“SB2 gives families more freedom to choose the best learning environment for their child.” - Wisconsin Virtual Learning Executive Director Melissa Horn.
FREDONIA, Wisc., – Hundreds of students wanting to get into a virtual charter school may qualify for immediate open enrollment under special criteria in a new Wisconsin school law, according to Wisconsin Virtual Learning Executive Director Melissa Horn.
SB2, which needs only the governor’s signature to become law, also expands Wisconsin’s open enrollment period for the next school year to three full months in February, March and April.
“Our school was very involved in promoting this bill with our legislators because hundreds of families contact us throughout the school year, looking for an educational alternative to resolve an immediate academic or behavioral problem their child is facing in school. Until now, these families sometimes had to wait over a year before their child could enroll,” Horn said.
“SB2 gives families more freedom to choose the best learning environment for their child,” she said. “With this bill, students will no longer have to wait to get the education they deserve, in the environment that works best for them.”
Whether applying for immediate enrollment under special circumstances or preparing for the spring open enrollment period, the first step for families interested in virtual school, Horn said, is to fill out the brief enrollment form on the school website, www.wisconsinvl.net. This starts the enrollment process and will trigger a call from a student learning advocate to discuss the needs of the family and the offerings of Wisconsin Virtual Learning.
Horn said SB2 will allow parents to enroll a child in a state-approved virtual school, or other public schools, at any point during the school year under seven criteria, including evidence that doing so is “in the best interests of the child.”
Horn said her staff has begun contacting families that have shown interest in WVL and the school's current families to inform them about the provisions contained in SB2. She expects many of the interested families to apply for enrollment under the criteria once DPI publishes details of the application process.
Resident school districts can deny open enrollment applications sought under the seven criteria, with an appeals process through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). SB2 was passed Nov. 3 by the General Assembly and awaits Gov. Walker’s signature.
Special criteria for open enrollment any time during the school year includes that a child is or was homeless, is a victim of violent crime, or was subjected to repeated bullying or harassment that the resident school failed to stop. Children who just moved into the state, or whose residence changed due to court order, foster home placement or a parent’s military orders, also are eligible.
The seventh criteria is that “the parent of the pupil and the nonresident and resident school boards agree that attending school in the nonresident school district is in the best interests of the pupil, with an appeals process to DPI when the resident district does not agree the move is in the best interest of the pupil,” according to a press release by State Rep. Andre Jacque, the bill’s primary sponsor in the General Assembly.
Wisconsin Virtual Learning (WVL) is a 4K-12th grade public virtual charter school with highly qualified and experienced Wisconsin-certified teachers and a track record of eight years of student success. WVL offers a diverse selection of learning pathways including online classes, independent learning, and curriculum choices to best meet the individual learning styles and needs of each student. The school’s toll-free information line is 1-866-301-0401.
Source: Wisconsin Virtual Learning. Contact Jessica Berish, 262.416.8648, firstname.lastname@example.org