FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2017
Alma del Mar approved for enrollment expansion of 90 scholars
On Monday, February 27th, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a request for Alma del Mar Charter School to expand its enrollment by 90 students. This approval comes as a strong endorsement by state officials for the five year old school, whose charter was renewed without conditions last year.
The additional 90 seats will bring Alma’s chartered enrollment up to 450 students from its originally approved 360 students. The additional students will be added over the next several years by creating new sections of students in grades K-1 and by adding additional students to existing classrooms of subsequent grades.
“We’re thrilled to be able to increase our impact in New Bedford by serving a greater number of families,” says Executive Director Will Gardner, “it will be especially exciting to be able to admit scholars off of our waitlist who are siblings of our existing scholars. Many families have waited a long time for this opportunity.”
Alma will enroll new kindergartners for the upcoming the school year at its annual public lottery, held at the school on Tuesday, February 28th. Approximately 500 applications have already been received for the next school year. Any students who do not receive a spot through the lottery will be assigned a place on a waiting list. In response to the expansion approval, the school plans to enroll an additional group of students off this waiting list in March and April, with siblings receiving preference for any available seats.
In a memo to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Commissioner Chester pointed to significant improvements in Alma scholars’ performance on the latest PARCC tests as one indicator of Alma’s successful academic program. These measures were used to help determine Alma del Mar’s status as a “Proven Provider,” which is required by state law for a school to be considered for additional seats.
About Alma del Mar:
Alma del Mar is a public charter school serving 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 320 scholars in grades K-7. Next year, we will expand to serve grades K-8.