Belmont Charter School is a neighborhood charter school operated by the Community Education Alliance of West Philadelphia (CEAWP), a neighborhood-based non-profit organization. Founded by a Philadelphia entrepreneur and education advocate in 1998, CEAWP's mission is to create intensive, high quality, individualized educational and social service programs for each child in order to promote the academic, social and developmental growth of all students and the surrounding community.
The neighborhood of Belmont is one of the most underserved, low-income areas of Philadelphia. Belmont Charter School and Family Charter School, a CEAWP funded neighbor school, serve all children pre-kindergarten through 8th grade from this 12-block Philadelphia school district determined "catchment" area. About 60 children are enrolled in each grade of public school for a total student population of 660 three to fourteen-year-olds. With a median family income of $14,566, the surrounding area is permeated by a culture of poverty. CEAWP believes that the only way to improve the quality of life and outcomes for these children and their families is to break the cycle of poverty for the entire community.
Philadelphia public school children score well below national averages in reading and mathematics on standardized tests and regularly sit in classrooms with 1:33 teacher-student ratios. CEAWP addresses challenges head-on through an exceptional curriculum, staff, and array of programs. Their staff of highly skilled educators, social workers, and administrators is carefully selected and work together to ensure that every program at the schools complement the needs of the children's families. They are also committed to small classrooms with a staff to student ratio of 1:15. CEAWP believes that realizing their goal of making schools the center of the community demands a radically revamped approach to social and community based services, using the school as a base, and they are determined to make it happen.