University School of Milwaukee provides an exceptional PK-12 independent school education in a supportive, inclusive community built on the foundation of our Common Trust. By igniting a passion for learning, leadership, and service, the School prepares each student - as an individual - for success in higher education and a life of purpose. USM embraces a tradition of superior academic achievement through a commitment to expertise and innovation in our School.Guiding Principles
The Common Trust
University School of Milwaukee's Mission Statement and Guiding Principles were revised to reflect our 2013-2020 Strategic Plan goals and initiatives and to better coordinate and tie together several statements that existed previously. The revision was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 20, 2014, and the revised Mission Statement and Guiding Principles were formally introduced to the USM community at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
The basic philosophy of community behavior at University School of Milwaukee is the Common Trust, which is expressed in the following pledge:
- “We, the members of the University School of Milwaukee community, accept the Common Trust. We agree to relate to one another and the School with respect, trust, honesty, fairness, and kindness.”
In addition, educational decisions and goals at USM are based on the following guiding principles.Community
- A physically and emotionally safe environment provides students, faculty, and staff with opportunities to express their ideas and grow intellectually.
- Students, families, faculty, and staff are committed to academic excellence and behavioral standards and understand their responsibilities to the School and to their local and global communities.
- Faculty and staff cultivate connections that create meaningful and productive relationships among students, families, alumni, and their communities.
- Families provide valuable contributions to the School community through their involvement with and support of students, faculty, and staff.
Students and Faculty
- The uniqueness of every individual is celebrated.
- Recognition of and respect for the diversity of backgrounds and experiences is fundamental to building a learning community where students learn to think broadly, critically, and independently.
- All members of the USM community feel empowered as they live and work equitably together.
- Students are prepared for the opportunities of a diverse world and are provided with a supportive environment in which to reach their full potential.
Curriculum and Instruction
- Students thrive when opportunities are provided that not only develop their knowledge and skills, but also allow them to make personal, meaningful connections to their learning.
- Students become independent, lifelong learners when exposed to a multitude of developmentally appropriate learning experiences that encourage active engagement and growth in academic, social, and personal endeavors.
- Faculty members, through engagement in on-going professional development in their disciplines, are the cornerstones to building and supporting a community of learners.
- Faculty members are responsible for the development and implementation of a well-integrated, state-of-the-art curriculum that provides an impetus for each student’s intellectual, social, emotional, ethical, physical, and artistic development.
- A coordinated, meaningful, and challenging curriculum enables students to build on prior learning, discover their passions, and develop their individual academic potential.
- A relevant and innovative curriculum goes beyond literal learning to develop higher-level critical thinking and creative expression, utilizing the latest technologies and resources.
- Local and global connections enrich the curriculum and inspire students to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
- On-going formative and summative assessments provide the basis for improved curriculum design and both individualized and group instruction.