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K-6
Public charter
Philadelphia, PA
Students enrolled: 442

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1911 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 972-1700
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Map of Russell Byers Cs address.

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September 24, 2013
My daughter just turned 4 in April, she was selected in the lottery. Her father and I were so please because early childhood education is imperative to our children's future. School has only been in a few weeks and we see such growth in Naomi already. She wants to learn, she wants to sit in her special table to sit and do her homework. She strives to do everything well so that Mr. Ivery will be happy. This school hands down is giving Naomi a wonderful start to her educational journey. I am please to be apart of the RBCS family!

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2013
well this will be my son first year at russell byers but just hearing different stories and talking to staff im excited as well as my son ...the teachers /student ratio is great and they offer great after school programs too..and the concience of a school bus...we cant wait til the year begins ..i also have another son who is currently in the 3rd grade and didint get in ..but we are quite sure now that his brother is in we should beokay...thumbs up to russell byers and two thumbs up to a great school year

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2013
My children started Russell Byers in 4k, my last child is just graduating..While I was sort of satisfied with the progress of my children there, the teaching was average to say the least. The staff turnover is too much, and the student, teacher diversity is lacking..I appreciate the dedication of some of the staff, but the leadership has a lot to be desired..They deal fine with perfect students but lack in areas of dealing with problem students, which spills over into other areas of the school. They dont always follow the rules that they put in place fairly, which causes division with the student population. I wish there was a different approach to dealing with some things...I would have recommended RBCS a few years ago, but not today...Its the same as the public school at this point..Pretty building but lacking in substance....

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2012
My daughters attend RBCS. I love the school. The care and attention is wonderful. We were blessed to get in first time around in the lottery. My 5th and 2nd graders are safe and cared for. I hope they are able to expand to 7th and 8th grade. Moving them from private to charter was a big step, that I am glad we made.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2012
I love this school. I have had a son who graduated from this school and is doing well in high school. They actually helped him get into his new school after graduation and they keep up with how he is doing by offering workshops and other activities for graduates. I have another son who has attended since 4k and is now in 1st grade. I think the school has made great efforts with changing administration, they have a new academic curriculum in place, and so far the teachers have been consistant with teaching methods. No lack of communication, I have nothing bad to say about the three teachers my son has had. The administration is friendly and you can tell they care about the kid's well being. It is a beautiful, safe environment. My son has a health issue and they have a fulltime nurse on site, who is wonderful with him if he needs her. They offer afterschool programs to help students. I have no doubt in my mind that they will be where they need to be as far as the standardized tests because they are working hard on this goal. Parents can be as involved as they would like, they have an open door policy there. Great shool, but it's hard to get your child in because of so many applicants

- submitted by a parent
June 21, 2011
My daughter is heading into her 2nd yr @ RBCS and thus far I am satisfied with the success in the classroom. There is no lack of communication here. There's a calendar given at the beginning of the school yr and they stick to it. Parent participation has been excellent as well. The HSA added creative fund raisers and made it easier for other parent to be involved in ways they may not have otherwise been able to be. THANK YOU!!

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2010
Since attedning Russell Byers my children reading has improved beyond my belief. They love school and always come home telling me something they have learned. Both of my children have had the same 4k teacher who has been there for years and he is an excellent teacher. My child is learning to play the violin, learning Spanish and learning Mandarin. I do not believe my child would have learned or been exposed to so much in another school. I was fearful when my children became school aged because the schools in Philadelphia are not great but I feel blessed that I have found Russell Byers.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2010
I can not believe the rating. RBCS is an excellent school. My sons are reading above their grade level. My only complaint is lack of commitment ( going through three principles in four years).

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2010
RBCS needs a major "OVERHAUL". This school has not made AYP that I know of in the last 4 years. The school keeps losing teachers and changing administration. The students at this school deserve better. It will be twice as hard for the children at RBCS if the school does not make their teachers and staff accountable for students success especially on the standardized test. A's and B's in the classroom are so so, but what matters in choosing middle and high schools are their PSSA scores. Don't be fooled, make the school accountable. That's saying it lightly!

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2010
Iam a single working mother who has 2 children who attend the school. Which make it difficult for me to be involved like I would like to be. I must admit that since Mr. El resigned the school has not been the same. My oldest is graduating this month and has been an active chess Player. Mr. EL made sure that things were done right and in a timely matter. The staff is not as accurate as they once were. I must admit that this has affected my outlook on the school overall. I am now looking for another school for my younger child to attend. I wish the school much luck and hope that it gets back to where it use to be.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2010
One concern about the school is the PSSA scores. The school talks about making AYP, but they are not making AYP outright. They are making AYP through Growth Model, Confidence Intervals and Safe Harbor. (http://paayp.emetric.net/School/Overview/c51/4/7677) The Growth Model will be applied to an AYP Performance Target only if the target cohort has not met AYP performance by any of the existing six (6) provisions.)

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2010
No parental involvement? Speak for yourself. There is a large grourp of active parents which form the HSA and we dedicate countless hours to making our children's school experience a meaningful one. I agree, communication can be better, and I think there has been improvement made in that area. But please do not insult those parents who are at the school, day in and day out, organizing events and coordinating outreach with the community. You are doing everyone a disservice by reporting inaccurate facts about this wonderful school you are so fortunate to be a part of.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2010
The building is fantastic and I've always like the expeditionary learning curriculum. The teachers are dedicated and some of the nicest people I've ever met. The administration seems to be lacking a strong director and it shows in the lack of communication. There is virtually no parental involvement in the school and the PTA is a joke. We also would have liked to see more diversity, economically and socially at the school.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2010
I've been with the school 4 yrs now. I am an involved parent towards HSA, and my children's education. I make the most out of the school. My sons are reading as much as 3 grade levels above where they are as reviewed in private testing. Math they are on par. I work with them though. I believe it's a paren'ts job to nurture what the teachers' teach. It's a shame people don't take advantage of the opportunity we have at the school and contribute their 30 said volunteer hrs a year. HSA would achieve more. I put blame where it needs to be. If my child forgets to bring home homework it's not the school's fault. Their 4k team creates a strong platform for further education. Open communication with teachers/ and being active is KEY given any learning establishment. Our Chess club placed 9th nationally last week.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
Re: 4/28/10 post..I stated that many of the teachers that are at RBCS have been here since WE started at the school 6 years ago. Obviously, I don't know all of the teachers but with the exception of one 5K teacher, all my son's past teachers are still teaching at RBCS. I am happy to have found RBCS and give full credit to the wonderful staff for my son's continued success in school. We are sad to see him leave RBCS earlier so soon but confident that he is well prepared for the extremely rigorous program at his new, magnet middle school. I will continue to stand by the education my children receive at RBCS.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
The school has a wonderful parent base that works hard to make sure the school can provide the children with a proper and appropriate education.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating May 01, 2010
RBCS is a Joke. Dont be fooled by the looks. It is sad to say but every negative review I just saw here its the true. I have nothing else to add. I am glad is my son's last year at that school. Good luck to the parents and teachers with principal # 7 or something like that. I lost count. The school is a total joke.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
It's a great school with exposure to a wide variety of learning opportunities.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 30, 2010
Russell Byers Charter School is a safe, beautiful, and fun place for childrn to be educated and learn about the world, themselves and others.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
Russell Byers has a very rigorous curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
I love Russell Byers because it is peaceful, joyful and the school educates the whole child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
I love Russell Byers Charter School because it is an Expeditionary Learning School!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
I love Russell Byers Charter School because it is a safe place for children to learn, and grow.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2010
I am very happy with RBCS. It is a great school. I often wonder why complaining people remain at places when they are unhappy. Stop whining and take your child to your local public school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
Russell Byers Charter School is a safe and clean environment for all children to learn! The Expeditionary Learning school model is great for our kids!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
I love Russell Byers because the children have a genuine thrist for knowledge!!

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2010
It is horrible to read the bad and negative things that parents, teachers and other people have to say about RBCS. But the sad part is that it is all true. We are going to give the school 1 more year. Since our son is in 2nd grade I feel I still have time to pull him if I have to. They just got a new principal Mr. Drew Smith and lets see how many teacher are going to be ask to leave and lets see how many teachers will stay. Only time will tell. 1 more year to show me this is the school for my son.

- submitted by a parent
April 09, 2010
My husband and I can't wait to get our children out of this school. The curriculum stinks, they spend 3 months working on the same expedition but when it comes to math, they'll spend less than an entire week and expect the children to be ready to test on that material and do well. My children took an admission exam at another school and we were shocked at the material they had to complete. The topics were things my children hadn't even learned or heard of at Russell Byers Charter School. No Social Studies or Science. Like one parent said, the children can sing, dance and draw but they can't do math that suitable for their grade level. Teacher & Principal turnover rate is HIGH! Can't wait for this to be over.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 20, 2010
I am a parent that currently has her son at this school and is not sure if I should keep him at RBCS or take him out. The teacher that said ' our school is not perfect but we are constantly evolving and getting better ' I have a questions for her or him. How can you get better when every year you have a new principal and when every year new teachers come to the school not knowing the ELOB rules? How?? Please tell me. Why can you keep principals or teachers?. That is my question. It does not look good for the school at all. I like the fact that my son is safe and loves art but when he goes to 4th, 5th or 6th is he going to have the same principal or the same teachers? RBCS needs to get it together and fast.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 18, 2010
All I want to say is that I am glad my son is out and will not go back to that school. He is much better at his new school. The kids at that school can dance, do art and sing very well. But dont ask a 6th grader to multiply or do division. Glad my son is out.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 16, 2010
I had my daughter at RBCS and she was lost when she got into her 7th grade class at her new school. She had to get use to something call HOMEWORK and GRADES A-B-C-D and F. The real world uses GRADES to for tests and projects. In college they use them. It was a nightmare. She was not ready. I feel like all the parents that told me to take her out were 100% right. She needed a tutor for math. I can understand why the teacher that just wrote that review feels that way. But when you see a different principal every year and teachers coming and going . Sorry that is just not right.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2010
Our school is a much needed break from the average philly public school! From the second you walk in our doors you can feel the difference. We have a beautiful facility, dedicated staff, and above all an all-around safe school where kids are happily learning. Being a relatively new charter school, each year we improve our curriculum and search for better ways to educated our children. Of course our school is not perfect but we are constantly evolving and getting better! Our students are happy and we have an excellent community that is really all about educating the whole child.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating February 25, 2010
Dont be fooled!!! the school looks great on the outside and the art teacher has the walls with nice decorations from the kids. But the kids are not learning. The school can not keep a principal longer than a year or 2. And teachers come and go every year. Iam not happy with the school and this year is my son's last year at the school we can't take the lack of learning and the 'expeditions' projects replacing an actual class. No books, no homework, no principal again!! i cant take it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 25, 2010
Don't be fooled!!! the school looks great and the art teacher decorates the walls with nice works of art but the students are not learning. I will be taking my son out this year since they have no principal again. Rbcs is great at not having principals or keep good teachers. The kids are happy and safe but they are not learning-- no homework, no projects, no books, no social studies, no science class. Horrible school!!! dont be fooled by the looks. Never judge a book by its cover. I just had to learn that.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
I am a current parent at RBCS and I am extremely pleased with the school. The curriculum is rigorous and it promotes the development of the entire child -- educationally, socially and emotionally. I am not aware of any other public school in the city that offers a Mandarin language program or dance classes taught by Rock School instructors. If you are a parent who chooses to be an active participant in your child's education, you will find that the teachers and administration are extremely competent and caring. They set the bar high, but if you are one of 900+ on the wait list fortunate enough to attend this school, shouldn't you and your child be up to the challenge?

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating August 06, 2008
I have supported this school for the past two years as a community stakeholder and have witnessed remarkable growth in its leadership and quality of instruction. The 30 percent plus teacher turnover rate is unfortunate, although understandable as a charter school; there is not enough money to attract the creme of the crop. I believe the school's decision to replace instructors (the reason for over 50% of the teacher turnover rate) demonstrates their dedication to quality instruction. I wish the administration had more resources with which to attract the highest quality teachers. Afterall, this school has the happiest kids I have ever seen! At an elementary school level, should we rate a school on its students' excitement for learning or high test scores? How will we define a balance?

- submitted by a community member
August 04, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2008
As a former teacher, I have seen firsthand the unprofessional behavior of some of the administrators. Parents, please be wary ab out the reasons given to explain why teachers left. The school has an incredibly high teacher turnover rate. This is not promising for any school. RBCS had had a serious issue with retaining teachers. The curriculum is confusing. Students are not taught full Social Studies or Science curriculums. Instead, the school uses the Expeditionary Learning curriculum. Your child will learn about one Science topic for 3 months and one Social Studies topic for 3 months. Children that transfer from public school have so much more knowledge of Social Studies and Science content that children that have only been at RBCS. It's unfortunate because it should be an excellent school. Parents, don't be fooled.

- submitted by a community member
June 24, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
June 10, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2006
My family has been apart of the RBCS family since year 2 and this is the first year since the beginning that I am truly enthused about the growth of the school as a whole. Mr. El, the new principal, began the school year introducing himself to the families as we entered the building and really made us feel like we were apart of the puzzle. The parents seem happier and more willing to volunteer this year as well as the staff seems more at ease. Mr. El is always positive and reassuring to the students, staff, and families of RBCS and I look forward to many more years of him 'running' the school. With Mr. El's positive persona, I hope that the school's testing scores will raise.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2006
My children have been attending Russell Byers for 3 years and we are on our third principal. I was considering changing my children's school because I was unhappy with the direction in which the school was heading but I must say that I am quite pleased with the school this year under Mr. El's direction. Our new principal is taking an active interest in our children which is much more than I can say about our two previous principals. I am hoping that we maintain our principal and teachers for the coming years because it is my belief that it will help us to become a stronger school. Parental Involvement at Russell Byers is amazing!! Our parents show they care not only about the education and safety of their own children but of all the students.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2006
As a family of R.B.C.S. I think the school's goal is great! I think Mrs.Byers did a great job bringing forth her husbands dream and keeping it alive. But I hope the children will always be apart of that dream. With the major changes that the school is going through, again another principle (where's that strong leadership) my kid has been through 5 already,i think we can't keep track, there needs to be more leadership by the adults in school and then maybe the parents and kids will follow. Because the school in becoming a joke.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2006
As of 6/2006, the school is going through a lot of changes- another new principal is on the way + about 30-50% of teachers are leaving for unknown reasons. While intentions are great, there is a huge question mark here as to whether the school is going to be able to provide the quality education it promises. Many parents are unhappy about a lack of communication from the administration about these issues and some are in the process of sending their kids to other schools.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2006
The school is currently looking for a new principal, this will be the 3rd principal in the 4 years that my children have attended this school. The teachers, teaching assistants, support staff, and nurse are top notch when it comes to interacting with the children...making them feel right at home. More needs to be done academically to help build the poor test scores. A problem that is happening at most schools is children being passed a long although they are not meeting grade level expectations in reading and math, 2 of the areas that are evaluated in the testing. If the children are below grade level reading and do not have an IEP, they should not be passed and they should be required to attend summer school to help bring them up to speed. They need to also think about having an extended day program to assist these kids. Thanks.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2006
Our child has attended RBCS for two years and we have been more than pleased with the school and its performance, as well as our daughter's academic progress. Each RBCS family is required to volunteer time during the school year (30 hrs), which ensures heavy parental involvement on all fronts. We have not had any problems with discipline or bad behavior, and through RBCS's 'Talk it Out' peace policy every effort is made for smooth strictly-verbal conflict resolution. We have maintained a solid, open rapport with teachers, administrators and staff. The student body is predominantly African-American (I'd hazard a guess at around 85%) and draws from all over Philadelphia, so you get a real cross-section of the city and its neighborhoods. Our daughter loves school so much says she never wants to leave RBCS. Very high praise indeed!

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
Execellent teachers, great academic program featuring 'Outward bound' program and many multicultural classes and activities. Very good parent involvement and small classroom sizes for a more individualized learning exeperience.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
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Russell Byers Cs
1911 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA  19103
(215) 972-1700
Last modified Russell Byers Cs is a Charter school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Russell Byers Cs Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 54 reviews. Top