Benjamin Rush Elementary opened in April 1970. At that time it was an open concept with four rooms to a “pod”. About ten years later, walls were built to separate the classrooms. The decision to name the school for Benjamin Rush was made by student selection. Rush was a physician, political rights leader and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He is considered the the father of American Psychiatry for his advocacy of humane treatment for the mentally ill - a rarity in the 18th century.
When Rush Elementary opened its doors there were a limited number of phones in the building, copies were made on ditto machines and the only way to get news was by using the radio. Overhead projectors were “high tech”. Since then many things have changed and a lot of new technology has been installed. All classrooms are networked and have computers, ActivBoards (large screen interactive computer access), VCR’s, and a variety of other technology gizmos that students and teachers use on a daily basis.
Ben Rush was the first school in our district to adopt the Peace Builder program, a research-based program that is simple yet extraordinarily effective in building cooperation, collaboration and teamwork, while reducing acts of aggression. And we were the first school to have ActivBoards installed in every classroom. This innovative tool allows teachers to access computer programs and the internet for use with full class groups.