Strong Private Education
In addition to excellent public schools, the Milwaukee region is home to many privately run elementary and secondary schools. Many are church affiliated, such as Marquette University High School and Divine Savior Holy Angels, but several are not. University School of Milwaukee and University Lake School are not related, but both provide high quality education from pre-kindergarten through high school. University School is located on 123 acres in River Hills north of Milwaukee while University Lake School is located in Hartland, west of Milwaukee.
Other preparatory schools (pre-kindergarten through high school) are Brookfield Academy located near Brookfield Road and Capital Drive in Brookfield; and The Prairie School, which is located in northern Racine County. Lake Country’s non-denominational Christian Education Leadership Academy (CELA) in Pewaukee serves students in 4K through 8th grade. Founded in 1884, St. John's Northwestern Academies is an independent, coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for grades 7-12.
Private schools play an important role in educating Wisconsin children. They offer parents an opportunity to have their students attend a school based on a specific curriculum, teaching approach or value system. Southeastern Wisconsin has strong parochial schools that include primarily Roman Catholic and Lutheran schools (please see "Parochial Schools" below). There are also several private schools that are not affiliated with a particular religion. These schools provide varying levels of education. Some offer only elementary schooling, others offer a full curriculum that spans from pre-kindergarten through high school. For detailed information on private schools, including tuition, please see pages 31-38 of the current edition of Discover Milwaukee. Click on the "Order Copy Now" button below to receive your free copy, or see the digital edition.
Marquette University High School
3401 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee
Grades 9 - 12 Catholic, all-male college-preparatory day school
No. of Students: 893
Students per teacher 11:1
% Attend College: 99%
Average ACT Score: 27.0
Telephone: (414) 933-7220
The Prairie School
4050 Lighthouse Drive, Wind Point
Preprimary through grade 12 independent college-preparatory day school
No. of Students: 624
Students per teacher 9:1
% Attend College: 100%
Average ACT Score: 31.0
Telephone: (262) 752-2500
University School of Milwaukee
2100 W. Fairy Chasm Rd., River Hills
Prekindergarten (age 3) through grade 12 independent college-preparatory day school
No. of Students: 1,132
Students per teacher 10:1
% Attend College: 100%
Average ACT Score: 27
Telephone: (414) 540-3320
The Milwaukee area boasts exceptional schools, both public and private. Private, parochial schools of various denominations offer families a faith-centered, values-based education that embraces the whole individual – mind, body and spirit – while adhering to high academic standards.
Elementary schools are typically associated with a church, which can provide specific information about the school, including cost. Parochial high schools operate independently. Information about high schools can be found on page 52 of the current edition of Discover Milwaukee. Click on the "Order Copy Now" button to receive your free copy.
For 175 years, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee have taught lifelong Christian values that enable students to become future leaders, faith-filled disciples and engaged citizens. In 85 elementary and 16 high schools throughout the 10-county area, Catholic school educators are rooted in the recognition that each student is a unique human being progressing through various stages of growth and development. Every day, nearly 27,000 students are encouraged to grow in mind, body and spirit – in safe, supportive environments.
To ensure that Catholic education is accessible and affordable to as many families as possible, the Archdiocese participates in three State of Wisconsin Parental School Choice programs. 73 Catholic schools serve over 12,000 students enrolled through these programs, enabling parents to exercise this faith-based, academic option for their children. Activities inside and outside the classroom guide students to embrace a life grounded in the Gospel and prayer, creating communities of love and service.
The fully accredited curriculum in Catholic schools adheres to all state and federal standards, with students exceeding the national average on standardized tests at all grade levels. In addition to individual schools, Seton Catholic Schools (setoncatholicschools.com), with 11 schools in Milwaukee County, and Siena Catholic Schools (sienacatholicschools.org), with six schools in Racine County, share resources while serving a broad spectrum of students from all faiths and backgrounds.
Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee
District Office: Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 5301 S. Lake Dr., St. Francis
85 elementary schools, 16 high schools
No. of Students: 26,948
Telephone: (414) 769-3300
Find a school at: www.archmil.org/schools
Wisconsin has a large Lutheran population and two synods of The Lutheran Church – Missouri and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran – offer elementary and secondary education in southeastern Wisconsin. The South Wisconsin District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod operates 52 elementary schools, 24 preschools/childcares, and six high schools, five of which are located in the metro area: Milwaukee Lutheran High School, Racine Lutheran High School, Lake Country Lutheran High School (Hartland), Living Word Lutheran High School (Jackson), and Martin Luther High School (Greendale). The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has four high schools in the area: Wisconsin Lutheran and Kingdom Prep (Wauwatosa), Shoreland (Somers) and Kettle Moraine (Jackson).
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
52 elementary schools, six high schools and 24 freestanding pre-schools and childcare centers in southern Wisconsin; District Office: 8100 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee 53222. Telephone: (414) 464-8100. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.swd.lcms.org
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
393 elementary/early childhood schools, 28 high schools (synodwide); Synod Office: N16 W23377 Stone Ridge Drive, Waukesha 53188. Telephone: (414) 259-4354. Info: www.wels.net/serving-you/christian-life/education/lutheran-schools/
For More Information
A complete listing of school information and data is available in the current edition of Discover Milwaukee. Click on the "Order Copy Now" button to receive your free copy.
Making Schools Accessible
There are several programs designed to help students attend private schools and to help high school students transition to college. Following are brief descriptions of some of the major programs that are available.
Private School Choice Programs
Private School Choice Programs available to qualifying families include the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Racine Parental Choice Program and the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program. Participating schools receive a state aid payment for each eligible student. Eligibility requirements vary but are typically based on student residence, income and prior year attendance. There is also an age requirement that must be met for grades K4, K5, and 1. For application information, visit dpi.wi.gov/sms/choice-programs/student-applications.
Special Needs Scholarships
The Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP) allows a student with a disability, who meets certain eligibility requirements, to receive a state-funded scholarship to attend a private school in Wisconsin that participates in the program. The school receives a state aid payment for each eligible student. For information, please visit: dpi.wi.gov/sms/ special-needs-scholarship/studentapplications