What is Open Enrollment?
The Mequon-Thiensville School District participates in the Wisconsin interdistrict Open Enrollment Program, which allows parents to apply for their children to attend school districts other than the one in which they live. Wisconsin residents in grades Kindergarten through 12 may apply to participate in open enrollment. Parents must submit application forms to nonresident school districts during a window of time that generally begins with the first full week in February and runs through the last week in April (Please go to Department of Public Instruction website for exact dates and times). Each year the Board of Education meets to determine whether seats will be available and, if so, which grade levels will have openings. If there are more applicants than there are seats available, the District engages in a computerized random selection process to determine accepted applicants.
Currently, fifty (50) students who reside in various Wisconsin communities attend the Mequon-Thiensville Schools, while sixty-eight (68) students who reside in Mequon-Thiensville have elected to attend school in other communities through the Open Enrollment program. The vast majority of the resident students attending school in another community through Open Enrollment are attending virtual schools.
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When and how are students selected for the Open Enrollment Program?
Students are able to apply for admission into the Open Enrollment program during a window of time that generally begins the first full week in February and runs through the end of April. The State of Wisconsin utilizes an on-line application process. The Mequon-Thiensville School District coordinates the selection process for students through the use of a computerized program. Students are randomly selected into the Open Enrollment program.
What is Chapter 220?
The Mequon-Thiensville School District has participated in the Chapter 220 Program since 1986. The program was developed to promote racial balance in public schools in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. The program is voluntary. Resident Milwaukee minority students have the option of attending the Mequon-Thiensville School District and are transported daily from the city to the Mequon-Thiensville School District. Resident Mequon-Thiensville students have the option of attending various schools in the Milwaukee area.
Each year the Board of Education meets to determine whether seats will be available and, if so, which grade levels will have seats available. Currently, 89 students who reside in Milwaukee attend the Mequon-Thiensville Schools, while two students who reside in Mequon-Thiensville attend Milwaukee Public Schools.
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When and how are students selected for the Chapter 220 Program?
Students are able to apply for admission into the Chapter 220 program in February of each school year. The application is completed in person at the Milwaukee Public Schools District Office, 5225 West Vliet Street in Milwaukee. Milwaukee Public Schools coordinate the selection process for students. Students are randomly selected into the Chapter 220 program.
How is the Open Enrollment program different from Chapter 220?
While both programs allow non-resident students to attend Mequon-Thiensville schools, there are significant differences between the two programs: Chapter 220 is a race-based program, meaning that only students of color from the City of Milwaukee are able to participate in the Chapter 220 program. Transportation is provided to participants of the Chapter 220 program. Open Enrollment is not a race-based program and a student from anywhere in the State of Wisconsin is allowed to participate in the Open Enrollment program as long as the family is able to provide transportation. Transportation is not provided in the Open Enrollment program. The Chapter 220 program helps lower the tax levy for property owners in the Mequon-Thienwville School District. The number of students in the Chapter 220 program does not provide the school district with additional revenue. The Open Enrollment program provides the school district with approximately $6,800 to educate an Open Enrollment student. The District's local per pupil cost is approximately $12,000.
How are the Open Enrollment programs and Chapter 220 program similar?
The two programs are similar in that students selected to participate are randomly chosen through a computerized system.