What is Open Enrollment?
The inter-district public school open enrollment program allows parents to apply for their children to attend public school in a school district other than the one in which they reside.
Who can apply?
Any Wisconsin resident in 4K to grade 12 may apply to attend a nonresident school district under the open enrollment program. However, a child may transfer to a nonresident school district for early childhood education or 4K only if the child’s resident school district offers the same type of program and only if the child is eligible for that program in the resident school district.
When can parents apply?
The regular open enrollment application period for the 2017-18 school year begins on February 6, 2017, and ends at 4:00 pm on April 28, 2017. The best way to apply is online. Additional information on the regular open enrollment application season can be found on DPI’s applications page.
An alternative application procedure allows pupils to apply for open enrollment at any time during a school year if certain criteria are met. For additional information, please visit the alternative application procedures page.
Can applications be denied?
Both the nonresident and resident school districts may deny an application for reasons specified in state law. If an application is denied by either the resident or nonresident school district, the parent may file an appeal with the DPI within 30 days. The DPI is required to affirm the school district’s decision unless the DPI determines that the decision was arbitrary or unreasonable.
For more information appealing a denial, visit DPI’s appeals page.
How do students get to school?
Parents are responsible to provide transportation to and from school in the nonresident school district, except that transportation required in a child’s IEP must be provided by the nonresident school district. A nonresident or resident school district is permitted (but not required) to provide transportation to open enrolled pupils, however the nonresident school district is prohibited from picking up or dropping off a pupil within the boundaries of the pupil’s resident school district unless the resident school district agrees. Low-income parents may apply to the DPI for reimbursement of a portion of their transportation costs.
For more information on transportation, visit DPI’s transportation page.