University School of Milwaukee prides itself on its long-standing academic reputation, going all the way back to the three predecessor schools – Milwaukee Country Day School, Milwaukee Downer Seminary, and Milwaukee University School – that merged to form this great school. Our academic reputation at all grade levels is unmatched in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin, and is recognized across the country. A USM education provides the foundation for a lifetime of active and engaged learning.

As a college preparatory day school, USM offers students an outstanding academic foundation and a rigorous curriculum. Our Preschool (prekindergarten for ages 3 & 4, and junior kindergarten for ages 4 & 5), Lower School (kindergarten through 4th grade), Middle School (5th through 8th grades), and Upper School (9th through 12th grades), each enjoy their own dedicated spaces within our interconnected campus. Our new, state-of-the-art facilities support creative, 21st-century teaching methods that prepare students for today’s highly competitive and interconnected world.

University School of Milwaukee is fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

USM Curriculum and Faculty

The USM curriculum bridges all areas of learning and understanding. USM offers a global perspective with a focus on giving back to the greater Milwaukee community. The dedicated and talented faculty balance learning in the classroom with experiential learning opportunities. Students are engaged by an interdisciplinary curriculum, including courses in the humanities as well as cutting-edge STEM courses. This approach leads to the consistently high standardized test scores, outstanding Advanced Placement credit achievement, and amazing recognition by National Merit and other honors by our students relative to their peers locally, regionally, and nationally. 

USM's outstanding faculty truly motivate their students, engaging them in classroom discussions and projects while stretching them to their fullest potential. The vast majority of USM educators hold master’s or doctorate degrees, resulting in a faculty that is unmatched in Wisconsin. Regular dialogue and communication between parents, the administration, and the faculty leads to increased parental involvement in their children’s coursework, activities, and accomplishments.

Academic Resource Center (ARC)

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is a target destination for USM families with a child experiencing learning challenges. The one-to-one approach leads to growth outcomes for students, and families often see the program as a 'beacon of hope' when their student is experiencing challenges.

The faculty in the ARC work daily with classroom teachers to support their curriculums without modifying lesson content. ARC teachers have the autonomy to create teaching tools and create accommodations to best meet each individual student's learning needs.

Learning specialists meet with students every other day to provide additional instruction and support. The ARC is not bound to IEPs or 504 plans, and thus can provide accommodations and modifications that are best suited to individual students. Student can qualify for support without meeting the standards of a diagnosed learning disability. Faculty in the ARC work collaboratively with one another and with classroom teachers in an ongoing process to support the success of every student. ARC faculty are skilled at assessing and screening for potential learning challenges, and have extensive specialties in communication sciences, school refusal, anxiety, dyslexia, autism, executive functioning, reading, special education, language processing disorders, and more. They have also developed relationships with community providers when a whole student approach is the best option for your child.

Students learn to view the ARC as a safe zone where they can admit to not understanding work, ask questions, fail, catch up, relearn material, and feel comfortable. Students learn to understand their specific learning challenges and practice compensation skills as they move toward becoming independent learners. The ARC is dedicated to working with the needs of the whole students, not just their academic needs.