LETTER FROM THE CEO
Welcome to Maritime Academy Charter School and Welcome Back to many returning cadets from summer break for the 2023-2024 school year!
MACS 20th Anniversary Year
We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary year as a Charter School. Sadly, our founder, Dr. Ann Gillis Waiters, passed away last week. It was a telephone call from her to me with a very profound question, "Will you help me create a Maritime themed Charter School for Maritime Education?" The answer was an obvious "Yes, I would be honored to help create the school with you”. I enlisted the help of Captain Dante Mattioni, Esquire, and the process was started to present the proposals, charter application, and at that time, the School Reform Commission was running the Philadelphia School System. Edward Poznek was already a member of Ann's team to lead as Principal. We proceeded to create a Board of maritime professionals. It took several presentations to the School Reform Commission before the Charter was finally approved. We started on the basement floor of 3020 Market Street. We have had many successful years since that time. You will join and return to a school with a High School located at 2700 E. Huntingdon Street with approximately 270 cadets in grades 9 to 12, and an Elementary/Middle School located within the Arsenal Business Center at 2275 Bridge Street with approximately 555 cadets in grades K to 8. We provide Special Education to those Cadets with a disability. We have very intensive General Education programs and Art, Music, and very robust and diverse Athletic Programs at both Schools. We have U.S. Naval Sea Cadet and League Cadet programs at our schools. We have a wide variety of interests and school activities throughout the school year. We are now post-COVID and field trips to diverse locations and learning experiences are and will be encouraged. Most importantly, you will be at a school where the culture is Kindness and Caring. If you have a question or program, the very first thing you will hear is, "What can we do to help you?". Our theme is to be "Rich In Kindness". I have added to the theme the following, "Let's Do Amazing Work TOGETHER for Our Cadets". Those words were added as we will be introducing MTSS, a Multi-Tiered System of Supports in our school for grades K-12. That will require each of us to be willing to learn a new language and an Approach to Tiered Instruction and Learning. This will only work if we all come aboard with fidelity and willingness to learn the new language and work together and as a Team to support our cadets. Our General Educational Programs and Special Education programs must work together. It will require open lines of communication all the time.
ChatGPT a Blessing and Curse
This has brought a new phenomenon to the teaching and learning environment. As an attorney, I am very used to appropriate attribution in anything that I write or say in a written brief or argument in court. The bible for attorneys in our profession was the "Blue Book''. If you were on Law Review or a Journal, it was an absolute reference source for anything that was in written format. It is the style manual that governs how American legal documents are cited in legal memorandum, court documents, and law journals. Now, they are "hyperlinks", which permit immediate reference to the cited document. I am not suggesting that our students follow the Blue Book format of citations; however, we will add a section to our Code of Conduct to cover ChatGPT and similar resources. The objective is to insist on original objective writing and using these sources as a tool in our research. We want to prevent plagiarism and uphold academic integrity and ethical standards. We can start by teaching our cadets how to appropriately cite their sources in anything that they write.
Join me on the Broad Street Run/Mental Health
I plan on running in the Broad Street Run of 10 miles. The date is April 30, 2024, so we have plenty of time to prepare. We would like to have teacher and cadet teams. The basic notion is a healthy body helps have a healthy mind. Mental health is always a high priority at MACS. We have two (2) counselors at the high school and two (2) counselors at the elementary and middle school. We have a social worker and school psychologist. We have nurses at the high school and elementary and middle school. We have "Safe to Say". We are kind and caring. We take care of one another. We are all "mandatory reporters" so do not ever be afraid to speak up. You will never, ever be questioned when you speak up to try to save a life. By the way, my time for you to meet or beat me in the Broad Street run is 2 hours and 30 minutes!
Be Rich In Kindness
"There are three ways to ultimate success. The first way is to be Kind. The second way is to be Kind. The third way is to be Kind." - (Mr. Rogers)
Eugene Mattioni, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer – Maritime Academy Charter School
LETTER FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Dear Cadets and Maritime Community:
Welcome back! Our staff has spent the summer updating curriculum, adding new courses, designing extra-curricular activities, scheduling field trips/extended classroom opportunities, and professionally developing our staff to better serve our cadets and community. We are ready and thrilled to begin the 2023-2024 school year! We remain committed to preparing each and every cadet for success. It is our mission to prepare and instill confidence so that every cadet can succeed in post-secondary life, whether that be education or gainful employment. Our programs are uniquely crafted in partnership with our community, and our maritime industry partners. In conjunction with our extensive and rigorous academic programming, Maritime Academy will continue to create a safe and healthy learning environment for all.
It is my expectation that throughout the 2023-2024 school year cadets will:
- Maintain regular, punctual attendance to keep up with learning and activities. One cannot learn if they are not here and on time.
- Arrive to school prepared and in proper school uniform along with necessary materials, including a charged Chromebook.
- Work hard, stay focused, and always be Rich in Kindness.
- Support one another and participate in extracurricular activities. Your high school experience is what you make of it. Get Involved!
Maritime Academy Charter High School prides itself on producing outstanding young adults, and I find that excellence in these basic elements of school participation yields amazing results over time.
I am very excited to welcome cadets back to school for the 2023-2024 school year. Go Seadogs!
High School Principal
LETTER FROM THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Cadets,
Maritime Academy Charter School would like to welcome everyone for the 2023-2024 school year! We hope you had a rejuvenating and joyful summer break filled with memorable experiences. As we prepare to embark on a new journey of learning and growth, we are thrilled to welcome all of our cadets, both familiar faces and newcomers, to another exciting school year.
As it has been throughout the last few years, our theme is to always be “Rich in Kindness” and that has not changed. At Maritime, we strongly believe that education goes beyond textbooks and classrooms—it's about nurturing the whole child. Kindness is a fundamental value that underpins not only academic success but also the development of well-rounded individuals who contribute positively to their communities.
This year, we are committed to creating an environment where kindness is not just a word, but a way of life. Our dedicated staff members will work hand in hand with our students to foster an atmosphere of compassion, empathy, and mutual respect. Through various programs including Kickboard and PATHS, we will encourage acts of kindness both within our school walls and beyond, reminding our students that even the smallest gestures can make a big difference.
In addition to our focus on kindness, we are dedicated to providing a top-notch learning experience that sparks curiosity, promotes critical thinking, and celebrates diversity. Our curriculum is designed to engage students in meaningful ways, ensuring that they not only acquire knowledge but also develop essential life skills that will serve them well into the future.
We are introducing both a schoolwide Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and a Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) this school year. These new initiatives will help us increase proficiency in math this year and help support cadets with their mental health and behavior. We are excited about these initiatives and hope all of our cadets will benefit from them.
We encourage you to stay involved and engaged in your child's educational journey. Whether you're joining us for school events, parent-teacher conferences, or volunteering opportunities, your participation is invaluable and greatly contributes to the success of our school community.
We are confident that the 2023-2024 school year will be filled with memorable moments, transformative learning experiences, and a strong sense of belonging. Let's work together to create a school environment where every student feels valued, supported, and inspired to reach their fullest potential.
Elementary School Principal
LETTER FROM DIRECTOR OF SPECIALIZED SERVICES
Welcome Back to School!
As we prepare to begin the 2023-2024 school year, I wanted to extend a warm welcome to both our returning students and those who are joining us for the first time.
Our dedicated team have been working hard over the summer to ensure that our school is a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment for all of our students. It is our goal to provide the best possible learning experience for every student.
This school year, we will continue to foster a culture of kindness and collaboration, where every voice is valued and respected. Our goal is to create an atmosphere that encourages collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. We believe that by working together - students, parents, and teachers - we can achieve remarkable outcomes.
As we begin the school year, I encourage everyone to actively participate in school activities, parent-teacher conferences, and other events that contribute to the overall growth of your child. Our school thrives when there is strong communication and partnership between home and school, and your involvement is truly appreciated.
Wishing you all a wonderful start to the school year!
Dr. Kimberley Bonanni. EdD
Director of Specialized Services