GUEST VIEW: Alma del Mar’s mission is to serve New Bedford

Date Published: 
March 27, 2019
David M. Prentiss and David Cabral
News Type: 
As former trustees and longtime supporters of Alma del Mar, we would like to commend State Education Commissioner Jeffery Riley, Mayor Jon Mitchell and Superintendent Thomas Anderson for their forward-thinking leadership and collaborative spirit in working with Alma del Mar to reach a groundbreaking agreement to create a new great school to serve the children and families of one of the city’s neediest neighborhoods.
With eager anticipation and hope that the agreement will be finalized in the near future, we know that the Alma del Mar team is ready to embrace this opportunity to work with the school district and local officials to bring the best possible education to more New Bedford children.
Mayor Mitchell has hailed the initial agreement as a “fairer way” to add new charter seats in the city, and Superintendent Thomas Anderson referred to it as “an optimal compromise for all of us to grow as we prioritize the education of New Bedford school children.” We couldn’t agree more.
Alma del Mar was founded with a very clear and open mission: to serve the neediest children in New Bedford and give them access to all the benefits that a high quality education provides. Our deepest conviction was that all New Bedford children, regardless of their socioeconomic, ethnic, or language background, have the potential to learn and flourish at the same level as children from wealthier communities.
In the eight years since doors opened, Alma has proven that this conviction is a fact beyond doubt. This success is a testament to the hard work and indomitable spirit of Alma’s scholars, their families, and the caring and talented teachers and staff. We are thrilled with the prospect of Alma serving even more children in New Bedford, and we hope this agreement will be a springboard for more collaboration and partnerships with the city and school district.
We are also confident that this new agreement will give all people the chance to see for themselves what Alma del Mar is really like. In the public debate over Alma’s expansion and the proposed agreement with the city, we cannot help but be saddened when some people, for whatever reason, try to malign the school with falsehoods and distortions. For those who care about the truth, we encourage you to visit Alma’s website and Facebook page for all the incredible work Alma scholars and staff are doing every day. Most of all, we encourage you to visit Alma. Visitors are always welcome.
Everyone agrees that the stakes are high when it comes to educating our children. That is why we are so excited about this opportunity, and why Alma del Mar is ready to do everything in its power to provide the very best education to New Bedford children.