NEW BEDFORD — The Alma del Mar Charter School got a strong report card from the Massachusetts Department of Education regarding its MCAS scores on Wednesday.

In Mathematics, 69 percent of Alma third grade students passed the MCAS, much higher than the statewide average of 49 percent. In English Language Arts, Alma fifth graders passed the MCAS at an 11 percent higher rate than their state peers.

"There are no tricks to what we do, it's just solid instruction," said Will Gardner, Executive Director and Founder of Alma del Mar. "Our scholars read great literature, they write a lot for a variety of audiences, and really go in-depth, studying exciting topics like the American Revolution, whales in their habitat, and simple machines. Our scholars also get a lot of great content when they attend music, instrumental music, PE and art multiple times a week. They receive a well-rounded education and we believe that adds up to high achievement over the long term."

Alma's middle school scholars with needs also saw tremendous growth. In fifth grade ELA, Alma students with high needs saw a Student Growth Percentile of 75.5, compared to 46 statewide. In sixth grade math, Alma students with high needs saw an SGP of 77.5, compared with 44 statewide.

Last spring, Alma del Mar was serving 320 scholars in grades K-7. This year, enrollment has grown to 415 scholars in grade K-8.

"We are really excited to see that Alma scholars in many grades outperformed their peers on a statewide level," Gardner said. "However, we remain focused on getting all of our scholars on the path to college and know that we have more work to do."

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420