The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has posted a number of resources for Choice schools and parents for the upcoming 2020-21 student application process. Resources For Parents: dpi.wi.gov/choice

  • Link to Online Parent Application
  • Application Process Presentation
  • Parent Brochure (available in English and Spanish)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (available in English and Spanish)
  • Online Parent Application Print Screens
  • School Lists and Contact Information (will be posted by January 31)
  • Allowed Residency Documents
  • Alternative Residency Documentation Form
  • 2020-21 Income Limits
  • Department of Revenue (DOR) Income Determination Method FAQ

In an effort to better assist parents applying for the Choice programs, DPI is requesting that Choice schools who include a link to the Online Parent Application or other Choice application documentation on their school websites use dpi.wi.gov/choice or https://dpi.wi.gov/sms/choice-programs/student-applications. Both links take parents to the same student-application webpage which includes the new Online Parent Application link and all the parent resources listed above. These resources may be helpful in answering questions parents have when applying. In addition, the Online Parent Application link changed in December 2019. While the old Online Parent Application link will redirect users for a few months, the DPI is requesting schools make the update to one of the above links as soon as possible. 

Choice schools may wish to include language on the school’s web page directing parents to contact the school with questions. For example, the school could post “Parents or guardians enrolling students for the Choice program should direct any questions to school name at phone number or email address.” and insert the school’s information in the underlined text. 

Please remember parents must electronically submit the Online Parent Application at dpi.wi.gov/choice,and all applicants, regardless of their Choice status in the prior school year, must apply for the program every yearSchools may assist parents during the application process, but schools may not submit applications on behalf of parents in the Online Parent Application. Schools can answer questions and have computers available for parents to use. 

Please also note that beginning with the 2020-21 school year, per 2019 Act 55, the open application period for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) begins on the first weekday in February and ends on the third Thursday in April. For the 2020-21 school year, parents will be able to apply to schools for the WPCP from Monday, February 3, 2020 to Thursday, April 16, 2020. 

The February open application period for the 2020-21 school year for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and the Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP) will begin on Monday, February 3, 2020 and end on Thursday, February 20, 2020. Please note that the April open application period for the MPCP and RPCP for the 2020-21 school year will end on Monday, April 20, 2020, which is different from the end date of the WPCP open application period (see above paragraph). Please see the Application Process Bulletin at School Application Processing for additional information regarding all application periods for these programs. 

Many parents complete the Online Parent Application in early February. As a result, the Online Parent Application and OAS may be slow in the beginning of February. If parents receive an error when applying in early February, they should try again the next business day. If a school offers an open lab for parents to complete the Choice application, the school may want to consider having the lab after early February. Schools are also encouraged to remind parents that Choice applications received in the same open application period are not accepted on a first come, first serve basis. 

Resources for Schools Processing Applications: School Application Processing

  • Student Application Checklist
  • Application Process Bulletin
  • Student Eligibility and the Application Grade or Prior Year Requirement
  • Application Verification and Corrections FAQ
  • Random Selection Agreement
  • Income Documentation Bulletin
  • Residency Documentation Bulletin
  • Student Tuition and Fees Bulletin
  • Online Parent Application Print Screens
  • Alternative Residency Form
  • Tuition Income Determination Form
  • Annotation of Birth Certificate Form
  • Information on Choice Administrators and Designees and Obtaining OAS Passwords Bulletin

Choice schools can access the Online Application System (OAS) by clicking on “Information for Schools” located on the left menu bar of Private School Choice Programs

DPI recommends all Choice administrators and designees review Online Training Modules 8-1 to 8-4. DPI recommends all WPCP administrators and designees review Online Training Module 10 “WPCP Application Process”. These training modules are available at Choice programs – On Demand Training. These trainings will assist schools in processing, verifying, and submitting applications.