A plan to create 450 new charter school seats In New Bedford took a step forward this week.

The Alma Del Mar Charter School Board of Trustees voted this week to approve a memorandum of understanding with the City of New Bedford to convert the vacant Kempton School on Shawmut Avenue into a new public charter school.

Chairperson Jan Baptist was among those voting in favor.  "I believe in Alma, I believe we can impact a lot more students with this new model, and I'm going to do everything I can to move it forward."

Baptist tells WBSM News, she believes the new charter school will be good for New Bedford students. "If we keep doing things the same way all the time, I don't think anyone agrees that that's wisdom," says Baptist. "This is a new approach, its a way to do a little innovation, and where we can put in supports or new ways to work with different populations, I'm all for it."

The New Bedford School Committee is scheduled to vote on the memorandum  Thursday night at Keith Middle School, but there are still more votes to come before the plan can advance.

The agreement must also be approved by the State Legislature, and the City Council must okay the transfer of the Kempton School to Alma Del Mar.

Meantime, opponents of the agreement are planning a rally Saturday at noon at the Kempton School site