Mission and Values


University School of Milwaukee cultivates excellence in learning, leadership, and citizenship for prekindergarten through 12th grade students. Students are engaged, known, and valued within our passionate independent school community guided by our Common Trust.

The USM mission statement was revised and introduced to the community, along with the school's new strategic plan, on Sept. 8, 2022.

Common Trust

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, commit to and practice the Common Trust. We agree to relate to one another and the school with respect, trust, honesty, fairness, and kindness."

The Common Trust values are defined as follows:

  • Respect: Acceptance of and appreciation of each person's dignity
  • Trust: Shared responsibility to act with integrity
  • Honesty: Truthfulness in what we say and do
  • Fairness: Balanced and thoughtful treatment of each individual
  • Kindness: Caring actions and words for others

Every school year, the specific Common Trust value that is being celebrated that year is introduced at USM's Opening Day ceremony, highlighted by short speeches by Upper School Prefects about that particular value. The Common Trust value for the 2023-24 school year is kindness. This theme is incorporated into learning and activities for students in all grades, from prekindergarten through 12th grade, throughout the school year. The Common Trust is at the core of USM's Guiding Principles.

Guiding Principles

Parent-School Partnership

University School of Milwaukee enters into a Parent-School Partnership with all school parents and guardians. This partnership is based on the belief that USM faculty and administration must work together with parents and caregivers in all aspects of school life for the benefit of each child. Collectively, the school's mission statement and guiding principles, along with the Common Trust, form the foundation for the principles of good practice that are included in this partnership.

The Parent-School Partnership document, first instituted during the 2013–14 school year and shared with all school parents and guardians during the enrollment process each year, includes both USM's expectations of parents and caregivers, as well as those things that these individuals should expect from USM. It covers:

  • Philosophy
  • Environment for Lifelong Learning
  • Right to Privacy
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Communication
  • Participation in Community Life
  • Respect

In partnership, USM and parents/guardians can ensure the most positive experience for every student and help strengthen our community of lifelong learners for the benefit of all.