Alma del Mar Enrollment Lottery Draws Nearly 750 Applications

Kindergarten teacher Grace Stanford congradulates four year old Mielyse Gonzalez on being accepted to the kindergarten class during the Alma del Mar electronic lottery. [DAVID W. OLIVEIRA/STANDARD-TIMES SPECIAL/SCMG]

Kindergarten teacher Grace Stanford congratulates four year old Mielyse Gonzalez on being accepted to the kindergarten class during the Alma del Mar electronic lottery.
[DAVID W. OLIVEIRA/STANDARD-TIMES SPECIAL/SCMG]

New Bedford (February 28, 2019)Alma del Mar Charter School held their enrollment lottery Wednesday night with more than 100 hopeful family, friends and children in attendance. The lottery, held for the 2019-2020 school year, attracted 748 applications – a 35 percent increase over last year’s application cycle.

Alma del Mar received 198 applications for 45 available seats for next year’s kindergarten cohort. The school also received 550 applications for grades 1-8, where there are currently no openings.

WBSM host Phil Paleologos joined Alma del Mar staff to help conduct the annual enrollment lottery. Before he pressed the button to initiate the electronic process, he thanked families for their commitment to their children: “As a parent, I can’t think of anything more important than what you’re doing right now.”

Mr. Paleologos also asked the crowd to cheer for the incoming Class of 2036, which is how next year’s kindergarten class will be referenced as 2036 is the year the children would graduate from college.

This lottery was held for Alma’s flagship school at 515 Belleville Avenue, which currently serves 450 scholars in grades K-8. Alma was recently approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to add another K-8 school in New Bedford. An enrollment plan is being developed for this new campus.

Across the state, these lotteries are emotional and frustrating events for families, who face long odds because of limited openings set by state law. Since applicants usually far outnumber available seats, charter enrollment is determined by blind lottery. By law, enrollment lotteries are held to determine which children can enroll.

About Alma del Mar:

Alma del Mar is a K-8 public school operating under a five-year charter granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The school is tuition-free and is open to all children in New Bedford. Our mission is to put every one of our scholars on the path to college and to challenge them to be service-minded leaders. We are achieving this mission by providing a highly demanding, highly supportive education to every scholar who walks through our doors. Alma del Mar features a longer school day, a longer school year, high expectations for all scholars, and outstanding teachers from across the country. We currently serve about 450 scholars in grades K-8.

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