Results of the 2013-2014 MCAS show that Alma scholars are already outperforming their peers in New Bedford and are performing on par with students in more affluent areas. Alma fourth graders outperformed their New Bedford peers by 14% in Math and 12% in Literacy. Additionally, our kindergarten scholars scored in the 99th percentile in reading and the 97th percentile in math on a nationally normed test (the ITBS, 2014).
By the end of the second quarter of the 2013-2014 school year, 82% of scholars were reading at or above grade level (20% were reading at more than one full year above grade level, and only 1% was reading at more than one full year below grade level). On average, our scholars gain 1.4 years of reading each school year.
Alma del Mar scholars take interim exams every 4-8 weeks. The purpose of these interim exams is to assess what our scholars have learned. These interims have been carefully designed by our instructional team with the input of Education Pioneers and other expert consultants. On quarter two interims in 2013-2014, our scholars scored a schoolwide average of 91% on the math interim and 83% on the literacy interim. These scores represent a 3% improvement in math and a 6% improvement in literacy on the schoolwide average over the quarter one exam. We expect to see even larger gains when quarter four sores are compared to quarter one scores.
We work hard with our families to maintain our average daily attendance rate of 97.1%. Nearly all our parents have at least four face-to-face meetings with their scholar’s teacher each year. Each year begins with the teacher visiting the scholar’s home to meet with the family. 97% of parents report that these home visits are a valuable part of the Alma experience.
Alma del Mar scholars experience a school culture that combines high expectations with extensive support. Our curriculum, instruction, support services and school culture are designed to address the specific needs of New Bedford children so they can reach their full potential and set forth on the path to college. While at Alma, scholars at held to high standards of behavior, including: “tracking” the speaker, be it a classmate or teacher; working independently and diligently, even in kindergarten; following directions immediately; being considerate in words and actions; coming prepared to learn every day; and doing their best work every day and allow others to do theirs. Our scholars thrive on the challenge. On any given day, 86% of scholars have met or exceeded all behavior expectations set for them and 96% have completed all of their homework. On the June 2013 family survey, 88% of parents reported that they believed that their scholar showed more discipline than he or she did prior to enrolling at Alma del Mar.
Because our school is so new, we have not yet been assigned a Level by MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Alma del Mar DESE School Report Card