Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation

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The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation was founded in 1989 to receive and administer monetary gifts that will enhance education in USD 383. The Foundation provides an avenue for citizens, businesses and organizations to contribute financially to the school district whenever they have an interest in doing so.

The Foundation is an independent, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization headed by a Board of Directors that meets to grant awards and decide future direction of the Foundation. The Foundation works with the USD 383 Board of Education, to maintain educational excellence in Manhattan and Ogden public schools.

The Foundation does not fund educational programs that are financed by tax dollars. There is no intent to assume responsibility for the basic support of our schools.


Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation Announces Fundraising for
MHS Auditorium

September 14, 2017

MANHATTAN, KANSAS- The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation (MOPSF) announced this week that they will be conducting a fundraising campaign to support improvements to Rezac Auditorium at Manhattan High School. The campaign aims to raise $150,000 to support several improvements to the auditorium, including a dual door entry, stage floor replacement and a projection system, along with some other smaller projects.

The Foundation is excited to announce that the Goldstein Community Foundation has given a lead gift of $100,000.00 towards this effort. This gift is a significant statement of support for the need of improvements to Rezac Auditorium and the Goldstein Community Foundation's support of education and this community.

The Foundation hopes to raise the remaining $50,000 towards its goal by the beginning of March 2018 so the school district can make plans to begin the improvements immediately upon the completion of the school year.

"Rezac Auditorium is a central part of the school experience for students, teachers, staff and the community," said Jim Morrison, president of the MOPSF. "It is key to many important events at Manhattan High, from the fall musical to the spring awards night and from teacher training to student testing. It is a showcase for our school and we are pleased to help invest in this renovation project."

The Manhattan-Ogden school district has already committed $150,000 of its own to other improvements of Rezac Auditorium, including renovation of both the audio system and the stage lighting, some of which was completed in the summer of 2017. The additional projects which will be funded through this campaign will complete the improvements identified in a 2016 architectural study.

Dr. Marvin Wade, superintendent of USD 383, said many students and staff have benefited from projects funded by the Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation since its inception in 1989. These projects will continue to be supported by the foundation, though this campaign begins a new era, as the MOPSF Board recently decided to increase community engagement, and to begin these efforts with a fundraising campaign for improvements to Rezac Auditorium.

The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that receives and administers gifts from citizens, businesses and organizations who wish to financially support activities that aid and enhance the school district. By working in cooperation with the school district, the Foundation seeks to enrich the public school experience for children within our school district, expanding on the work done by teachers and staff.

To find out how to donate to the campaign, please contact Jim Morrison at 785-776-9209.


Manhattan Ogden Public Schools Foundation 25th anniversary

The Manhattan Ogden Public Schools Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary this summer. The Foundation was started by a $2,500 gift from the Class of ’64 at its 25th class reunion in 1989 in a spirit of support for the school and programs. After 25 years, this meager start has led to an ending balance of more than $1,800,000. There are approximately 16 scholarship funds providing 21 scholarships, with 3 providing multiple year awards. In addition, there are five teacher awards based on their selection for excellence and five staff awards.  The Foundation continues to grow and it is not finished.

Recent donations have led to two new program funds:  the Barbara Withee Teacher Skill Enhancement Awards to provide support for  teachers in classroom improvement, and the Pat Lamb Award to enhance secondary science teachers in the classroom. These two “new” funds are in addition to the Scheibler Award for teachers in elementary classrooms with preference to 4th grade and the Steve Shaner Award for math teachers.

During the last three years the Foundation has been serving as a financial clearing house for support of the Summer Fun Camp, which, in conjunction with District 383 and many others, provides a continuum of classroom, recreational and social learning for children on the Autism Spectrum. This is a very popular, necessary and expensive program for the children’s families and for the general support of the children’s education.

Early Expressions, the annual art show supported by the Foundation each February, is open to all students in District 383.  In 2015, the public reception will be held on Feb 14th from 2:00–4:00pm at the Beach Museum at Kansas State University. All are invited to this 7th annual show.  More than 20% of the district’s children have participated in this juried event in the past.

The Foundation has not had formal fund raising efforts/events in the past but has relied on word of mouth and people having a desire to actively change the outcomes of children’s lives. Although we believe the evidence proves that this approach has been successful, it is not without a lot of work done by the all-volunteer Foundation Board.  If you have an interest in supporting the Foundation financially or as a volunteer please contact us. We are open to your ideas. Our unofficial motto is “if it helps kids, education and is not illegal, we'll give it a try”.

Contact information: Manhattan Ogden Public Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Manhattan, KS 66505-0191. You may call Jim Morrison at 785-776-9208 or e-mail morrison@mfoilaw.com

James W. Morrison, President