Message from the Superintendent

 

Since one of South Milwaukee’s strategic goals focuses on Character Education, it was a great honor for the School District of South Milwaukee to be designated by the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership (WCEP) as a State School District of Character in 2015 and most recently as a 2017 National District of Character by Character.Org. The School District of South Milwaukee is one of four districts in the entire country to earn this distinction.  

In addition to the Character Education recognition, the School District of South Milwaukee became the first school district in southeastern Wisconsin to be awarded School System Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission in 2014. This distinction by the most rigorous accreditation organization in the United States means that the School District of South Milwaukee and all of its schools meet international standards of quality and demonstrate a commitment to excellence.

The accreditation process involves three ongoing components:  1) meeting high quality standards; 2) implementing a continuous process of improvement; and 3) engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review.  The system’s accreditation is for a five-year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting occurring during the term.

We are very proud of both the AdvancED Accreditation and the National District of Character accomplishments because they recognize the School District of South Milwaukee for its commitment to excellence, openness to external review and feedback, and desire to be the best we can be on behalf of the students we serve.

Parents and interested community members can learn more about the System Accreditation Process at www.advanc-ed.org.

To learn about the specific initiatives developed and promoted within the larger character driven education of the schools, please see the state website at www.wicharacter.org.



District Vision and Mission


Over the past eight years, the School District of South Milwaukee has engaged staff, students, parents, and community members in a dialogue about how to create the best possible future for our students. Through our Visioning and Planning process, we have established our mission, vision, and core beliefs and aligned our action plans to four areas: Curriculum Expectations, Character Education, Community Engagement, and Capital Effectiveness.

Examples of our recent action plan progress include:

Curriculum Expectations:

  • We boast award-winning elementary schools, including a five-time winner of the Wisconsin Promise School of Recognition.
  • We offer comprehensive K12 programs in art, music, physical education, gifted & talented, English as a Second Language, and special education.
  • We personalize student experiences through academies, alternative education, certificate programs, and 1:1 technology devices.
  • Students are able to earn college credit or advanced standing through Advanced Placement and more than 20 courses articulated with MATC.
  • In 2018, South Milwaukee High School earned a bronze metal from U.S. News & World Report in their national rankings of Best High Schools.
  • South Milwaukee High School seniors earned over $2.3 million in scholarships in 2018.

Character Education:

  • The “South Milwaukee Way” emphasizes respect, responsibility, honesty, kindness, and perseverance.
  • Our schools co-sponsor the annual Wisconsin Character Education Conference. We were named a State School District of Character by the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership in 2015, and our schools have been awarded numerous Wisconsin Promising Practices awards for their emphasis on Character Education.
  • In 2017, South Milwaukee was designated as a National District of Character.

Community Engagement:

  • Our high school has been accredited by North Central Association since 1909; our district is the first public school district in Southeastern Wisconsin to be fully accredited by AdvancED/North Central Association.
  • Schools benefit from active parent involvement at every level.

Capital Effectiveness:

  • We are committed to attracting, supporting, retaining quality staff. Professional development and training programs enhance continuous learning.
  • We invest in our infrastructure based on a study of the Pre K – 8th grade buildings. The District is effectively and efficiently providing a 21st century environment for instruction.

Please feel free to send any comments, questions, and suggestions to districtconnection@sdsm.k12.wi.us. I look forward to hearing from you!

 Sincerely,

 Rita M. Olson, Ph.D.