Student Questions/Answers

Educator Excellence Program

What is the Olathe Public Schools Foundation Educator Excellence Program?

The Educator Excellence Program (or E² Award) is a program to reward excellence and innovation in Olathe Schools. The Award gives a $500 unrestricted grant to two teachers each month August through May each school year who excel in three areas:

  • Excellence in working with colleagues and staff in the educational environment;
  • Excellence in meeting the diversified needs of student within the classroom; and
  • Excellence in communicating with parents.

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How will I find out if my teacher is selected?

You will be contacted and invited to attend the surprise Prize Patrol visit. If you are not contacted, remember that we keep all nominations on file for an entire calendar year and review each one monthly, so it may just be a matter of time.

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Who can I nominate?

You can nominate any certified staff member. That might be a principal, classroom teacher, “specials” teacher such as art, music, band or P.E., resource teacher, counselor, etc. If you have a question, your school principal can help.

You can also nominate a classified staff member such as a custodian, secretary, paraprofessional or school aide. The Classified Employee Excellence Recognition Award (CEERA) awards those individuals who excel in their job as a district employee. That form can be found online, in the Forms section under About the Foundation tab.

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Where do I mail my nomination form?

Send your nomination form and attached letters of recommendation outlining all required criteria to the Foundation office located at the Mill Creek Campus, 300 E. Loula Street Olathe, Kansas 66061, Attn: Alice Snider. You are always welcome to drop it off between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

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What is the deadline?

The deadline for submission is the first of each month. However, the OPSF keeps all nominations for one full calendar school year. So, if your teacher is not awarded the month that you submit the nomination, they might receive it sometime in the near future.

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How do I nominate a teacher?

You can nominate any teacher or certified staff member (principal, counselor, music teacher, etc.) by completing the nomination form from our website. (click here for form) Submit your nomination form with letters of recommendation from a parent, a colleague (another teacher or principal), and a student (current or former). You may submit up to two letters from each group.

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Do I have to send a thank you note to the scholarship donor(s)?

Yes. In order to receive your award, you must submit a copy of the thank you letter you wrote to the scholarship donor. The scholarship donor's name and address will be provided in your award letter.

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When will I be notified?

You will be notified after selection committees meet in the spring.

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If I decide to change schools, what happens to my scholarship?

Some scholarships require the recipient to attend a specific college or type of college. If you change schools and no longer attend the required college or university, you will forfeit your scholarship at the time you begin attending the new school. Most scholarships, however, do not have such a requirement. You are free to attend the college of your choice. If you decide to change schools, you will need to contact the Foundation as soon as possible and submit proof of enrollment from your new school before a check can be released. Please read the scholarship criteria carefully to determine whether or not you have to attend a specific college or type of college. Remember, most beauty schools and business/travel schools cannot accept scholarships from the Foundation.

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If I receive a scholarship one year, will I automatically receive an award for the following year?

A few scholarships are awarded for multiple years and may be renewed automatically, provided the student meets the criteria for renewal. This includes submitting proof of enrollment and maintaining a specific GPA each semester. Some scholarships are only for graduating high school seniors and, therefore, cannot be renewed in future years.

If the scholarship is renewable and you are interested in reapplying, you are responsible for contacting the Foundation. The Foundation will not contact past recipients about the possibility to renew.

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How do I receive my scholarship?

You must submit proof of enrollment from your college or university to the Foundation. You may also be required to submit a grade transcript before a check will be sent. When the Foundation receives enrollment verification and a copy of your thank you letter to the scholarship donor, your scholarship check will be sent to your school. Please check with the scholarship guidelines for this information.

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What can my scholarship be used for?

The scholarships can be used for any educational expenses: tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, and miscellaneous expenses. In rare cases, specific uses such as "tuition only" will be indicated in a scholarship description.

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If I am awarded a scholarship, do I get the check?

No, the checks go directly to your school's financial aid office.

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Does the Foundation make the decision about who is awarded?

A different selection committee will make the decision on the recipient for each scholarship. The Foundation processes the application materials for the committees that make the decisions.

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Do I need to pay scholarship money back?

No, these are charitable grants that do not need to be paid back.

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May I receive scholarships from more than one fund?

Yes, you can apply to all of the scholarship funds for which you are eligible and, therefore, can be selected as a recipient for each of those. You will, however, have to submit a complete application package for each scholarship.

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Where can I go to school with these scholarships?

Most of the scholarships are for schools anywhere in the United States, unless noted otherwise in the scholarship description. The school needs to be an accredited, nonprofit institution. Most colleges or universities fit this category. Most beauty schools and business/travel schools do not. Please call your school directly if you are unsure of its status.

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If I am awarded a scholarship, how much will I get?

Some scholarships have set amounts. Most of them offer varying award amounts, which may range from $250 to several thousand dollars. The award depends on how much is available to award, the number of awards, and the distribution directions given by the donors of the fund. The Foundation will determine the number and size of scholarships awarded each year.

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Are the scholarships sufficient to pay the cost of my college education?

Perhaps.  While some scholarships are intended to provide only partial support, depending on your choice of university, some may cover all of your tuition.  In addition to applying for scholarships through the Foundation, you should look into other financial aid resources such as federal grants, loans, and work-study awards. A complete financial aid package can be put together by your college's financial aid office and may include a portion of each of the above types of financial aid.

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Are these scholarship grants taxable?

Generally, scholarships used for tuition, fees, books, and supplies are not taxable. Any portion of the scholarship that is used for room and board or miscellaneous expenses is taxable. Consult a tax expert for advice.

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When is the deadline to apply? What do I send in?

Each scholarship has its own deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding.

Each scholarship requires its own application and attachments. Those attachments may include financial aid information, grades, letters of recommendation, or an essay. Please read through the criteria to determine what you need to submit in order to be considered for funding.

Some scholarship applications need to be sent to the Foundation while others need to be submitted to individual high school counseling centers. This information can be found within the criteria for each scholarship.

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How much does it cost to apply for a scholarship?

There is no charge to apply.

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Am I eligible to apply?

Each scholarship fund has specific eligibility criteria that were defined by the donor when the fund was established. Please read through the specific criteria for each scholarship to see if you are eligible for any of the funding.

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What is the Olathe Public Schools Foundation scholarship program?

Our scholarship program is made up of scholarships established by individuals and organizations to assist students seeking a college education. Students apply for scholarships and, if selected, can be awarded one or more different scholarships.

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