Waterloo SchoolsStudents & Staff

The Waterloo School Board voted for an Operating Expense Referendum Question on the April 4 2023 election ballot. Voters will be asked:

Shall the Waterloo School District, Jefferson, Dodge and Dane Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $590,000 per year for the 2023-2024 school year through the 2025-2026 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of sustaining educational programming and operating expenses?

Why a School Referendum?

Why does the Waterloo School District Need an Operational Referendum?

The District has a long history of local officials being frugal, fiscally responsible, valuing a low mill rate, and always maintaining a healthy fund balance. The issue we currently face is not one that stems from a local decision, but one that largely centers around variable out of our local control. Those factors we cannot control include the state revenue limit formula and inflation. The District is seeing year-after-year rising operational costs that are impacting all aspects of district operations. This factor, coupled with decreasing revenue, has led to the Waterloo School District's current financial situation.

Increasing Expenses
(2019 to Present)
Price of Electricity Up 54%
Price of Natural Gas Up 174%
Price of Water & Sewer Up 94%

Retaining Staff = Quality Education for Our Students

Jennifer Porter, Waterloo Elementary 2nd Grade Teacher

As a 26-year veteran teacher in Waterloo, I have learned that resources matter. When teachers and classrooms have the resources they need, there is a greater ability to provide higher-quality educational opportunities. Thus allowing teachers to better meet the needs of their diverse groups of learners.

Krista Sale, Waterloo Intermediate School 5th Grade Teacher

Resources for instruction, intervention, and enrichment are already at lower levels compared to neighboring districts that have passed operating referendums to maintain staffing and programs. The likelihood that significant cuts will need to be made to reduce expenditures will only contribute to the shortages already existing.

Keith Setz, Waterloo Middle/High School Teacher

I have taught in big and small schools. In a small district with fewer resources, teachers fill multiple roles. Larger schools have more money so staff can specialize in individual areas. In a small school, I am often the sole person responsible for special ed., language support, behavior support, interventions, etc. If we need to reduce staff to reduce expenditures, even more will be added to the plates of already busy staff.

Shelly Scharenbrock, Waterloo High School Math Teacher

In my 33 years working for the District, I have seen student needs increase and the resources to address those needs decrease. Our district faces enormous challenges related to workforce shortages and rising inflation in staff compensation, utilities, transportation, insurance, and a host of other operational areas. Waterloo has the opportunity this spring to use the referendum to address these funding shortages.

Challenges the Waterloo School District Faces:

  • Decreasing or inadequate state funding
  • Rising inflation impacting all district operations
  • Low population growth rate
  • Fewer young families entering the district
  • Impact of the pandemic (ie: teacher/staffing shortages)

What Will the Referendum Funds Do:

  • Provide ongoing educational and extracurricular programming
  • Address competitive compensation to attract and retain highly qualified staff
  • Address operational needs across all departments
  • Help keep class sizes smaller
  • Offset negative ramifications of state public education funding budget
  • Maintain current level of services

Your Tax Impact:

$100K of property value $69.00 $5.75 $1.33 $0.19
$200K of property value $138.00 $11.50 $2.65 $0.38
$300K of property value $207.00 $17.25 $3.98 $0.57

*Estimates only.  State and local factors affect calculations.

WSD Implemented Cost Saving Measures to Help Avoid Going to Referendum:

  • Health Insurance: Implemented HDHP, HSA & Employee Wellness
  • Transportation/Busing: Negotiated 5 years of no new increases
  • Dental Insurance: Switched to a self funded dental plan
  • Applied for and awarded more than $200K in grants: Fast Forward, DOJ Threat Assessment, School Based Mental Health Services, Immigrant Children & Youth, Bilingual/Bicultural

WSD Recent Successes:


  • 98.5% graduation rate
  • Over $1M in scholarships awarded in '21-'22
  • Average student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1
  • 18 bilingual staff
  • 1:1 computers District wide
  • US News National Top High School ('20-'22)
  • 100% highly qualified teachers
  • WHS/WMS 'Exceeds Expectations' on DPI District Report Card
  • GOOD - McKinstry Facility assessment rating

Waterloo is ranked 395 out of 450 across all school districts in the state of Wisconsin for average teacher salary. Despite offering the least-competitive average teacher salary among comparable nearby districts, Waterloo has the highest overall score on the DPI School Report Card for its high school among those same districts.

DPI Public Teacher Salary Report
DPI School & District Report Cards


  • 8 Advanced Placement class offerings
  • National AP District Honor Roll ('18/'19)
  • Dual credit course offerings at Madison College
  • Youth Apprenticeship Program
  • CNC Milling Training Program
  • Start College Now Program
  • Southern Lakes Advanced Learners Network
  • 59 students with an ACT category score of 25 or greater ('21,'22)
  • 29 students with an ACT composite score of 25 or greater ('19-'22)

Co-Curriculars / Fine Arts

  • Forensics (Local, Regional, State Qualifiers)
  • FBLA (Local, Regional, State, National Qualifiers)
  • Visual Arts Classic (Local, Regional, State, National Qualifiers)
  • WSMA Solo & Ensemble (Local, Regional, State Qualifiers)
  • FFA (Local, Regional, State Qualifiers)
  • FFA Trap Team (WI Clay Target League State Tournament (Local, Regional, State Qualifier)
  • Nat'l Yearbook Program of Excellence Award
  • WI School Music Assoc. State Honors Project Qualifier


  • Volleyball
    • Conference Champions ('18, '19, '21, '22)
    • State Appearance ('19, '20)
  • Football (Level 1 Playoffs, '21, '22)
  • Wrestling
    • Conference Champions ('19, '21, '22)
    • Individual State Qualifiers ('19-'22)
  • Girls Basketball (Regional Champions, '21)
  • Softball (Conference Champions, '22)
  • Track & Field (Indiv. State Qualifiers '19, '21)

Pool and Fitness Center

The Pool and Fitness Center are primarily operated through a separate fund of money known as Fund 80, which serves as a Community Service Fund. This money is separate from the main operational funds of the school district and is not part of this operational funding referendum.

Pool and Fitness Center Director

The Pool and Fitness Center Director is a highly-qualified position with a year-round 261-day contract, as opposed to the typical 190-day contract for teachers.

Historical Director Wages
Fiscal Year Director Gross Benefits Subtotal
2014-15 Patricia Schellin $38,050.30 $24,328.77 $62,379.07
2015-16 Patricia Schellin $39,592.74 $25,568.38 $65,161.12
2016-17 Patricia Schellin $39,453.92 $22,388.88 $61,842.80

2017-18 Aaron Erickson $70,380.50 $29,060.22 $99,440.72
2018-19 Aaron Erickson $69,480.98 $33,202.66 $102,683.64

2019-20 Janessa Henning $44,000.00 $10,120.75 $54,120.75
2020-21 Janessa Henning $48,864.00 $11,266.79 $60,130.79
2021-22 Janessa Henning $50,064.00 $11,403.01 $61,467.01

How contract days affect the daily salary rate:
261 Contract Days Salary $55,000 = $210.73 per day
190 Contract Days Salary $55,000 = $289.47 per day

Director Position Requirements

The position has the following requirements:

  • Supervision of 25 employees
  • Wide hours of availability
    • 5:30 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday
    • Other hours Saturday and Sunday
  • State-certified pool operator
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor
  • American Red Cross lifeguard
  • American Red Cross lifeguard instructor
  • Water safety/swim instructor

Revenue over Time

*Revenue affected by COVID

New Programs and Classes

Over the last four years, the Pool and Fitness Center has offered nine new programs and classes to members and the community. It has also offered eighteen new wellness opportunities and challenges to District staff. Promoting staff wellness helps the District keep health insurance costs down.

Recent Communications:

Referendum Postcard 4 for Website - English

Referendum Postcard 4 for Website - Español

Referendum Postcard 5 for Website - English

Referendum Postcard 5 for Website - Español

Referendum Postcard 6 for Website - English

Referendum Postcard 6 for Website - Español

Helpful Links:

Poll Information:

For comprehensive election information, voter registration, and obtaining absentee ballots, visit

Town of Milford
Location of Polls - Milford Town Hall - W6335 CTH A & Q, Johnson Creek, WI.  
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

City of Waterloo
Location of Polls - Waterloo Municipal Building - 136 N Monroe St, Waterloo, WI
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Town of Waterloo
Location of Polls - N8193 State Rd 89, Waterloo, WI 
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Town of Portland
Location of Polls - Portland Town Hall - W 11720 Taylor St, Waterloo, WI
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Town of Shields
Location of Polls - Emmet Town Hall - W6777 Second Street Rd, Watertown, WI

Town of Elba
Location of Polls - Town Hall - N3799 County Rd T, Columbus, WI
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Town of York
Location of Polls - York Town Hall - 796 York Center Rd, Marshall, WI
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Town of Lowell
Location of Polls - Lowell Town Hall - Old 16 Rd, Reeseville, WI
Hours of operation - 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.


More Information:

If you have further questions, please connect with the Waterloo School District Office at (920) 478-3633, ext. 4501

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