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Our Philosophy of Education

“All students have the right to learn. All students have the capacity to learn. Everyone is a student.”

Our Mission

The mission of Robertson Charter School is to provide a world class education to youth, with special concern for at-risk students, in Decatur, IL, through rigorous curriculum and character development; to focus on each students’ uniqueness, interests, and potential, in order to help them succeed in life.

Our History

Robertson Charter School began as a dream. The idea was to provide an alternative educational opportunity for students and their families living in Decatur, Illinois. After nearly eighteen months of preparation, the school was opened in July, 2001 with 67 students. Initially, Robertson accommodated Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. After a difficult first few months, the school quickly began to be established as a new premier school of choice. The initial goal was to add one grade per year until 8th Grade. This goal was accomplished in the 2006/2007 school year. Robertson Charter School is a “public school of choice.” We are connected with Decatur Public School District 61.

We have smaller class sizes (typically about 25 students) which allows us to spend more time with each student. We have state-of-the-art computer technology to assist our students in mastering the fundamentals in reading and math. We have approximately 300 students and 46 staff. RCS has its own fleet of school buses. All bus drivers work exclusively for Robertson Charter School. Our fleet is maintained by our own transportation manager.

Alternative Schools have given many people the right to choose the best place for their child’s education. Robertson Charter School has become that ‘school of choice’ in Decatur. We are extremely proud of all our teachers, teaching assistants, and other staff members. We are especially proud of our administrative staff. Additionally, our Board of Directors has proven to be an irreplaceable asset. Discover the difference that being a part of Robertson Charter School can be.

Bishop G.E. Livingston

Bishop G.E. Livingston – CEO


President’s Message

2023-2024 is an exciting time at Robertson Charter School. Our focus this school year is “The Power of Positivity”. We are on a new trajectory for improved academic performance. We have enhanced our staff and continued to improve our use of technology. We have added STEM to our P.E. and further developed our usage of data to drive decisions throughout the school. Our student population is approximately 300. Our staff is around 47. Each member of our incredible team is committed to our mission and vision. At Robertson Charter School, we are keenly focused on the continuous evolution of our delivery of effective and efficient educational system. When you’re connected to Robertson Charter School, you’re connected to one of the premier charter schools in America, and the premier school of choice in Decatur.

niki copy2

Niki Fenderson – Principal


Principal’s Message

I am excited for our 2023-24 school year! This will be my 8th year as principal of this amazing school. We have great staff, students and parents that make up our Wildcat family. I truly am honored to be a part of this school’s administrative team. Our theme for this year is The Power of Positivity. It is important for our students to have a positive mindset. It allows the brain to learn and accomplish more. I want every student student at RCS to learn and accomplish more this year. 

I believe that it is important for parents, students, teachers, and administrators to work together to create an environment where all students excel academically, socially, and emotionally. I believe that all students can be successful when given the right amount of encouragement and support. Thank you for your partnership with us this school year.  I know that together we can help your child be successful.

Jaya Lawary

Jaya Lawary – AP of Student Services


LeTeah Pender – AP of Curriculum & Instruction

Marcia Livingston

Marcia Livingston – Business Manager


What is a charter school?

Charter schools are considered a public school of choice. Charter schools are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs.

Why choose a charter school for your child's education?

Charter schools are effective in many different ways. They are beneficial to students because they allow for more 1 on 1 help in order to ensure maximum academic success. Here, at Robertson Charter School we also focus a lot of our attention of exhibiting excellent character.

Why do charter schools succeed?

Why do charter schools succeed, even in the most underserved areas? The answer is in the way they’re structured. Charter schools are granted the flexibility to operate in exchange for accountability of students achievement. They are granted the flexibility to design and run schools for fixed periods of time.  However, they must be transparent with their academic and financial performance and meet strict academic standards in order to continue to stay open. Therefore, charter schools are highly motivated to improving student performance, and that’s the accountability piece. It’s this policy framework that allows  educational outcomes to improve for students. Because of the flexibility in how they’re structured, charter schools can make changes as they learn what works best. Traditional public schools don’t have the same flexibility. It is crucial to close charter schools that aren’t doing well, making way for new schools to take their place. This is one of the most important innovations to public schools in decades.

Are charter schools all the same?

No. Charter schools can vary a great deal in their design and results.

How are charter schools funded?

Charter schools are public schools. Like district public schools, they are funded according to enrollment (also called average daily attendance, or ADA), and receive funding from the district and the state according to the number of students attending.

Can charter schools deny low-performing students?

Charter schools are public schools and thus must accept any students who are eligible to attend. Just like public schools, they are not allowed to prevent students from attending their school. If the charter school is oversubscribed however, meaning more students apply for positions in the charter school than are eligible, the charter school will hold a random lottery for admittance. It may not pick and choose students who are based on arbitrary criteria like test scores, family income, or English proficiency.

Robertson Charter School is operated on a lottery basis.
Click the link below to enroll your child in next year's lottery.

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