Foundation Network News
May 2019
Oklahoma School  Foundations Network
 Outstanding Program Awards

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence recognizes innovative and impactful public school foundation programs with our annual Outstanding Program Awards. Recipients receive an award to display and a $1000 grant from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

The 2018 recipients were announced last fall and include: Partnership KICKSTART Program Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools
English Language Literacy Program for ParentsPutnam City Schools Foundation
VEX IQ Robotics STEAM Middle School ProgramSayre Public School Foundation
To read about each of these programs in depth, please visit our website

Oklahoma School Foundations Network Director Katy Leffel was happy to present Putnam City Schools Foundation with their award at their April Wall of Fame dinner event, and the Sayre Public School Foundation with their award at their end of the year school assembly. The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools received their award last fall.

Applications for the next round of awards will be available in August. More information is coming soon.

Sayre Public School Foundation Award Presentation
Putnam City Schools Foundation Award Presentation
Update Your Foundation Contact Information!

Help the Oklahoma School Foundations Network stay in touch and support YOUR Foundation. Click HERE to enter the most up to date contact information for your Foundation. We know many Foundations elect new Board leadership in late Spring. Has your Foundation made changes? Click the link and help us keep in touch!
Foundation Feature: 
Duncan Public Schools Foundation

Duncan Public Schools Foundation: established 1989
Executive Director: Haylee Root, first Executive Director for the organization, started in 2016

District Serves 3,484 students (2018) with 6 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 high school
Two Great Ideas to Share: Simplified Grant Awards, and Leveraging Community Partners to Increase Capacity.

Demon Excellence Award (DEX) Grants were created to simplify the Foundation grant application process and increase teacher participation. The DEX grant window is opened near the start of the school year, and teachers are notified via district email.  A simple online application is available for all teachers and staff . Teachers can apply for three levels of funding, an individual classroom grant of $1000, a collaborative grant for two or more teachers of $3000, a professional development grant of $2500, and may apply for any combination of these three. The grant must address one of four areas of improvement in the district strategic plan, and meet the foundation goal of providing either a Teacher Incentive or STEM/Project Based Learning. Submitted applications are reviewed by the foundation board, and teachers are notified within 45 days of application. The window  for DEX grants stays open until funding for the year has been allocated. Haylee said, "We have gotten some really great feedback from applicants on the process. They love how easy the application process is, and appreciate the quick turn around time". Next year the foundation plans to release funds in two waves, half in the Fall and half in the Spring to be more inclusive of teachers who have opportunities that come up later in the year.
All foundations are looking for ways to increase their capacity and better leverage support for new initiatives in their district. Haylee has had great success in approaching community partners not just to fund a specific need, but also to oversee and direct its implementation. Allowing community partners to feel real ownership by helping in a hands on way while providing a firm timeline with an end date has proven attractive to local businesses looking for ways to help Duncan Public Schools. The Foundation is working with a local machine shop that is interested in outfitting the fabrication STEM lab that is under construction. In exchange for donation of needed machinery, the Foundation will give the business naming rights for the area. Partnerships like this allow flexibility for both the foundation and local business in collaborating to procure needed resources for the good of the students in Duncan Public Schools.

Why Join NSFA?
Mary Mélon , President and CEO of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, serves on the National School Foundation Association Board. She had this to say about NSFA:

"The National Schools Foundation Association (NSFA) provides critical benefits to all education foundations, no matter the size. From learning best practices about governance, board development, fundraising and HR and organizational leadership topics, to amazing networking opportunities with the national conference and committee work, NSFA is the place to become a more effective and impactful education foundation.
Being part of an organization where everyone involved does what you do creates a network that is incredibly valuable. In the nearly five years I've been in my role, there has not been one moment when I've doubted the value that NSFA brings to me."

The Oklahoma School Foundations Network provides a Half Price PLUS membership to all Oklahoma Foundations who would like to join NSFA. Membership pricing is scaled to the size of your Foundation, and PLUS memberships start at just $75 for foundations with income of $100,000 a year or less. Contact Katy Leffel for more information and to get signed up!

School Foundations 
in the News

Oklahoma School Foundations are doing great work across our state. Take a look and be inspired! We would love to feature YOUR foundation. Please send news article links to Katy Leffel.

The Oklahoma School Foundations Network is a program of
the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence