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Maritime Academy Charter School is a successful public charter school currently operating at two locations in Philadelphia; 2275 Bridge Street in the Tacony Section and 2700 Huntingdon Street in the Port Richmond Section.  Founded in 2002, Maritime Academy Charter School has expanded from its original 500 students, located at 30thand Market Streets to its current 820 maritime cadets in its current locations.


Objective- MACS provides a nurturing environment which develops a strong sense of community, self-confidence and the recognition and appreciation of cultural differences throughout our school.  We strive to achieve academic progress and achievement with each child through an appreciation of our nation’s maritime history and heritage. We accomplish this mission through access to the global transportation industry as it relates to the Ports of the Delaware River and Bay.


Community Involvement and Support Maritime Academy Charter School enjoys the widespread support of its students, parents and families, along with the broad and diverse Philadelphia seaport industries.


Enrollment- Maritime Academy’s student population is one of the most diverse in the city, consistent with the decades old Commonwealth Court order for the School District to desegregate its student population.  Data from existing wait-lists at the Academy undergird the belief that Maritime Academy Charter School enjoys a supportive community with parents eager to enroll their children in the school with the mission and vision to provide a rigorous academic program where students learn maritime content such as nautical science and maritime business while achieving to high standards in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and the Arts.  


Curriculum- Maritime Academy Charter School has a proven, successful track record over the past 19 years and was identified by US News and World Reports in 2012 and 2013 as one of the nation’s best schools.  Maritime Academy cadets have shown consistent academic proficiency growth from year to year, particularly in grades 4 - 8. 


Since so few Philadelphia children and youth are familiar with maritime concepts, grades 4-8 are an especially important time to develop knowledge and experiences to prepare cadets for high school where they can qualify for careers in maritime industries and post high school education as maritime majors at the college level, including the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, SUNY Maritime College, and the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education at Piney Point, MD.  


Maritime Academy Charter School’s specialized maritime education offers students opportunities to:

  • Build their own wooden boat from scratch and help teach hands-on math skills.
  • Build their own wooden boat from scratch and help teach hands-on math skills.
  • Work in teams to plot a vessel’s course using the oldest method of navigation --- dead reckoning.  Students learn basic skills for marine navigation, including reading a compass, estimating vessel position and movement using mathematical equations and geometry, and reading a chart’s latitude and longitude.
  • Work in teams to plot a vessel’s course and evaluate and incorporate weather and oceanographic patterns into their course and pilot a course from the Delaware Bay aboard the tall ship Gazella.
  • Learn to sail at the Corinthian and Cooper River Yacht Clubs. Unique boating safety courses give Maritime Academy cadets hands-on sailing experience on the water. 
  • Get a taste of maritime history at Independence Seaport Museum and explore historical concepts such as freedom through the lens of the African experience along the Delaware River.
  • Figure out the letters of their names with signal flag symbols, create their own flags and recognize international marine signal flags.


  • Learn about rope used for boating safety and use applied mathematics to learn various knots, try tying them, and choose which are appropriate to use for different applications.




Maritime Charter integrates its specialized maritime curriculum in alignment with Common Core and state academic standards for each grade level. 


A recipient of the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant for six years, Maritime Academy CS enjoys the unique opportunity to provide its cadets with a vast array of extended learning opportunities before and after school, on weekends, and during the summer to reinforce learning and provide many extracurricular programs and sports including:

  • Newspaper Writing and Publication
  • SAT Prep
  • Robotics
  • Machine Engineering
  • Chess
  • Boat Building
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Bowling


Facilities- At its middle school location in the Tacony section of Philadelphia, Maritime Academy Middle School is situated on the Frankford Arsenal campus, a gated community with a security force that patrols the sprawling campus 7 days per week, 24 hours a day. Our high school is located in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, formerly known as the Steven A. Douglas high school.