Open enrollment application period begins

Parents and guardians can apply now to send their children to any public school in the state through the Wisconsin Public School Open Enrollment program.

The online application period for the 2019-20 school year opened Monday and runs through April 30, with applications available on the Department of Public Instruction website. Open enrollment is a tuition-free opportunity for parents to apply for their children to attend a public school in a school district other than the one in which they live.

The open enrollment program has been in operation for more than 20 years. In the 2017-18 school year, 60,820 Wisconsin students transferred through open enrollment.

Of note, application deadlines for the program are firm; early and late applications are not accepted. Districts will notify parents by June 7 whether their open enrollment applications have been approved.

Transportation to and from a nonresident school, in most circumstances, is the responsibility of the parent. However, some school districts may provide partial transportation. Parents with questions should call the nonresident school district office to find whether any transportation will be provided.

A directory of public school districts is also available on the DPI website.

For an application, visit To reach an open enrollment consultant, call 888-245-2732 or email


Guidance for parents and guardians

• Parents and guardians may complete open enrollment applications online. The online application will be available until 4 p.m. April 30.

• Parents are limited to no more than three applications to nonresident school districts for each child during the open enrollment application period.

• Applications must be filled out completely and accurately. Contact the nonresident school district office or the DPI if assistance is needed in completing the application.

• Parents may request enrollment in a specific school or program in the nonresident school district; however, enrollment is subject to space and other limitations and is not guaranteed.

• Most students who attended a nonresident school district under open enrollment in the current school year are not required to reapply for the subsequent school year. However, if the student will be entering middle school, junior high or high school in the 2019-20 school year, districts may require reapplication. Districts must notify parents of any reapplication requirement prior to the start of the application period.

• Parents may apply for their children to attend 4-year-old kindergarten under open enrollment only if the resident school district also offers a 4-year-old kindergarten program for which the child is eligible.