I first heard of Alma del Mar back in 2010, before the state granted Alma’s first charter. Together with a group of passionate parents, educators and community leaders, we crafted the vision for Alma. The vision was to give New Bedford children the very best opportunity for learning. That’s what I wanted for my son, who was just 1 at the time, and for all children in our city.
Today, I’m excited to read the news that Alma and the district are working together toward furthering this vision.
I started as a founding member of Alma’s Board of Trustees, but now I’m a proud Alma parent. I still remember how relieved I felt when my son’s name was called for kindergarten at Alma.
My son’s love for learning, particularly in the sciences, has grown over the course of the three and a half years he has attended Alma. What’s more, he has been supported academically and socially, as well as through extracurricular activities, such as the drama club.
Through all of his school experiences, both good and bad, he has been observed, guided and supported with him, the individual, in mind. While his Alma teachers have challenged the entire class with a task or subject, I always hear how my son participates, learns, struggles and overcomes.
I’m not alone in making sure he is challenged and called on any lack of effort. His teachers have always been with me. They may “run a tight ship,” but my son often comes home to tell me about the fun he had at school — growing a garden with his class, learning how the Wampanoag lived, going on a whale watch, learning songs for his Expedition Night performance. It must be working — the classroom learning and the applications.
My son is a thriving third grader, and I’m excited to see what his brother will achieve next year when he joins him as an incoming kindergartner.
I encourage all New Bedford parents to pursue what they believe is the best course for their children — whether it be district, charter, private or home school. New Bedford can and will thrive with all kinds of educational options. Still, I can’t help but think that this district-charter (Alma) collaboration will lead to even greater results for the only people who really matter in this — the kids of New Bedford.