NEW BEDFORD — Alma del Mar teachers visited homes of their students Thursday before school starts Monday.
“The home visits are very important, I believe,” said Wagdy Mahmoud whose three sons attend the charter school on Belleville Avenue that is seeking to expand. “It breaks a lot of barriers in between.”
By the end of September, all 430 students should get a home visit, which is a chance to get briefed on what they can expect for the year and to ask any questions.
This concept of meeting families where they’re at started before the school’s inception in August 2011. “There was a big door-to-door campaign just to start,” said Taylor DeLoach, dean of culture, to ask families what they wanted to see in a school.
Principal Kaitlin Goldrick said the home visits are in a “more relaxed setting” for families. After these visits, she said she thinks families feel more comfortable coming to the school and that there’s a high attendance for conferences.
Mahmoud’s sons Abdullah, fifth-grader, Mohamed, fourth-grader and Ibraheem, first-grader, entered the school’s lottery and were put on a waitlist for a few years before they were able to join last year.
“I just want him to read more,” Wadgy told Mohamed’s teacher Margaret Carvalho, 28, entering her fourth year at Alma. She’s a fourth-grade math teacher and is the math curriculum designer.
“That’s the only thing I don’t like to do,” Mohamed admitted.