COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan

At Russell Byers Charter School, we offer students two learning options: 100% in-person learning or 100% virtual learning. A student’s family may opt them into virtual learning (via Edgenuinty) at any point during the semester, but they can’t switch back to in-person learning until the semester has ended.

Students who are signed up for in-person learning will be on-site at Russell Byers Charter School five days a week.

To provide the best and safest in-person learning experience possible, we have implemented the following safety measures.

8 Safety Measures to Protect RBCS Students

1. Temperature Checks

Staff, students, and visitors are required to have their temperature checked when entering the building each day.

2. Universal and Correct Mask Wearing

All vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks/face coverings while in the building. This includes students, staff, and visitors. Extra masks are available at the front desk for anyone whose mask is damaged or lost.

Students with special needs who struggle with sensory issues are provided with face shields to protect them from COVID-19.

3. Physical Distancing

Russell Byers Charter School requires students to be in cohorts throughout the school day. Teachers also have the option to use privacy shields on students’ desks as a barrier.

4. Handwashing

All our classrooms are equipped with a sanitizing station that includes hand sanitizer, wipes, and disinfectant.

5. Cleaning and Ventilation

We continue our standard practice of cleaning, by ensuring that high touch areas in communal spaces are frequently disinfected. We also continue purchasing cleaning supplies for staff.

Over the summer, we had a new HVAC system installed with air scrubbers that neutralize germs. Three water bottle stations were also installed so staff and students can limit drinking from water fountains.

6. COVID-19 Testing

Our nurse’s office is equipped with COVID-19 test kits. With parental permission, our nurse, Pam Pomrink, can test students on-site who exhibit symptoms.

7. Contact Tracing and Quarantine

We follow CDC guidelines regarding quarantining and isolation, as listed below. Students and staff members who are vaccinated do not need to quarantine.

Anyone who has contact with a person who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more within a 6 feet distance of exposure will be required to quarantine.

If a student or staff member in a cohort tests positive for COVID-19, those who were in close contact with said student or staff member will be notified and will quarantine for 10 school days unless they are vaccinated. They may come back by day 7 if they receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test on the fifth day after exposure.

A student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to be isolated for 10 days.

Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will be reported to the Philadelphia Department of Health and the School District of Philadelphia Transportation Office (if applicable).

8. COVID-19 Vaccination

We are committed to providing information to the school community about vaccination options, while communicating with individuals who are unvaccinated to understand their point of view.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNtech pediatric vaccine. Beginning the week of November 8th, the pediatric vaccination program will be fully up and running, and parents will have approximately 20,000 trusted and convenient locations to get their children vaccinated with more sites coming online in the weeks ahead.

To find a vaccination location near you, search the database at

Stay tuned! We may be offering additional family resources in the near future.

Photo: Ryan Brandenberg
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