Difference Between School Choice & Open Enrollment

What is the different between School Choice and Open Enrollment?

The MPSD has six elementary schools serving grades one through six. There are attendance boundaries established based on household address that designates which school a child should attend based on where they live.   These boundaries help to even out enrollment at the various schools, to avoid overcrowding and to help with planning for staff and materials.  Please see the boundary map to view the areas. 

The Manitowoc Public School District has two junior high schools. With some exceptions, students who attend north side elementary schools (Jackson, Madison, Stangel) move on to Wilson. Students who attend south side elementary schools (Franklin, Jefferson, Monroe) move on to Washington.

What if I don’t want my child to attend the boundary designated school?

Parents have the option of asking for their child to attend a different school than the one they live near/are assigned, this is referred to as “school choice.”  For example, your child lives in the Jackson Elementary boundaries, but would like to attend Monroe Elementary.

You can make this request by contacting the principal of the school you are assigned/live in the boundaries of according to the MPSD boundary map.  This should be completed by April 30th.  

Adequate classroom space, school test scores and other factors are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to approve the request.  Please be aware that this request is on a year to year basis.  This means, if a student is approved to attend an out of boundary school one year, it does not ensure they can attend that out of boundary school the following year.     

What is Open Enrollment?

Wisconsin’s public school open enrollment program allows students in 4-year-old kindergarten through grade 12 to attend any public school in the state if space is available and subject to certain other restrictions.  For example, you live in Valders, but would like your child to attend one of the Manitowoc Public Schools.  There is no tuition cost to the parent, but the parent is responsible for transportation. 

Parents may apply on-line from the Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) open enrollment web site at http://dpi.wi.gov/open-enrollment during the application period (typically February-April) or contact MPSD Open Enrollment Secretary, Pat Kiekhaefer at 920-686-4796 for more information.