’re not done yet.
 
Interested in joining a crew that is always striving to deepen their learning? Check out our openings!
 
Posted in Alma Profiles

March is Spirit Month at Alma

Spirit Month

For the past 6 years, Alma has had the traditional 1 week of days where scholars could dress up according to day. But this year, we decided to spread out the fun! Every Friday in March, we will have a Spirit Day.

Please work with your scholar to plan a simple homemade costume.  Items around the house make great costumes!

Please note the following costume guidelines:

  • Scholars may not wear masks or fake blood (other face paint is ok)
  • Scholars may not bring weapons of any kind (fake or real)
  • Scholars may not wear jeans or flip-flops
  • All items must be appropriate for school (for example, no tube tops/spaghetti straps)
  • Must wear or bring appropriate shoes for P.E. and recess.
  • Costumes may not interfere with movement or safety (scholars will have Physical Education as usual)

Scholars who do not meet behavioral expectations the day before the event will not be permitted to participate. If a scholar is on red, receives a Community Violation, or earns an In School or Out of School Suspension the day before the event, they will not be allowed to participate. Middle school scholars who are On the Dock will be allowed to participate. Classroom teachers will contact families the day before the event to inform them if their scholar is not able to dress up.

March 2

Pajama Day

March 9

Mismatch Day

March 16

Crew Day

March 23

Famous People Day

Stay comfy all day long while wearing your pajamas to school. Go all out with onesies, sweatshirts or fuzzy pants. Wear whatever crazy clothes you want! Mix and Match everything, from crazy socks to mismatched leggings. Sport your school spirit by wearing your college colors. Go head to toe and show your school pride. Who’s your favorite famous person? On this spirit day, you can dress up just like them. From Rosa Parks to Beyonce, show us who’s your favorite.

 

Posted in Ops @ Alma

Alma 7th grade scholars make warm gesture

A group of seventh grade scholars at Alma del Mar Charter School will donate 15 fleece blankets to The Donovan House, a sober transitional housing program for women and their children in New Bedford. This group, known as the Colby College Crew (named for the Alma Mater of their crew leader, Emily Darrow), held a series of bake sales in December to raise money to buy fleece for the blankets. They worked on the blankets every morning in January and are now looking forward to donating the blankets to be used during these cold winter days. The Colby College Crew’s project is just one of many service projects that middle school scholars developed at Alma del Mar. In sixth grade, scholars collected winter clothing items that were then donated back to other Alma del Mar families in need.

Pictured below are Cesar Ruiz, Emanuel Matias, Vado DaRosa, Anthony Woodis, Ty Velez, Kyanna DaSilva, Kyla Lopes. (front row) Franklin Salvador, Justin Andrade, Nazyia Andrade, and DeAni Mota.

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Posted in Team

Meet Ms. Brainard: 4-5 Academic Fellow

IMG_7371
IMG_7371Rachel was born and raised in Middletown, Connecticut and recently moved to New Bedford to teach with her boyfriend, Gabriel. She attended Central Connecticut State University earning a degree in English Literature. Rachel enjoys kayaking and spending time with her cat, Carlos.
 
Why did you choose the Alma team?
I chose the Alma team because I wanted to work with a school that was making a real impact in the community- not just talking about it. When I first became introduced with Alma del Mar, it was clear the teachers all have one thing in common; they put their students first. I am excited to be a part of such a dedicated group of educators.
 
What do you hope to contribute to Alma? 
I hope to bring additional light and positivity to Alma. I want to be an adult that scholars can look up to and rely on each and every day.
 
What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?
My top goal during my first year with Alma is to grow relationships that will last a lifetime. The most exciting part of teaching is to watch students grow each year and guiding them along their path to college.
 
What teacher made a difference in your life — how?
If it wasn’t for a wonderful teacher from Middletown, Mrs. Cannata, then it wouldn’t be possible for me to help students as I do today. While I was growing up, I struggled with reading. Mrs. Cannata worked with me, one-on-one, from kindergarten until fifth grade. Not only did she teach me how to read but she also believed in me.
 
Why did you become involved in education?
My grandmother, who raised me, taught me the value and importance of education at a young age. While she only attended school until the fifth grade, she always reminded me that education is a gift and pushed me to work hard. She is a constant reminder of why I have become involved in education. 
 
Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?
I attended Central Connecticut State University for college. I loved the freedom college offered. CCSU gave me the opportunities to explore different things that were important to me. From writing conferences to class trips, I feel like I was able to focus on myself through these experiences. 
 
What is your favorite place?
My favorite place is a historical site in Hull, Massachusetts called Fort Revere. It is the old remains of a military fort overlooking the Brewster Islands. It is a relaxing place overlooking the water but also full of rich history.
 
What is your favorite food?
I love Italian food, especially my Nonna’s Sicilian pizza.
Posted in Alma Profiles, Meet Our Crew

Meet Ms. Gomes: Office Manager

Jillian Gomes and her son Adrien dressed up as Bob Ross and his painting when they ran in the Providence Monster Dash 5K!
Jillian Gomes and her son Adrien dressed up as Bob Ross and his painting when they ran in the Providence Monster Dash 5K!

Jillian Gomes and her son Adrien dressed up as Bob Ross and his painting when they ran in the Providence Monster Dash 5K!

Jillian Gomes is a lifelong New Bedford resident who attended New Bedford Public Schools as well as GNB Voc-Tech where she studied graphic design. After high school she earned her associates degree in liberal arts from the Community College of RI, and then transferred to RIC. She’s joining the Alma team with over 15 years experience as an office manager — her most recent position being a charter school in Fall River. Jillian is also a founding Alma parent with two scholars who attend.

Why did you choose the Alma team?

I chose Alma for my family eight years ago when I heard about the possibility of it opening. The idea of my children being encouraged to become “service minded leaders” moved me. I had never heard anything like it! I chose to work at Alma because this community (scholars, staff and families) is the most energetic, supportive and welcoming group I’ve ever encountered.

What do you hope to contribute?

I hope to utilize my unique perspective as both a charter school OM and an Alma parent to consistently find the best ways to support all scholars, staff and families.

What is your top goal for your first year?

To ensure that all Alma families always feel well informed and welcomed, and are comfortable contacting me whenever they need to.

Who was your favorite teacher growing up, and why?

Mr. Paul Durland , my history teacher from GNB Voc Tech. He was infectiously joyful and energetic. He also sparked my love of local history, and my deep appreciation for New Bedford and the people who make it such an amazing place to live.

Where did you go to college?

I went to CCRI Providence, and my favorite thing about it was how diverse the students and faculty were. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from all over the world, as well as attending classes with people of all ages. This experience taught me to see things from many different viewpoints, a reminder of how unique we all are.

What is your favorite book?

A definite tie between A Chance in the World by New Bedford native Steve Pemberton (who I had the pleasure of meeting last summer), and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Where is your favorite place?

South Shore beach in Little Compton, RI

Posted in Alma Profiles, Meet Our Crew

Alma scholars study issues related to surviving & thriving

What would I do if my family didn’t have enough food? What would it be like to go about my day without electricity? What do I have now that I’ve been taking for granted?
 
These are just some of the questions 8th grade scholars considered as they learned about issues of scarcity and abundance of resources this fall. Hurricane Maria became their focus, with it creating a real-world example of resource scarcity that also hit close to home for many of our scholars. Their parents were born in Puerto Rico. Their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles still live there. They knew someone without running water or electricity.
 
These connections assisted scholars as they drew comparisons between the challenges of living in New Bedford and the challenges of those living in Puerto Rico when the hurricane hit in September. Together, they wrote a collection of poems called “Two Voices” about those differences and connections between their lives and the lives of young people living in Puerto Rico.
 

 
 
This project challenged scholars to look at the world through a new lens. It allowed them to gain new perspective on the challenges they, and others their age, face today. The 8th grade class launched a campaign to support the Unidos Para Familias Fund, which supports Puerto Rican families who have been displaced to New Bedford in the aftermath of the hurricane.
 
This is just one example of how we infuse community, culture, and our mantra of Learn.Lead.Serve.Succeed at Alma.
Posted in Team

Meet Mr. Baker: Culture Fellow

FB_IMG_1481376833479Mr. Baker was born in Holyoke, MA, and moved to Westborough, MA for high school. He studied International Relations and Political Science at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Mr. Baker became a rock climbing instructor and enjoyed several years of teaching people of all ages to reach beyond their perceived limitations throughout New England. Prior to joining the Alma del Mar team, he was proud to spend five years caring for his grandfather with severe Alzheimer’s/dementia. 
 
Why did you choose the Alma team?

From the first time I visited the school I was impressed with the culture and structure at Alma del Mar, specifically with how committed each and every teacher is to their scholars. As someone who is new to the field of education it seemed a perfect fit given the combination of my previous experience and needing to try something new. Now it’s hard to imagine working elsewhere.
 
What do you hope to contribute to Alma?
Prior to coming to Alma del Mar I spent five years caring for my grandfather, who suffered from severe Alzheimer’s/dementia. This was a challenge that helped me develop a deep sense of patience and empathy for those in our community who require support in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. Having spent so long cultivating these skills in service of someone’s mental regression, I thought it would be fitting to use try to use them to aid in someone’s personal progression.
 
What is your top goal during your first year at Alma?
 
My primary goal this year is to be the best sponge I can be. The main strength that Alma del Mar has is the effectiveness of the teachers that inhabit its classrooms and halls. I’m new to Alma but also new to education in general, and I feel learning everything I can from the wonderful staff and their years of wisdom is the surest way to improve the experience of our scholars, today and each day moving forward.
 
What teacher made a difference in your life — how?
 
I had a teacher in high school named Mrs. Simoneau. She taught Spanish, French, and German, in addition to fluently speaking Italian, Portuguese, and Greek. When I began high school I had already taken two years of Spanish and decided, against the wishes of my guidance counselor, to add German to my course list. Mrs. Simoneau recognized my enthusiasm for language and encouraged me to add French and Latin over the course of my time in high school. She would chat with me in between classes or after school in the language of my choosing, always reminding me that it is just as important to be an attentive listener as it is to be a confident speaker.
 
Why did you become involved in education?
 
I’ve always enjoyed the jobs I’ve had that involved working with children. I loved teaching kids how to climb when I was a climbing instructor. The idea that a kid could be freed from the constraints of perceived inability by my actions was (and continues to be) a powerful motivator. I was also tired of having jobs that were unfulfilling in terms of a greater sense of service. I grew up in a community that values commitment to an idea that is larger than yourself. After having completed a long-term commitment to my family, I decided education was the next logical step.
 
Where did you go to college? What did you like about it?
 
I studied International Relations and Political Science at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Like most college students, I was challenged by a difficult curriculum and unyielding professors. In retrospect, the most valuable aspect of my time there was the diversity of students and professors. I was fortunate to include among my professors a former ambassador to Yemen, politicians from Croatia, and leaders of NGOs from Ghana. A full 40% of the student body came from outside the United States. The localized context they were able to impart upon me as a result of their collective experience was more valuable than most of the books I was assigned to read. 
 
What is your favorite food?
 
Although I love tacos, ice cream, and pretty much any type of Indian food, there is absolutely nothing more delicious in this world than a perfectly ripe pear.
 
What is your favorite place?
 
My favorite place is the beach at any time of the year. It’s a place where one can relax, rejuvenate, sleep, or exercise. One can carry on with friends or exist comfortably alone. The water is as refreshing in August as it is bracing in January, each in its own way. Let’s go for a swim!
Posted in Alma Profiles, Meet Our Crew

Enrollment applications due February 21

We are one month out from the lottery for the 2018/19 school year. Please make sure all siblings and other loved ones get their applications in on time. The deadline is Friday, February 21st at 5 pm. The waiting list is erased each year, and you MUST reapply. Applicants must be 5 years old before Sept. 1st 2018. 

You may find applications in English, Spanish and Portuguese here. 

All applications for the 2018-19 school year are due by 5:00 PM on February 21st.  Our lottery for the 2018-19 school year will be held on February 28, 2018 at 6:00 PM.  We hold a lottery every year to make a new waiting list for each academic year. Please download an application below and mail or drop it off at 515 Belleville Avenue, New Bedford, MA 02746.  You may also fax an application to 774-206-6821.  You may also call us at 774-206-6827 to have an application mailed to your home.

Todas las aplicaciones para el año escolar 2018-19 se reciben hasta las 5:00 PM el 21 de Febrero. Nuestra lotería para el año escolar 2018-19 se llevará a cabo el 28 de Febrero del 2018 a las 6:00 PM. Llevamos a cabo una lotería cada año para hacer una nueva lista de espera para cada año de escolares. Por favor, descargue una aplicación de abajo y enviela por correo o entregarla al 515 Belleville Avenue,New Bedford, MA 02746. También puede enviar por fax una aplicacion al 774-206-6821. También nos puede llamar al 774-206-6827 para tener una aplicacion por correo a su casa.

Posted in Ops @ Alma

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