The Betsy Ross School is planning a celebration of its 80th anniversary this year, and organizers are seeking photographs and any other materials documenting the school’s rich past.

The school was built in 1925 by architects Ashby, Ashby & Schulze, funded by a $45,000 bond issue. It opened in September, 1926 with a total of 161 students in its inaugural class.

It began serving grades 1-5, but held classes for grades 1-7 the next two years and grades 1-6 in the 1929-30 school year before returning to its current elementary school structure.

The school enrolled 118 students in 2005, according to records with the Illinois State Board of Education. It serves the area of Forest Park south of Roosevelt Road and north of 16th Street, between Harlem Avenue and Desplaines Avenue.

The anniversary will be celebrated on April 25, but the details and extent of the celebration will depend on the materials that community members can help discover, according to Emily Victorson, a member of the school’s PTO who has taken charge of organizing the celebration.

Those interested in donating materials can contact Victorson at 771-2830 or at

“Seth Stern