Part-time Attendance Option for Private School Students

APPLICABLE STATUTES

Section 118.145. Admission to high school.

(1) The school board of a district operating high school grades shall determine the minimum standards for admission to high school.

(4) The school board of a school district operating high school grades shall allow a pupil enrolled in a private school who has met the standards for admission to high school under sub. (1), to take up to 2 courses during each school semester if the pupil resides in the school district in which the public school is located and if the school board determines that there is sufficient space in the classroom.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Since January, 1998, a school district has been required, space permitting, to admit a private school student to take up to two courses per semester in the high school of the district in which the student is a resident. Students must satisfy the high school admission standards of the school district.

  • Pupils may take core courses such as math and science or non-core courses such as art and music.
  • Pupils must be residents of the school district in which they are applying.
  • School districts must allow students to take courses if space is available in the classroom, as determined by the school board, and if pupils meet high school admission standards.
  • The public school district may provide transportation. Parents should contact the school district to determine the district's policy about providing part-time attendance transportation.
  • Private school students may not participate in full-time or part-time public school open enrollment while they remain enrolled in the private school. However, they may apply to participate in full-time open enrollment in the following school year if the student plans to enroll in a public school district and cease being a private school  student. For more information on public school open enrollment, contact an open enrollment consultant at openenrollment@dpi.wi.gov; or call toll free 1-888-245-2732, then 2.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PART-TIME ATTENDANCE OPTIONS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS, CONTACT:

Janice Zmrazek, Consultant, School Management Services Team, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841, (608) 266-2803, or call toll free 1-888-245-2732, then 4, then 1.

PART-TIME ATTENDANCE Q & A

State Statute 118.145(4)

ENROLLMENT

1. Q: Is a private school student attending a public school part time considered to be enrolled in the public school district?

A. No, the student is enrolled in the private school and is attending the public school for up to 2 courses per semester.

2. Q: May a private school student participate in the full-time inter-district open enrollment program?

A. A private school student may not participate in full-time open enrollment while the student remains enrolled in the private school. If a private school student wishes to attend a different school district on a full-time basis in the following school year, the student's parent should fill out an application form during the February to April application period and submit it to the school district the parent wishes the student to attend (the nonresident district). Prior to attending the nonresident school district under the full-time open enrollment program, the student must enroll in the resident school district and must also follow any enrollment procedures established by the nonresident school district. The student would then cease to be a private school student.

COURSES & CREDITS

3. Q: What is considered a course?

A. Courses are defined in school district board policy. Course offerings are often referenced in student handbooks.

4. Q: Can the student take core and/or non-core courses?

A. Yes. Both core and non-core courses can be taken. However, school district board policy may require prerequisites or proficiencies for some courses.

5. Q: Do students get credit for the courses they take?

A. Yes. Part-time attendance students will earn the same credit for courses attended as the public school students.

6. Q: Would the credit transfer to the private school program?

A. The private school would determine if the credit would transfer.

7. Q: Can an eligible student request to attend any course that the school district offers?

A. Yes. Any high school course that is offered by the public school district would be available to eligible students.

8. Q: Can an eligible student be admitted into a public school district course at any time during the semester?

A. Deadlines for course enrollment are set by school district policy. An applicant should contact the district for deadline dates.

9. Q: Can fees be charged for a course?

A. Yes. A school district may charge to the private school student the same fees that are charged to a public school resident student (examples: driver's education, art supplies).

10. Q: If a private school student decides to take a public school course in the middle of the semester, can he or she enroll?

A. The school district board policy on late enrollment in courses would apply to all students.

11. Q: Can a student take more than 2 courses a semester?

A. School district board policy would determine whether or not a private school student would be allowed to take more than 2 courses. Districts can claim for membership purposes only two high school courses per semester per private school student.

12. Q: Can a student enrolled in a private school located outside her/his resident district take courses in the public school in the district where the private school is located?

A. No. The private school student may only take courses in the student's district of residence.

PROCEDURES

13. Q: What attendance, work load, and behavior rules would apply to the part-time attendee?

A. All students in attendance at a public high school will be treated the same with regard to doctor's excuses, course requirements, and behavior expectations.

14. Q: Does the district have to provide transportation for part-time attendance students?

A. No. Districts may provide transportation. Parents should contact the school district to determine the district's board policy about providing part-time attendance transportation.

15. Q: Does the part-time attendance student have access to student services and other resources in the public school?

A. Local school district board policy would govern whether or not these services would be provided.

16. Q: Is the public school district allowed to count private school students in the calculation of the district's equalization aid? In the calculation of the district's revenue limit?

A. The school district can count, on a full time equivalency (FTE) basis, private school students in the calculation of its equalization aid. The district counts each private school student for no more than two high school courses per semester. The district does not count private school students in the calculation of its revenue limit.

GRADE LEVELS

17. Q: Must the school district permit elementary and middle school-aged students enrolled in a private school to take up to two courses per semester at their local public elementary and middle schools?

A. No. The part-time attendance option for private school students applies only to high school courses. However, a school district may choose to provide services, including courses, to resident elementary and middle school-aged children enrolled in private schools.

18. Q: If a school district chooses to provide services to resident elementary and middle school-aged students enrolled in a private school, is the district allowed to count those students in the calculation of its equalization aid?

A. No. The district would not be permitted to count those elementary and middle school-aged students in the calculation of its equalization aid or revenue limit.

For questions about this information, contact Janice Zmrazek (608) 266-2803