This Saturday, Waterloo’s class of 2023 will be crossing the stage to accept their diplomas and make their way out into the world!
This special occasion marks a big milestone, not just for the students but for the school itself. Why? These seniors represent the first class to experience all four years at the fledgling Waterloo school!
Where it all began
Before Waterloo officially launched in 2019, its founders dedicated a whole year to careful research, planning, and dreaming. The result is a combination of decades of teaching experience and exciting new research on ideas like project-based learning and growth-focused learning. After four years in action, we’ve learned a lot more, too!
- Being a teacher-designed school is attractive – but represents a massive paradigm shift!
- Redesigning assessment around mastery supports growth and a new relationship to learning.
- Including whole-person targets in feedback (personal and productive), while keeping grades solely on academic outcomes, is both possible and better.
- A relational Christian high school identity invites more raw conversation and inquiry than an institutional Christian identity.
- Projects including real-world audiences reinforce authentic learning, effort, engagement, and ownership.
- The model translates to outside world-dual enrollment, college admissions, and employers.
An incredible journey
A lot has happened over the past four years!
- Launched Waterloo School
- Successfully navigated a global pandemic through innovative, adaptive learning
- Achieved accreditation and TEPSEC membership
- Four years (going on 5!) of continuous enrollment growth
- Third graduating class this year (32 graduates)
- Over 50 university acceptances in the US and UK
- Launched athletics, science fair, and mock trial for competition and building school spirit
- Engaged in consulting and speaking opportunities with other school leaders in US, Canada, and Australia
Just like our students, we’re constantly assessing, growing, and changing. Here’s a small taste of what’s to come:
- Redesign teaching roles around supporting students through and focus strengths
- Senior Launch Year program designed to meet life preparatory needs
- Initiatives to provide consulting and leadership for other schools to learn from Waterloo
- Continue facility enhancement of class and lab spaces to serve max enrollment of 90 students