Applications accepted Feb. 2 - April 30, 2015
Applications may be submitted from Feb. 2, 2015 until April 30, 2015 at 4 p.m. for the state's Open Enrollment program that allows parents and guardians to choose the public school district their children will attend next school year. For exceptions to the open enrollment application period, click here.
Under the public school Open Enrollment program, parents apply for their children to attend a school district in which they do not reside. Applications are for the 2015-16 school year. Parents may request that a child be enrolled in a specific school or program.
Who can apply?
Any student from any district may apply with the understanding that parents/guardians must provide all transportation to and from school.
How do you apply?
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Open Enrollment application process is now online. From midnight Feb. 2 through 4 p.m. April 30, applicants may complete and submit applications 24 hours a day. Online applications are automatically sent directly to resident and nonresident school districts as well as the DPI. Online applicants are encouraged to print the full completed application for their records. Please visit here to fill out an application.
Those who do not have access to a computer may request paper applications from any school district. Paper applications must be sent to the individual nonresident school districts within the application period.
Please do not submit both paper and online applications.
Do I need to submit any documents with my application?
No, just the completed application with parent/guardian signature and date.
Where do I submit my application?
Applications must be submitted to the district the student wishes to enter, not the home district. Forms can be mailed or brought to the district in person.
Who gets the application?
The district's Open Enrollment coordinator handles applications. Hard-copy applications are submitted to the Open Enrollment coordinator at Hamilton High School. If the Open Enrollment coordinator is not in, the application may be dropped off in the Superintendent's Office.
How does the Open Enrollment lottery work?
The Hamilton School District follows state law and holds three lotteries. The first lottery is for those who currently attend the district, the second is for siblings of current students, and the third for students who are not included in the first two lotteries.
Names are drawn and numbers assigned based on the drawing. The number assignments are by grade level, each which has its own waiting list. If a seat at a particular grade level becomes available, the waiting list from the corresponding grade level is referenced to determine who is offered that seat.
What are the chances that my child will be chosen in the lottery?
Seats are determined using various factors which include financial, staffing resources and classroom teacher-student ratios. Seats are also determined by the number of children who might enroll or withdraw in summer when most families make enrollment transitions. These factors are in flux until near the start of school, which prevents the district from predicting the likelihood of a student on the waiting list being offered a seat.
How are people notified if they are chosen from the waiting list?
Using contact information provided on the Open Enrollment application, the district first calls parents, and then emails them if a phone call is not successful.
When do I find out if my child has been accepted?
The resident district and all districts to which families have applied will notify parents in writing. The district to which the student applies will notify parents by June 5, 2015. Resident districts may notify parents of approval to leave by June 12, 2015.
Are there any seats available?
The district has no seats available except for students who are currently attending the district and have applied after attending through a tuition waiver.
Will the number of seats change?
The number of seats can change. The state law allows the district to estimate its needs up until the Open Enrollment lottery. Students who do not get a seat through the lottery are placed on a waiting list.
How does the waiting list work?
The Hamilton School District creates a waiting list at each grade level. If seats become available, families are contacted and invited to register. The district tries to make acceptance decisions before to the start of the school year. Generally, students from the waiting list are accepted by the end of August.
Are grades or attendance a consideration?
No, state law only requires that schools review pre-expulsion and expulsion records and check to see if a child is in special education.
Does the Open Enrollment program allow people to apply who are in special education programs?
Yes, however, as with any student, space must be available in the grade level and special education program the child needs.
Can K4 students apply?
Yes, K4 students may apply, but the district of residence must also have a K4 program. In other words, the applicant's home district must have a K4 program to be considered for Hamilton's 4K program.
What if my child is accepted at more than one district?
Parent may apply to up to three districts. Each district operates its lottery process independently of the others, therefore it is possible to be chosen by more than one district. Parents may reject an invitation to enroll in a district, however they may legally only accept one placement. Parents must complete a final form to confirm which district to attend by June 26, 2015 or within 10 days of receiving notice that the student was selected from a waiting list.
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.
Transportation is the responsibility of the parent. Reimbursement of transportation costs is available for low-income parents whose children are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the federal school lunch program.
For answers to specific questions not provided on-line or in informational brochures, please contact:
Erica Bova-Brown, Hamilton's Open Enrollment Program Coordinator, at (262) 246-6471 x1170; or
Mary Jo Cleaver, DPI Open Enrollment Coordinator, at (608) 267-9101