SDSM Earns District Accreditation

The School District of South Milwaukee is the first district in Southeast Wisconsin to earn full district accreditation from AdvancED, the most rigorous school accreditation organization in the United States. This distinction recognizes the district’s commitment to excellence for the benefit of students, including:

  • meeting high quality standards;
  • implementing a continuous process of improvement; and
  • engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review.


The AdvanceED Quality Assurance Review Team commended SDSM on several Powerful Practices, specifically:

  • Engaging internal and external stakeholders in a comprehensive process to develop a purpose and direction for the school district
  • A culture based on the “4 CEs” – Curriculum Expectations, Capital Efficiency, Character Education, and Community Engagement – to unify school and community stakeholders around clear improvement goals; and
  • The district’s exemplary character education program promotes a positive, welcoming climate and culture for schools, the district and the larger community.


Through the accreditation process SDSM met all five of the AdvancED standards of quality assurance and engaging in continuous improvement:

  • Purpose and Direction – The system maintains and communicates at all levels of the organization a purpose and direction for continuous improvement that commit to high expectations for learning as well as shared values and beliefs about teaching and learning.
  • Governance and Leadership – The system operates under governance and leadership that promote and support student performance and school effectiveness.
  • Teaching and Assessing for Learning – The system’s curriculum, instructional design, and assessment practices guide and ensure teacher effectiveness and student learning across all grades and courses.
  • Resources and Support Systems – The system has resources and provides services in all schools that support its purpose and direction to ensure success for all student.
  • Using Results for Continuous Improvement – The system implements a comprehensive assessment system that generates a range of data about student learning and system effectiveness and uses the results to guide continuous improvement.


In light of the AdvancED accreditation process, the district will focus its continuous improvement efforts on the following:  

  • Aligning the district literacy program at all levels to guarantee a rigorous, viable curriculum;
  • Constructing systems of analysis of student work to promote high expectations for all students;
  • Establishing systematic procedures for collecting and analyzing assessment results to increase student achievement;
  • Continuing support for systematic professional development; and
  • Cultivating teacher leadership to promote innovative practice.

The AdvancEd Executive Summary is available for review.

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