b'MOVE MKE: EDUCATIONOpen EnrollmentCharter Schools Wisconsins public school open enrollment allows parents to sendCharter schools are public schools that are granted greater their children to any public school district in the state, provided thefreedom in their operation so that they can develop innovative school district they select has openings for open-enrollmentprograms and curricula that could improve education as a whole.students. The application period runs from early February through the end of April. Transportation is generally the responsibility ofWisconsin charter schools are non-religious, free to the public, and the parent. Parents can apply online directly from the Departmentopen to all children in the state. They are created through a of Public Instruction (DPI) website (dpi.wi.gov/open-enrollment)contract, or charter, between the schools operator and the or by completing paper applications available from the DPI orauthorizer, which is typically a school board, technical college or public school district.university. Examples of charter schools include the Downtown Montessori Academy in Milwaukee, the High School of Health Parents normally apply for open enrollment for the followingSciences in Wales and the Waukesha STEM Academy in school year during the three-month application period. However, ifWaukesha. parents miss that window, the state established a procedure by which parents may apply for open enrollment outside of theAlthough charter schools are exempt from many of the state laws regular application period, called the alternative application. and rules that govern public schools, they are required to have a licensed instructional staff, participate in the state student testing Parents may submit applications to up to three nonresident schoolprogram and school report cards, and must comply with student districts for each child during the open enrollment applicationhealth and safety regulations. For more information, call the DPI at period. Parents may apply for their children to attend 4-year-old(800) 441-4563 or visitdpi.wi.gov/sms/charter-schools.kindergarten if the resident school district also offers a 4K program for which the child is eligible. Virtual charter schools provide all or a portion of their instruction through the internet. The students and instructional staff are Most students who attended a nonresident school district undertypically located in different geographic areas. Like other charter open enrollment last year are not required to reapply for theschools, virtual schools are publicly funded, nonsectarian schools following school year. However, if the student will be enteringexempt from many regulations that apply to traditional public middle school, junior high school, or high school, parents shouldschools. Pupils typically attend from their homes and call the school district to find out if they will be required to reapply.communicate with teachers using e-mail or online discussions.discovermilwaukee.com 37'