Liberty School District Foundation
8 Victory Lane
Liberty MO 64068
Mission Statement
To provide a continuing organization, outside the public school system, which generates and guides alternative resources for new and expanded educational opportunities for the benefit of students, teachers, employees and residents of the Liberty School District.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Nicolette Loutsch
Board Chair Heather Wolesky
Board Chair Company Affiliation Larry Brown Excavating
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1995
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement To provide a continuing organization, outside the public school system, which generates and guides alternative resources for new and expanded educational opportunities for the benefit of students, teachers, employees and residents of the Liberty School District.
Background Statement
Started in 1995 by nine community members committed to the advancement of Public Schools education, with two core programs – Honoring Our Own and the HOPE Awards. The Liberty School District Foundation has grown to include the Learning Enrichment Grant program, Excellence In Education Grants, Run.4 the Kids, and the Liberty Alumni Association. The work of the Foundation now focuses on raising monies to support teacher classroom grants and special School and District-wide grants to reach as many students as possible with exceptional learning experiences, as well as supporting new programs supported and needed by the District. They also desire to recognize and honor the efforts of past Liberty students for their efforts both professionally and personally, with an emphasis on community service.
 
The Foundation enjoys amazing dedication and leadership by Foundation board members and volunteers. The Foundation’s current strategic goals focus on strengthening core programs and developing and expanding new programs which provide expanded education opportunities for both students and faculty. With a vision for the future, the Foundation continues to play a pivotal role in supporting Liberty Public Schools and their efforts in providing an excellent education to all of their students.
Impact Statement

Accomplishments:

 

  1. Excellence in Education Grants: Awarded two schools a total of $12,790 in Excellence in Education grants. Heritage Middle School received $7,089 to create multiple DIY labs in the library media center; each lab has its own theme which is tied to curriculum or after-school projects and can be used by all grade levels. Manor Hill Elementary was granted $5,701 to transform their old computer lab into a MakerSpace where every student can design and create as it relates to their classroom learning.
  2. Learning Enrichment Grants: Awarded $4,961 to support 11 classroom or building projects that enhanced and/or expanded the learning experience for Liberty students. Examples included supporting an elementary summer reading program, purchasing learning kits to support STEM learning and Project the Lead the Way programming.
  3. Hosted the 20th Annual H.O.P.E. Awards, honoring Liberty students who display exceptional attitudes and actions, inspiring others and making their schools and communities better places. In total, 67 students were recognized.
  4. Hosted the 1st Annual Liberty Public Schools Community Breakfast, which brought together district supporters to hear the superintendent’s State of the District Address as well as celebrated the contributions of the Liberty School District Foundation in support of Liberty Public Schools.

 

Goals:

 

  1. Continue to support and strengthen the Liberty School District by aligning the LSDF, the district and the community in philanthropic investments to support the district in creating a top performing learner agency. 100% of every donation and investment in the LSDF stays within the Liberty School District.
  2. The LSDF will look to connect with the community in support of creating a Mobile STEAM Lab that will be leveraged by Liberty Public Schools.
  3. Continue to host the annual H.O.P.E. Awards and the Liberty Public School Community Breakfast.

 

Needs Statement
Excellence in Education Grants: Grant funds are awarded to teachers and administrators. Grants range from $2,000 - $10,000.  Annual budget is $10,000-$15,000; however the LSDF would like to increase the annual budget to $20,000-$30,000.
 
Learning Enrichment Grants: Grants are awarded to teachers and range from $200-$500.  The annual budget is $5,000-$10,000.
 
Mobile STEAM Lab: Seeking partners to provide financial support in building a mobile learning lab focused around Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math that can be leveraged by the entire district.  
Service Categories
Elementary & Secondary Schools
Areas of Service
MO - Clay County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
The Liberty School District Foundation has a long and proud history of supporting Liberty Public Schools in elevating educational excellence.  Over the last 20 years, the LSDF has invested over $600,000 to support educational programming; hosted 20 H.O.P.E. Awards recognizing the most honorable Liberty students; and have given over $35,000 in scholarship to graduating Liberty seniors.
 
While the Foundation is proud of our investments and accomplishments over the last 20 years, we strive to do more.  In the last year alone, the Foundation received over $100,000 in grant requests but was only able to fund $20,000 of those requests - imagine if we could fund nearly all $100,000!
 
This gap in district needs and what the Foundation is currently able to fund is inspiring us to find ways to do more - to connect with donors and businesses, to build awareness of our programming and the impact we can have in all 19 schools that serve our 12,000+ students.  
Programs
Description
In keeping with the mission of the Liberty School District Foundation, Excellence in Education grants are awarded to promote innovative, educational and unique learning opportunities for Liberty students. These grants are awarded to certificated staff members and nurses for projects or programs that support the LPS strategic plan or existing school curriculum.
  • Grants are awarded on an annual basis and range from $2,000-$10,000. 
  • Examples of previous grant-funded projects include the Early Childhood Center with a room for special needs’ children, establishing a Peer Helper/Sophomore Transition Program, and providing funds to redesign the high school library media center.
  • In the 2015-2016 school year, the LSDF awarded $12,700 to Heritage Middle School and Manor Hill Elementary; both schools used the funds to create DIY/MakerSpaces.
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), ,
Short-Term Success To achieve overall success, it is important that the program continue to meet the needs of our educators and district in providing the necessary funds to create innovative learning experiences and environments for every LPS student.
Long-Term Success The ultimate success for the program shows an increase in the number of grants requested and the number of students whose educational experience with Liberty Public Schools has been enhanced by the grants supported by the Liberty School District Foundation. The success would also be determined by an increase in the dollars funded by the Foundation.
Program Success Monitored By
  • The amount of funds awarded on an annual basis.
  • The amount of funds awarded when compared to the amount of funds requested.
  • The number of students whose learning is enhanced.
Examples of Program Success
2015-2016 Grantees and Final Report Information
 
Heritage Middle School
  • Awarded $7,089 to create an Innovation Lab in the library - primarily using spaces previously reserved as the computer labs.  The Innovation Lab was open to all students before, during and after school, creating opportunities for students to stretch their learning through hands-on discovery and creation at their own pace while focused on their own interests. The Lab included different interactive stations focused on different aspects on design and creation. 
  • All 720 students in grades 6-8 had access to utilize the lab space.
Manor Hill Elementary
  • Awarded $5,700  to transform their computer lab into a MakerSpace.  This new space was designed to foster creativity, critical thinking and student collaboration. As a part of the process, Manor Hill collaborated with LPS Fine Arts and students in design classes at both Liberty and Liberty North High Schools.
  • 434 students grades K-5 had access to utilize the space.
Description
The Foundation initiated the Learning Enrichment Grant Program (LEG) in 1997 to provide mini-grant funds for creative projects implemented by K-12 educators who develop projects outside of the district’s budget. 
  • Grants are awarded on an annual or semi-annual basis depending on funds available.  The maximum request is $500.
  • Since the beginning of the program, the LSDF has awarded over 445 Learning Enrichment Grant awards.
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), ,
Short-Term Success

To achieve overall success, it is important that the program continue to meet the needs of our educators and district in providing the necessary funds to create innovative learning experiences and environments for every LPS student.

Long-Term Success

The ultimate success for the program shows an increase in the number of grants requested and the number of students whose educational experience with Liberty Public Schools has been enhanced by the grants supported by the Liberty School District Foundation. The success would also be determined by an increase in the dollars funded by the Foundation.

Program Success Monitored By
  • The amount of funds awarded on an annual basis.
  • The amount of funds awarded when compared to the amount of funds requested.
  • The number of students whose learning is enhanced.
This shows the level of interest in the program by the staff and faculty of the District.
Examples of Program Success
School Year Amount Awarded Number of grants awarded
2015-2016 $4,961.00 11
2014-2015 $7,149.60 18
2013-2014 $10,134.84 33
2012-2013 $9,393.28 23
2011-2012 $9,467.00 24
2010-2011 $9,639.00 30
Description These special recognition awards were first presented in 1995 to Liberty School District students who exemplify special attributes above and beyond the normal efforts of the daily school routine.  The goal for the H.O.P.E. Awards is to recognize students who display exceptional attitudes and actions, inspiring others an making their schools and communities a better place. 
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), ,
Short-Term Success The number of students who can obtain a HOPE Awards by their actions outweighs the number of students that can be recognized each year.
Long-Term Success The ultimate goal for the HOPE Awards is to recognize students for citizenship, integrity, hard-work, perseverance, and a positive spirit. To recognize that these traits are as important, if not more important, than any inherent academic or athletic skill. By highlighting these students, it is our hope that it encourages these types of behavior traits in other students.
Program Success Monitored By The program’s success is measured by the stories and reports from faculty and teachers regarding the students who were nominated each year. As long as we have students who display exemplary behavior, the success will belong to them and their schools and fellow students.
Examples of Program Success
The HOPE Awards were one of the first programs of the Liberty School District Foundation. To date, the LSDF has hosted 20 H.O.P.E. Awards. Each year, three students are nominated from each elementary and five students are nominated from each secondary school. We host the recognition ceremonies on two separate nights and typically have a full auditorium for both events each year.
 
In 2016, 67 students were presented with a H.O.P.E. Award.
 
While the program is meant to honor excellence among our students it should also be noted that it creates an unique opportunity for teachers, counselors and principals to recognize students for such exemplary behavior.
 
These awards leave those in attendance and those that watch via Channel 18 or social media in awe and inspired. 
 
 
 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Nicolette Loutsch
Term Start Oct 2014
Experience
Nicolette Loutsch received her Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Missouri Kansas City.  Prior to joining the Liberty School District Foundation, Nicolette served as the Executive Director of the Kansas Volunteer Commission which was housed in the Kansas State Department of Education.  Her role as the Executive Director included managing over $2 million in federal, state and local grants. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, Nicolette served as the Director of Kansas Mentors - the state's mentoring partnership whose work included connecting and supporting 175 mentoring programs serving k-12. 
 
Nicolette also served as an AmeriCorps member with the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City.  While in this service position, Nicolette organized and facilitated student-led learning service projects across the Kansas City metro.  After successfully completing her year of service, the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City hired Nicolette to serve as the Assistant Program Manager. 
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Laurie Sutton -
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 1
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 20
Paid Contractors 1
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Heather Wolesky
Company Affiliation Larry Brown Excavating
Term July 2015 to June 2016
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Jeff Akright Country Financial
Leisha Barry Community Volunteer
Mary Coogan Liberty Teacher
Jason Foust Community Volunteer
Angie Hill Community Volunteer
Brett Horn Community Volunteer
Jennifer Huyser Community Volunteer
Mandy Levings Community Volunteer
Jody Magera Community Volunteer
Kate Noland Community Volunteer
Troy Prewitt Community Volunteer
Rich Schipper Community Volunteer
Chris Shultz Community Volunteer
Mike Snider Community Volunteer
Carrie Swetnam Liberty Teacher
Barbara Wippich Community Volunteer
Heather Wolesky Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2016
Projected Revenue $120,000
Projected Expenses $140,000
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$80,548$51,162$38,545
Administration Expense$70,365$26,058$57,720
Fundraising Expense$845$15,260$14,204
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.861.801.47
Program Expense/Total Expenses53%55%35%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%13%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$559,557$695,734$514,303
Current Assets$159,731$292,506$152,947
Long-Term Liabilities$107,905$225,008$117,199
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$451,652$470,726$397,104
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets19%32%23%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name Liberty School District Foundation
Address 8 Victory Lane
Liberty, MO 64068
Primary Phone (816) 736-7020
Contact Email lsdf@liberty.k12.mo.us
CEO/Executive Director Nicolette Loutsch
Board Chair Heather Wolesky
Board Chair Company Affiliation Larry Brown Excavating
Year of Incorporation 1995