The Russell Byers Charter School is a public elementary school located in Center City, Philadelphia, with over 482 students from 43 neighborhoods. We offer 4K (Kindergarten for 4-year-olds) through 6th Grade, a student/teacher ratio of 13:1, and an innovative hands-on academic program, Expeditionary Learning.
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia in our spacious building at 1911 Arch Street, the school reflects Russell Byers' values of academic excellence, civic responsibility and community service. The Russell Byers Charter School is a learning community, built on the structures and principles of its educational model: Expeditionary Learning Schools. In the Russell Byers community, students learn by doing. Academic goals are linked to adventure, service work, teamwork, and character development. And education becomes a partnership between student and teacher, as supported by enlightened school leadership and committed parents.
RBCS school-wide portrait, May 2009
Used in more than 170 schools nationwide, ELS is both rigorous and fun! Our students learn by doing, spending up to 12 weeks studying a single topic both inside and outside the classroom where their natural curiosity can flourish. The students pursue their studies at many of the city's nearby cultural treasures, including the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Free Library—all within walking distance of the school.
Using the ELS model, students are supported in developing new skills and achieving mastery of them. As their confidence grows, so does their natural curiosity—and their desire to try more complex assignments. This active engagement holds students' interest in the classroom and over time, enables an even more important development: it changes their way of being in the world. It turns them into lifelong learners, ever-capable of taking on a challenge.