Student Experience

The curriculum at University School of Milwaukee grows developmentally in each division to help empower students with cultural competencies that are needed to be a successful learner, leader, and citizen in our modern and ever-changing world. Whether on a local or global level, USM believes strongly in the importance of cultural competency for all students, and takes a growth mindset approach to its implementation in the curriculum. Below are just some examples from each of the grade levels:

Preschool and Lower School

  • Prekindergarten, junior kindergarten, and kindergarten focus on families and the sharing of various traditions
  • 1st grade: Global studies of Japan, China, and Costa Rica with cultural and art tie-ins
  • 2nd grade: Study of Native American cultures, and how traditions vary by regions
  • 3rd grade: Diversity in innovation, highlighting innovators with diverse backgrounds
  • 4th grade: Study of immigration and heritage, including the diverse settlers of Wisconsin
  • All grade levels: World Language program studies peoples from around the world; guidance curriculum which focuses on acceptance of others
Middle School

  • 5th grade: World Cultural Geography focuses on similarities and differences of people around the world
  • 6th grade: Empty Bowls service learning project teaches compassion and empathy around the theme of hunger
  • 7th grade: Kiva service learning project teaches different global perspectives and needs
  • 8th grade: American Studies discusses multiple perspectives of American history through the lenses of different groups
  • All grade levels: Advising curriculum focuses on kindness, respect, and acceptance of others and their differences; fine arts focus on finding your voice and individual expression
Upper School

  • Compass 9 (freshmen) helps create opportunities to connect with stakeholders in the greater USM and Milwaukee communities
  • Sophomore community engagement program focuses on poverty, education, and employment issues in Milwaukee
  • Global Scholars Program focuses on the different perspectives of others, and related crisis simulation project focuses on world-wide issues such as clean water, disease, food shortages, etc.
  • World Civilizations provides historic global perspectives and reasons why conflicts have occurred around the world
  • Student-generated affinity groups meet regularly to discuss issues and are supported by faculty mentors
  • Students are invited to join SEEK Diversity committee
  • Students are able to attend the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference, as well as the Midwest FIRE (Fostering Intercultural Respect & Empowerment) Conference
Students at USM are expected to show respect in all aspects of their lives, which is vital to accomplishing our goal of supporting all of our students in an inclusive community. This of course requires us to ensure that they—and the adults they interact with each day—are fully aware of what is necessary to be respectful, especially when interacting with others who may look different, behave differently, or represent cultures that are not as familiar as their own. By exposing students to these opportunities, we strive to further prepare them for a diverse and interconnected world.
Prekindergarten (age 3) - Grade 12 • Independent • Coeducational
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