PATHWAYS Annual Report 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Who we serve ...........................................................................................4 Sustained Success ..................................................................................10 Beyond Alma ..........................................................................................12 Ravenous Readers ..................................................................................14 Financials ...............................................................................................20
Annual Report 2019
On September 17, 1838, a young man named Frederick Johnson arrived at his new home in New Bedford. His journey had been extraordinary. It began with an act that we now take for granted: as a young man living in slavery, Frederick Douglass learned to read. As he would later recount, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” After his long journey out of enslavement, the young man and his wife settled in New Bedford. It was here that he adopted the name Frederick Douglass. His words continue to change the course of history to this day. It’s tempting to use Douglass’ harrowing journey and subsequent triumph as an instructive tale of beating the odds through hard work and self-reliance. This reading would ignore one of Douglass’ central messages: as a society, we must do better at reducing the odds stacked against so many of our people. This work begins with how we treat all of our youth, as, in Douglass’ words, “it’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” This past August we opened our second campus, Alma del Mar, Frederick Douglass, welcoming 200 new Alma scholars and their families to our community. Like Douglass, many of our new families have arrived in New Bedford after harrowing journeys of their own. Many of our new scholars are learning English for the first time and, like Douglass before them, beginning to unlock the power of language and ideas. For all of our scholars, learning to harness the power of language is the first step toward becoming authors of their own destiny. Frederick Douglass continues to remind us that we all have work to do in order to make our society more inclusive and more just. He also reminds us that this work is what will make our country better for everyone who lives here. All who support Alma believe that we must work with urgency to provide high quality educational opportunities for as many kids in New Bedford as possible. Like Douglass did, we believe that all families - not just those with means - should have the right to make their own choices regarding their own children. As the stories told in the following pages can attest, our scholars are well on their way to successful futures. Thank you for supporting all of them in writing this next chapter.
Board of Trustees Chris Arnold Jan Baptist, Chair Christopher Bator Vanessa Brown Executive Director
Bronwen Cunningham David Eckert Gail Fortes
Lucile (Cile) Hicks Martha Kay Dr. John Polk Maria Rosario
Annual Report 2019
WE SERVE SPECIAL POPULATIONS
First Language not English
ALMA DEL MAR
Students with Disabilities
% of Enrollment Alma del Mar
English Language Learners
RACE AND ETHNICITY
Other (including Asian, Native American, Multi-Race and Non-Hispanic)
MEET THE ANDRADES ALMA FAMILY
I left Portugal in 2004 to move to the United States with my two oldest children. My son Justin was born the following year and we moved around a lot, living in shelters or with friends. I was a single mom and I didn’t speak any English at all. I first heard of Alma when someone knocked on my door almost ten years ago. I answered the door and a man was there with a blue paper. I didn’t know what he was trying to say, I thought maybe he was selling something. My daughter translated for me, sharing that a new school was going to open and that it was a good thing for New Bedford. My son, Justin, was having a hard time in school and so I thought why not, and I filled out the papers with my daughter’s help. A few months later I was in class, learning English, at UMass Dartmouth and I got a call saying that Justin had won the lottery. I was really confused at first, because the only lottery I knew of was the one where you buy tickets. My professor took the phone and translated for me. She told me the same thing I had heard months earlier, that it was a new charter school and that my son was going to receive a really good education. We were all so excited. Justin came to Alma as a first grader and at first he had a really tough time. But the teachers were so helpful, including Ms. Depina who would translate for me and just talk with me. Soon I saw Justin improving, little by little. Two years later, my daughter Carina was accepted as a kindergartener. We were, and still are, so grateful. They both received the support they needed to grow and realize their potential. I received my permanent residency nearly six years ago, around the same time I found stable housing for me and my children, and I have a good job as a CNA in town. It was important to me that my children saw me pursuing my dreams, not letting anything get in my way. Today, Justin is a ninth grader at GNB Voc-Tech, playing football and enjoying every ‘shop’ he’s explored so far. Carina will graduate from Alma next spring and has plans to join her big brother at GNB Voc-Tech. 5
Annual Report 2019
MEETAlmaAMANDA Family This experience has helped me realize that we often underestimate what kids are capable of, and for that matter, what we ourselves are capable of. To set an example for my boys, I’m challenging myself this year to learn about astro and quantum physics. I’ve always found these topics fascinating . It’s time to sit down and dig in! -Amanda
I grew up in Wareham, where I attended elementary and junior high school. My family wanted me to ‘spread my wings’ so I transferred to a parochial high school elsewhere on the SouthCoast. I was accepted into Yale’s undergrad program out of high school and then worked as an assistant manager at a grocery store for a few years before pursuing my law degree at the Boston University School of Law. I was working at a local attorney’s office when my husband and I had our first son, Jake. It was then that I decided to open my own law firm. I was ready to advocate for the change I wanted to see in our community, and working for myself was one way I could be sure I would be able to jump in and fight for what was right. I first heard of Alma around that time, 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. I still remember holding my squirmy little boy at the public hearing that was held downtown about Alma’s application. 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 is a thriving fourth grader, and I’m excited to see what his brother achieves this year as a new kindergartener. www.almadelmar.org
MEET MS. BRAINARD Alma Teacher
Growing up, I didn’t know a lot of people who went to college. My teachers inspired me to further my education and pursue my dreams of helping others. My grandmother raised me with broken English and a fifth grade education. She motivated me to further my education and give back to others. I struggled as a reader when I was younger. I had many great teachers who helped not only make reading accessible to me, but also make it enjoyable for me. Those teachers believed in me and they helped me believe in myself. Eventually, English class became an escape for me and I learned to become a storyteller. It was only natural for me to study for a degree in English while attending a state university that was within my family’s means. I came to New Bedford to work as a teacher in a city with children who need all the love and support they can get. Helping bilingual scholars feel comfortable and access content in their classrooms is an important job to me, as it so closely reflects my story. My family speaks Italian as their first language. I think of my family’s challenges and struggles while assimilating to this country and it motivates me to help others and make their process a little easier. This summer, thanks to the Almazing Fund, I visited Puerto Rico to learn more about the culture and to practice my Spanish. I loved having the opportunity to give back to this beautiful community while I immersed myself in the culture of many of my scholars’ home land.
While in Puerto Rico this summer, I volunteered at the Escuala Republica del Peru, painting walls and preparing the school building for the coming school year. I also helped at a Feeding America food bank, Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico, in Bayamon.
Annual Report 2019
MEET MS. DESOUSA Alma Teacher
I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl, attending school at the Sarah D. Ottiwell School up the street from my family home in the Near North End of New Bedford. This dream of mine led me to pursue a degree in child development while still in high school at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical, and then study at Fisher College while working at a local child care center. Then I got the opportunity to volunteer for Alma’s afterschool program, held right up the street at the former Ottiwell School. I took it as a sign and jumped right in. Soon I was substitute teaching and supporting in classrooms. Even though I was a sub, teachers welcomed me in with open arms, offered words of encouragement and made me feel like a part of the Alma family. I spent the past three years working in the kindergarten classrooms of two incredible teachers. They took me under their wings and made me the teacher I am today. I had countless opportunities to teach with them and I am so grateful for those experiences. Today, I’m living my dream as a kindergarten teacher in Alma’s Frederick Douglass Campus. I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be, helping to mold New Bedford’s future leaders and giving back to the community that raised me. I am so grateful.
WE’RE PROUD OF WHAT OUR
SCHOLARS AND TEACHERS HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
O U R T E A C H E R S H A V E WORKED HARD A N D G O T T E N
CONSISTENTLY STRONG RESULTS ON BEHALF OF OUR KIDS FOR EIGHT YEARS.
Alma’s passage rate on 2019 MCAS significantly surpassed the state average in Math and nearly matched the state average in English. 9
Annual Report 2019
60 50 40
MCAS RESULTS 2019
Alma del Mar New Bedford
AND IN THE TOP QUARTILE IN THE STATE ON
SPECIAL POPULATIONS ECON. DIS.
ELA MATH ELA MATH
OUR 3RD GRADE SCHOLARS R A N K E D I N T H E TOP 10 IN THE STATE ON
OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHOLARS
MIDDLE SCHOOLERS IN THE ENTIRE CITY.
CONTINUE TO BE THE
State 33% State 29%
The path leading up to this day has not been easy for me. I came to Alma del Mar from a previous school where I was held back twice. My self confidence, self worth and self esteem were non-existent. I was being consumed by my challenges and did not know how to escape them. After a few weeks here at Alma del Mar, this all changed when I actually took the time to get to know the people surrounding me. I started to build meaningful relationships with teachers and peers, and from there I started to realize my worth and potential. The teachers at Alma del Mar helped me believe that I was capable. They taught me how to take responsibility for my actions and slowly, but surely, I started to realize that I had the power to change my situation. -Grace R., Class of 2027 11
Annual Report 2019
TRUE TO OUR
FOUNDING MISSION, WE CONTINUE TO FOCUS
ON PUTTING OUR SCHOLARS ON A
COLLEGE TRAJECTORY. From the rigor of our academics to the language we use, scholars are inspired to think of college graduation as attainable. This past year we’ve further developed our support and tracking of Alma alumni at their various secondary schools, ensuring that our scholars remain on a college trajectory even after leaving Alma. 100% of Alma’s first alumni cohort successfully completed their first year of high school and began their sophomore year this fall. In addition, 92% of our most recent cohort was accepted into a selective high school or program (including New Bedford High’s Academy of Honors).
OUR GRADUATES ARE ATTENDING HIGH SCHOOLS AROUND THE REGION SUCH AS: Bishop Stang High School
Bristol County Agricultural High School Nazarene Christian Academy City on a Hill - New Bedford Dartmouth High School
I am always impressed with the applicants from Alma Del Mar. It is clear when Alma scholars transition
Global Learning Charter Public School
to our high school they understand
Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical School
core values of preparation, passion,
New Bedford High School Old Rochester Regional High School Stoneleigh Burnham Tabor Academy www.almadelmar.org
“As the Director of Admissions at
the importance of the GNB Voc-Tech and perseverance.” -Dr. Heather D. Larkin, LMHC Director of Guidance, Pupil Personnel Services & Admissions
Annual Report 2019
ONCE YOU LEARN TO
YOU WI LL BE
FOREVER FREE FREDERICK DOUGLASS
A recent study showed that children who read proficiently by third grade are four times as likely to graduate high school as their non-proficient peers. Conversely, that same study showed that 82% of children who failed sixth grade English, failed to graduate high school. What does that mean in our work? It means that reading is crucial to our scholars’ success. That’s why we’re investing lots of energy and resources into our scholars’ reading abilities from Day One. In Kindergarten, our teachers are working hard to build vocabulary and background knowledge for our youngers scholars. Scholars at every grade level are being exposed to books every day, whether they’re reading independently or a grown-up is reading aloud to them. Families are given the tools and tips to foster a love of reading at home too! At Alma, we have doubled down on our cultivation of truly ravenous readers. Our teachers have been laser focused on helping every single one of our scholars fall in love with reading. Every classroom library is stocked with high-quality texts of all genres. Scholars are encouraged to carry their independent reading books with them throughout the day so they can squeeze in even one more page of their latest favorite book while waiting in line. Most importantly, teachers are talking with scholars about what they’re reading every week and marking progress in reading growth.
MEET MR. JACOME SIXTH GRADE HUMANITIES TEACHER
I’ve always been a big reader. My parents always encouraged me to read — they would buy me multiple books as gifts for my birthday and other holidays. I have fond memories of my dad, just days from deploying to Kuwait, reading aloud from Harry Potter as I got ready for bed. I would read aloud to myself while he was gone, creating a safe space for myself to get lost in an adventure. I’m lucky to be in a position now where I can help foster the love of reading of dozens of scholars each year. A lot of these kids may not have someone at home encouraging them to read. I make sure my classroom library is full of books from every genre to cover every possible interest, and I’m intentional about connecting with each scholar through the books they enjoy. Last year I introduced a reading competition for all of sixth grade. I’m still a big Harry Potter fan so I had each scholar took a personality test to find out which Hogwarts house they belonged to. That “house” became their team in a year-long reading competition with points being earned through the number of books read and the difficulty of each book. It really became a competition where every single scholar was invested and they took it very seriously. They spend their breakfast time quietly reading. They spend the last 20 minutes of class each day reading. Their homework is often reading for 30 minutes and completing a reading journal entry. I truly believe that when children are young, it’s important for them to learn to read, so when they are older, they read to learn.
Annual Report 2019
M EET L EILY JIMO N Class of 2033
Second grade was an exciting year for me because I was able to grow my brain and my reading ability more than ever before! I still remember how my teacher tested my reading level and had to keep moving to the next level up because I was passing each level. I started at a level J, which my teacher told me was a second grade reading level. By the end of the year, I was at a level Q, which she said was a fourth grade reading level! My teacher was so proud of my growth, and so was my family. I started at Alma when I was in kindergarten, so I’ve always been taught how important reading books is for my brain and for learning. When I’m at home and bored, I pick up a book! I’d rather read a great story than watch it, because I’ve found that books show you so much more of the story. You actually get to know the characters and how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. My goal this year is to read even more books and different kinds of books, including ones that are informational. I love learning new things! www.almadelmar.org
MEET MS. GOLDRICK S A R A H
PRINCIPAL O T T I W E L L
C A M P U S
I entered into teaching because I was looking for meaningful work where I could directly impact childrenâ€™s lives. I was energized by the idea of working with kids and families and watching students grow each year. Over time I found this work incredibly rewarding and I loved how I really got to know both my students and their families. As I have continued on in education in the city of New Bedford, one of the most special parts of this job is seeing my former students many years later. Hearing about college, work, and life since I knew them (as 11 year olds!) is so special to me and truly reminds me of why this work is so important. I took on this work as Principal so that I could impact even more studentâ€™s to provide them with the best possible education and put them on a path for future success. At Alma, we have a real sense of urgency to provide a high quality education to all our scholars. Our goal is to put all our scholars on the path to college and to challenge them to be service minded leaders in their community. As we continue to grow we have expanded our impact across the city of New Bedford, and it has been so exciting to lead in this work.
Annual Report 2019
MEET MS. DELOACH
Founding Principal F R E D E R I C K D O U G L A S S
C A M P U S
From the moment I walked through Alma’s doors as a graduate student in 2014, I knew Alma was a special place. At the time, Alma held classes in a 100-year-old building - it had old yellow windows, crumbling stairs, dark hallways … it was hard to know what to expect. But when I walked into the building, I wasn’t struck anymore by what I saw, but by what I felt. I felt the joy radiating from the staff, and at 7:15 in the morning at that! There were warm greetings, there were high fives, and there was a smile on each staff member’s face as they welcomed scholars into the building. When teachers are filled with joy and love for teaching, that creates a love of learning that permeates through the entire school. As I walked through the Alma classrooms during that first visit, I saw scholars learning with joy. When I became a teacher myself, I looked for all of the places I could cultivate joy, too. I saw the joy in my scholars’ faces when they mastered two digit subtraction or grew their reading level. I saw my scholars pour love into our first grade garden. I saw them donate our harvest to St. Anthony’s of Padua with love. There is no greater joy than seeing our scholars live up to their potential and exceed our expectations. I want each of our new scholars and families to feel this same joy, too. On Day One, we very intentionally set the tone for what we want to achieve not just this year, but for many years to come: providing the high-quality educational experience that each scholar deserves. Three years from now, our 8th graders will be the first class to graduate from Alma del Mar: Frederick Douglass Campus. They will leave us as skilled mathematicians, ravenous readers, and passionate writers. They will leave as New Bedford’s next generation of leaders. Most of all, they will leave with a joy and love of learning that will stay with them in their communities, in their schooling, and beyond. www.almadelmar.org
Thanks to Our Supporters $25,000+
George Frederick Jewett Foundation East Leonard & Hilda Kaplan Charitable Foundation Lucile Pillow Hicks
James Bevilacqua & Connie Bacon The Louis Calder Foundation
Acushnet Foundation Fund, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts Carney Family Charitable Foundation David & Vicki Croll Jim & Bess Hughes Orville W. Forte Charitable Foundation Ludes Family Foundation The Therese Matthews Charitable Fund
Chris & Trish Arnold Bristol County Savings Bank Foundation Joe Ciffolillo D.W. Gore Family Foundation Ed & Barbara Haddad Move The World Foundation St. Aidanâ€™s Chapel
Chase & Nicole Arnold Toby Baker Charles & Christina Bascom Mary Jean & Bill Blasdale Mark Bono & Elizabeth Gilbert-Bono Robert Booth & Bronwen Cunningham Karyn & Ben Campbell CHT Foundation Club Madeirense S.S. Sacramento Charitable Foundation Loretto & Dwight Crane Allan & Priscilla Ditchfield Arline & Roy Enoksen Eastern Charitable Foundation Ernest M. Haddad JoAnne Foody John Garber Johnson & Johnson Matching Gifts Program The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc. Robert Kramer Scott & Monica Laurans Joseph and Holly McDonough Elise Mock Prudential Foundation Matching Gifts John & Lynn Reichenbach Jim & Carolyn Rubenstein Robert & Bonnie Stapleton Fredi & Howard Stevenson The 2014 Van Andel Charitable Fund
Up to $999
Jonas Peter Akins Bradford Allison AmazonSmile Michael & Margie Baldwin Chris & Veronique Bale The Bank of America Charitable Foundation Jan Baptist Chris Bator & Colleen Hovey The Benevity Community Impact Fund Charles & Patricia Bentley Jack & Nancy Braitmayer Nan & Bill Braucher Peter & Tia Bullard Allison Burnett Karen Burnett-Kurie Gertrude Burr Joyce Louise Calnen Jack Cannell Alvan Carr Elizabeth Chapin Hanumara & Lakschmi Chowdri Matt & Dee Downey Annette Ewing Jim & Janet Fitzgibbons Gail Fortes Peter & Jennifer Francis FundRazr David Gilbertson & Carolee Matsumoto Marjorie Greville Frederic & Johanna Hood Jonathan & Elizabeth Howland Heidi & Arthur Huguley Peter G. Huidekoper
Will Hutchinson Rachel Joaquim Nathaniel Katin-Borland Martha Kay Dennis Keefe Rachael Kolb Ted & Nancy Kurtz Barry & Sherry Leiwant Matthew Harold Leiwant Barbara Lorentzen Alexander McFerran Kathy & Derek Melven John T. Mulheran Network For Good Carolyn Nunez Open Society Institute John Polk David Prentiss & Lucy Iannotti Genie & Don Rice Maria Rosario Thad Russell & Jo Sittenfeld Paul & Tina Schmid Stephen K. Smith W. Mason Smith, III Paul D & Ulla N Sullivan George Unhoch Ann & Jack Webb Happy & Henley Webb Neal Weiss The Cynthia M. Whitehead Charitable Fund Margaret D. Xifaras Tony & Eusie Zane
Annual Report 2019
FINANCIAL REPORT July 2018—June 2019
REVENUE State Funding Federal Grants & Funding Private Funding Other TOTAL INCOME
$ 5,572,055 $ 653,720 $ 577,317 $ 5,464 $ 6,808,556
EXPENSES Personnel Facilities Other TOTAL EXPENDITURES NET INCOME
$ 3,923,005 $ 878,108 $ 1,754,690 $ 6,555,803 $ 252,753
State Funding Federal Grants & Funding Private Funding
RECOGNIZING OUR ADVISORY COUNCIL Nelson Abreu Mary Jean Blasdale* Chad Brubaker David Cabral◊ Roger Cabral John Camera Karyn Campbell◊
Barbara Cook Priscilla Ditchfield Jeanne Eagle* Ed Haddad Eric Hudson Jim Hughes Dennis Keefe Jay Lanagan ◊Denotes Founding Trustee *Denotes Former Trustee
Judith Li◊ Carolyn Nunez David Prentiss◊ Mark Rasmussen Sandy See Kris Tomlinson* Bob Unger*
We have launched a $6.2M Impact Campaign, an ambitious three-year effort that will dramatically grow and deepen our ability to affect positive change for children, families and the field of public education. Through this campaign, we are looking to redefine the urban public school experience. We are extremely grateful to those who have already chosen to support an opportunity for more New Bedford children to receive a transformative Alma education:
Charter School Growth Fund George Frederick Jewett Foundation Lofberg Family Foundation Strategic Grant Partners The Louis Calder Foundation The Ludcke Foundation
Anonymous Capt. Weston and Barbara Burnett David and Victoria Croll David and Jackie Eckert Ed and Barbara Haddad Lucile and Bill Hicks James and Bess Hughes Chris and Cecilia Ross
Annual Report 2019
Alma del Mar is Growing
Eight years after the founding of our successful K-8 charter school, we’re adding a second K-8 campus that will more than double our total enrollment. By 2022, more than 1,000 New Bedford children will receive a high-quality Alma education each year. We will continue to move forward our mission of putting all of our scholars on a college trajectory and challenging them to be service-minded leaders. Through this work, we also seek to provide a model that redefines what the student, teacher and family experience can be in urban public schools.
ALMA’S IMPACT CAMPAIGN IS AN AMBITIOUS, THREE YEAR EFFORT THAT IS FOCUSED ON TWO OVERARCHING GOALS:
Growing Alma’s impact by providing the startup support and facilities to increase our enrollment to over 1,000 kids in New Bedford within the next four years Deepening Alma’s impact by funding aspects of our model that transform the scholar, teacher and family experience.
The $6.2 million Impact Campaign combines our annual fundraising efforts, which support the scholar, teacher and family experience, and the capital fundraising to construct a new school for our growing number of scholars.
New School Construction, $5,200,000 Scholar & Teacher Experience, $900,000 Families Helping Families, $150,000
To make a donation, visit almadelmar.org or make a check payable to the Alma del Mar Foundation and send to 515 Belleville Avenue, New Bedford, MA 02746 www.almadelmar.org
EVERY SCHOLAR ON T H E PAT H TO
AND CHALLENGING THEM TO BE
SERVICE-MINDED LEADERS 515 Belleville Ave. New Bedford, MA 02746 www.almadelmar.org 774.206.6827 firstname.lastname@example.org /almadelmarcharterschool @AlmaCharter @AlmaCharter
Alma del Mar Charter Schools, located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. 2019 Annual Report