General Open Enrollment Information

What is the full-time inter-district public school open enrollment program?

Wisconsin’s full-time-time inter-district public school open enrollment program allows parents to apply for their children to attend school in a school district other than the one in which they reside. [Wis. Stats. § 118.51]

Who may participate in public school open enrollment?

Pupils in 5-year-old kindergarten to grade 12 may apply to participate in open enrollment.

Open enrollment for prekindergarten, 4-year-old kindergarten, and early childhood education is limited. Parents should call their resident school districts to find out if their preschool-aged children qualify for open enrollment.

How and when may parents apply?

The open enrollment application period for the school year is from February – April of each year. Parents/guardians may apply online at

Applications outside of the timeframe listed above can still be accepted; however, an alternative open enrollment form must be submitted. Parents/guardians may apply online at:

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.

How do students get to school?

Parents are responsible for providing 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.

Information about open enrollment may be obtained from:

Department of Public Instruction/Open Enrollment
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841

Web site:

Toll-free phone number: 888-245-2732