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Wisconsin open enrollment

Wisconsin Open Enrollment information - how to enroll

Open enrollment in Wisconsin

Students in Wisconsin normally attend a public school in the district they physically live in. With Wisconsin's open enrollment program, students are able to apply to attend a public school in another district. 

  • Students may apply to attend up to three school districts every year.
  • Open enrollment in Wisconsin is available to all students enrolled in K through 12th grade
  • Applications may be rejected due to a plethora of reasons including: not enough available space in the school district, student behavioral issues, etc.
  • Students and parents can appeal denied applications through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Students who've already successfully enrolled in an outside school district do not have to do it again the next year. They're already enrolled in the school district until they graduate or transfer to another school district.

eAchieve Academy is an online public school (elementary, middle and high school) chartered by the School District of Waukesha. Open enrollment allows students from other school districts to transfer to eAchieve Academy.

Switching to eAchieve Academy's online school during open enrollment can be accomplished online through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. During the alternative open enrollment periods, students and parents will have to follow the alternative open enrollment procedure. 

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Open Enrollment Information for Wisconsin Students

Important dates for Wisconsin open enrollment 2020-2021

  • Monday, February 3rd, 2020. Open enrollment began. Parents need to submit applications online or straight to the nonresident school district.
  • Friday, May 29, 2020. Open enrollment ended at 4pm. Last day to submit an application.
  • June 7. Nonresident school districts must mail notices of approval or denial. If approved, the school must notify the parents. If denied, parents have 30 days to appeal.
  • June 14. Resident districts must tell applicants if they have been denied. If so, parents have 30 days to file an appeal.
  • June 28. Parents of accepted applicants must notify nonresident districts their students will be attending. If the parent doesn't notify the district, they may refuse to allow the pupil to attend.
  • Get more info about open enrollment straight from the Department of Public Instruction - 2020-21 Open Enrollment Brochure

Wisconsin Open Enrollment FAQs

Here are answers to the most common questions parents & students have about public school open enrollment:

What is open enrollment education?

The Open Enrollment Act allows students to attend any public school in their state. Parents or legal guardians of students may apply to public schools inside or outside their school district of residence. School districts are required to share information about the open enrollment process online, so parents can make an informed choice.

For more stipulations, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website here.

You can find Wisconsin state law governing open enrollment here.

Why do schools have open enrollment?

Open enrollment provides more options for students no matter where they live. Public education choices aren’t limited by their district of residence.

Who can apply using open enrollment?

Open Enrollment is available to all Wisconsin residents enrolled in Kindergarten through 12th Grade.

Do you have to pay for open enrollment?

There is no fee associated with the Wisconsin Open Enrollment application process. eAchieve Academy is completely tuition-free for students living anywhere in Wisconsin.

Can you attend school in another district?

Absolutely. Students in all Wisconsin school districts are welcome to apply to eAchieve Academy, an online charter school sponsored by the Waukesha School District.

How many school districts can I apply to?

A student may apply to no more than three school districts each year.

What does open enrollment mean for elementary schools?

According to Wisconsin Statute 118.51, pupils attending an underlying elementary school district of a nonresident union high school district may be granted acceptance by the school board even if space in the grade or program to which they applied is not available.

Elementary school students in any school district in the state are eligible to apply to our online public elementary school.

When is the Open Enrollment period?

The exact dates of open enrollment change every year. To apply for open enrollment in the 2020-2021 school year you must submit an application between February 3 - May 29, 2020.

Can I apply early?

No. Under no circumstances will early applications be considered.

What happens if you miss open enrollment?

Late applications are always rejected. You will need to apply using the alternative open enrollment procedure.

Can schools deny enrollment?

Yes. Your application can be rejected by either the school district you live in or the school district you are applying to. Open enrollment applications may be denied for a variety of reasons such as not enough space in the school district, current or past expulsion, habitual truancy or behavioral issues, a late or invalid application, and more.

What can I do if my application is rejected?

You may appeal the school district’s decision to the Department of Public Instruction within 30 days of the rejection. If the Department of Public Instruction upholds the rejection, you may appeal the decision to circuit court.

I am currently enrolled in eAchieve Academy. Do I need to apply again?

No. Students currently enrolled in eAchieve Academy do not need to reapply.

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