St. Marcus School is the education ministry of St. Marcus Lutheran Church and is located in Brewer's Hill Neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee.The school serves approximately 550 students from a variety of racial and economic backgrounds. The school defines itself by the three C’s: Christian, College Preparatory and Choice, but can only be fully appreciated by a personal visit to the school.
St. Marcus is a Christian school associated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. As such, students receive daily instruction in the old and new testaments of the Bible as well bi-weekly instruction in Luther’s Catechism. More importantly, the power of the Gospel to change lives and offer eternal hope is woven into the fabric of daily life at the school. The school’s ability to transform poorly behaved, mediocre or failing students into responsible, successful scholars can only be attributed to this Gospel-based approach.
As a rigorous, no-nonsense, no excuses, college preparatory school, St. Marcus takes the approach that all students who enter the school can and will earn the right to attend the four year college of their choice. Many students have entered St. Marcus several grade levels below the standard appropriate for their age and left the school performing above the seventieth, eightieth, or even ninetieth percentile of students nationally. The school’s philosophical and practical approaches to education make this possible. For example:
- Faculty believe and constantly express the idea that all students are college bound
- Students simulate the college experience by creating resumes, writing applications to matriculate to the next grade, and make numerous college visits around the nation before graduating from the school
- Students sign a covenant in which they commit to "do everything in their power to ensure their academic success and that of their fello students."
- Depending on a student's academics performance this may include:
- Attending study halls that begin at 7am and end at 5:30pm
- Thoroughly completing 3-4 hours of homework each night
- Calling their teachers day or night, whenever they face obstacles to their academic success
- Attending Saturday School and, if necessary, summer school
In short, the school believes there is no excuse for failure. Administrators, teachers, parents and students are expected to do whatever it takes to ensure the academic success of every student.
Finally, in two different senses, St. Marcus is a school of choice. It is a Choice school in the sense that the vast majority of students attend St. Marcus through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. It is also a school of choice in the sense that no teacher, parent or student attends St. Marcus against their will, rather, it is a choice. Through the MPCP, regardless of income, Milwaukee parents have the unique privilege of being able to choose the best school, public or private, for their children. St. Marcus is not the right choice for every student, every parent or every teacher. By signing the St. Marcus School Covenant at the beginning of each year, all members of the St. Marcus School community indicate that they “buy in” to the program and that they have chosen to participate.
The unique combination of being Christian, College Preparatory and Choice has enabled St. Marcus to achieve remarkable success in terms of behavioral change and academic performance. On average, St. Marcus students out-perform their peers in the City of Milwaukee by a very significant margin and out-perform their peers statewide in reading, mathematics and language skills at almost every grade level. More importantly, graduates of St. Marcus are equipped spiritually, academically, behaviorally and socially to be highly successful in high school and beyond.