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.
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.
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 (a link to the online application is at the top of this page during the application period). Additional information on the regular open enrollment application season can be found HERE.
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 HERE.
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 the Wisconsin Department of Instruction appeals page HERE.
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 concerning transportation, visit the Wisconsin Department of Instruction Transportation page HERE.
Once a student is accepted into a school district, the student may continue to attend the district without having to reapply every year with three exceptions:
The nonresident district may require each student to reapply one time only — at the beginning of middle school or high school.
Under certain circumstances, a student who needs special education may be required to return to the student’s resident district.
Poor attendance can be a criterion for dismissal from the program and students may be required to return to their resident district.
A student who is attending a nonresident school district under Open Enrollment may return to her or his resident school at any time.
For answers to specific questions not provided on-line or in informational brochures, please contact:
Julie Toole at email@example.com or 262-695-5037
Or Contact the Wisconsin Department of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free: 888-245-2732