Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Closing of Rush Day School A Crying Shame!

The Parents of children attending Rush Day School, a special school that serves 30-40 students ages 6-14 years, received a hard pill to swallow from the Head of the Rush Memorial University Psychiatry Department. The Psychiatric department of Rush Medical Center and University governs the operation of the Rush Day School.

Rush Day School was established in 1967 to accommodate up to31 students from 1st through 8th grades. The school serves children with extreme depression, anxiety, attention deficit, psychosis, autism and other neurological and emotional problems. These children have been refer-ed to Rush Day School because other schools and school Districts could not serve their special needs.

On November 30, the parents of the children attending Rush Day School received this letter, from William A. Scheftner,M.D. Chairman, Department of Psychiatry. After the usual cream puff paragraphs, the Good Doctor gaveit to the folks and their kids good and hard:

" As you are aware, there are plans next year to tear down the building that the Day School is housed in, which is part of Rush's plans to upgrade facilities and build a new hospital and outpatient building in the coming years. As we considered moving the program to another part of the campus, we considered the Department of Psychiatry's needs to consolidate and focus its efforts on clinical research and education of Rush residents, interns and students, As a result, we have decided to discontinue the Rush Day School program after the current year ends in June." Tough Medicine!

Thanks Doc! The Doctor wants parents to know that his 'desire to help ease this transition is why we are notifying you well in advance of the school's closing.' This guy must be an eviction sensitivity counselor! Here, folks let's ease the transition for your kids - but there is no other school in which to make that transition - not in Chicago - not in the Central States.

Dr. William Scheftner does not list any other places for these parents to ease the transition of their children who have come to believe that Rush Day School was their one place that would 'ease their transition' back into mainstream education. Not. Dr. Scheftner gave the parents a big husky six months to 'ease the transition' of the children from hope to despair.

Here's the thing - The Rush Day School costs Rush Medical Center & University nothing - Zip! It is a self-paying entity and parents meet the costs to have their children educated in a loving and safe environment. They meet a budget of about $1m - at amounts to about
$ 33,000 per child annually. Now that is some transition of capital from savings, checking, stocks, bonds, investments, second and third jobs.

Check out the Rush Day School website HTTP://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1099918811339.html This place is a jewel in the City. Then check out Rush University Medical Center's website http://www.rushu.rush.edu/ and determine whether this little jewel of school for our most fragile children is 'how medicine should be.'


Gilhooly,  10:31 PM  

They can get city jobs.

Pat Hickey 12:39 PM  

They who? These are Autistic and severely medically challenged kids.

I would not employ their suffering to make some political crack.

Anonymous,  6:55 PM  

I worked at this school. This is a fabulous environment for the kids. These students face challenges everday and depend on these hard working individuals. I remember the day I left...I cried so hard. These kids meant the world to me. Until you spend a week at the school don't pass judgment about how easy this is. These students at the school need the structure and caring adults at this school. It would be an awful shame to close such a caring school.

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