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District Initiatives

District Initiatives are large-scale projects, prioritized by the Superintendent and WCSD School Board, that have the potential to impact student learning District-wide.

Since 2017 the Waterloo Schools Foundation has gifted over $765,000.00 to eight different District Initiatives.  In total, in the 12 years, WSF has been established, over 1.4 million dollars has been invested into the Waterloo Schools through these district initiatives!

Teach Waterloo

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Photo courtesy of

UNI Alumni Magazine 

The Foundation’s most recent District Initiative, Teach Waterloo, is a partnership between the WCSD and the University of Northern Iowa.


The support staff of diverse backgrounds can achieve their education degree from the College of Education while working for the Waterloo Schools free of cost and secure a teaching position in the district post-graduation.


The WSF has committed up to $300,000 for this program through the late Eleanor Ketchum’s generosity.

Twice Exceptional(2E)

Twice Exceptional (2E) refers to gifted and talented students who have some form of disability and are considered exceptional because of their special needs and intellectual gifts. 


These types of learners thrive on specific classroom support and curriculum to succeed in achieving their academic goals. The Waterloo Schools is the first in the state to offer 2E support for students.


The WSF has partnered with Steve & Becky Gearhart to support 2E with over $58,000 since 2017!

Camp Invention

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Camp Invention is one of the Foundation’s longest supported District Initiatives!


The Foundation provides student scholarships to attend Camp Invention.  This camp is a week-long STEM-based program held every summer in the Waterloo Schools.  Students explore various STEM-related modules throughout the week and showcase their favorite projects on the last day.


This program has been supported for the past 15 years, and since 2017, the Foundation has gifted $70,000 in scholarships, with a total program history reaching over $150,000!

To see what students learned at Camp Invention

in 2022, click here!

Coaches Academy

Coaches Academy is a unique opportunity that provides professional development for the Waterloo School coaching staff! 


This program aims to enhance the athletic experience and pride in the Waterloo Community School District. 


With a three-year partnership with the Young Family Foundation, the WSF will be able to support this program at $150,000.

Middle School CTE

Throughout 2018 and 2019, the WSF helped expand Career and Technical Education for all middle school students.  This opportunity will enhance the career exploratory classes at the Waterloo Career Center.


In partnership with the Otto Schoitz Foundation and the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, $304,000 was spent on curriculum, professional development of instructors, and material costs related to Project Lead the Way classrooms.

Teacher License Reimbursement 

Once new teacher completes their mentor program in the WCSD, they apply for their full standard teaching license. 


These cost $100 and are required by the state to keep to grant authority full teaching instruction to teachers.


For three years, the Foundation has supported 116 teachers with their license reimbursement, totaling $11,600.

Covid-19 relief

The pandemic provided a unique demand for technology and a surplus need for various building supplies.


In partnership with the Otto Schoitz Foundation and the Guernsey Foundation, the WSF provided $125,000 towards 345 Chromebooks. 


The funding has also provided specific building-level expenses, like hand sanitizer, desk dividers, masks, etc., for our students and faculty to stay safe, and healthy!

Parent University

Parent University was a district initiative that aimed to provide family and guardian involvement in their student’s academics.


Schools throughout the District chose a PU night, provided a meal, and an opportunity for adults in a relationship with a Waterloo Schools student to engage in literacy or math-related game.


Since July 2017, the WSF spent $47,266.58 completing this program, and over $130,000 in total.

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