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In the early 1900s, Benjamin Franklin Elementary was originally known as the Waite Academy, a private school located at Neer Avenue and Olmos Drive. It became part of the Los Angeles School District which was formed in 1913.
In 1915, a new school was built at its present location at 1915 W. Olmos. The two-story, eight-room school for grades one through eight became known as the Los Angeles Heights School. Then, in 1924, grades nine through twelve were added after an additional four classrooms were built. After the Los Angeles High School opened in 1929 at the present location of Whittier Middle School, the school once again served as an elementary school.
By a unanimous vote of its students, it was renamed Benjamin Franklin Elementary. By 1946 four additional classrooms were built and, in 1949, it became part of the San Antonio School District. More building improvements continued with the addition of a cafeteria and a library.
In 1997, monies were allocated through an SAISD bond program to construct a new school facility which incorporated the original façade of the old building to preserve its history. Beginning construction in 2001, the new 70,601 square-foot school was dedicated on January 13, 2005.
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia's fire department and the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution.
Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."
Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies.
He pioneered and was first president of The Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. His efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France.
He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies in 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, and this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the Revolution, he became the first US Postmaster General. He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. He initially owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on coinage and the $100 bill, warships, and the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, and corporations, as well as countless cultural references.
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School | 1915 W. Olmos Dr. | San Antonio, TX 78201 | Phone: (210) 738-9790 | Fax: (210) 228-3039
It is the policy of San Antonio ISD not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability in its vocational programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and SAISD's board policies DIA, FFH, and FFI.
Es norma del distrito de San Antonio no discriminar por motivos de raza, color, religión, origen nacional, sexo, identidad de género, expresión de género, orientación sexual o discapacidad, en sus programas, servicios o actividades vocacionales, tal como lo requieren el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Título IX de las Enmiendas en la Educación, de 1972, la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda, y las pólizas DIA, FFH, y FFI de la mesa directiva de SAISD.
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