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New District Administrator

New District Administrators

This webpage is designed to help new district administrators and independent charter school (ICS) administrators get started with DPI. Its goal is to give district administrators a guide for their responsibilities and to provide supporting resources for their positions. We welcome your feedback on how we can provide additional support to you as you lead Wisconsin's school districts. To do so, please click Contact Us at the bottom of the page. This will submit a Help Desk ticket to the Customer Services Team. 

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Getting Started

Licensing, Educator Advancement and Development - LEAD

The LEAD team focuses on the continuum of educator development in addition to other priority areas, such as attracting people to the profession and preparing them, license acquisition, evaluation, and professional development.

For more information about licensing and educator preparation, see the Licensing page. From this page, you can view background check requirements, apply for a license or check on a license status, as well as view educator prep programs.

Title I/ESSER Funding
  • The Title I and School Support Team, part of the DPI's Division for Student and School Success, provides statewide leadership and technical assistance for several federal and state programs supporting schools that serve low-income students, schools federally identified for support and improvement, and particular groups of students whose living situations create educational challenges.

  • Title I administers many grants, including the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Grant Program. The ESSER I Grant Program, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides funds to help LEAs respond to changes in student needs due to COVID-19 (CARES Act, Section 18003). Visit the ESSER page to learn more about the ESSER grant process and opportunities.

Special Education - SPED
  • The Special Education (SPED) team aids administrators in providing education to students protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To see who is IDEA eligible, view the IDEA Eligibility page. For more information about the SPED team and resources for IDEA-eligible students, visit the SPED page. The Information for Educators page also contains SPED assistance.

  • For SPED data collection guidelines, visit the Compliance Data page. The   page is a hub for defining disability categories and reporting information.

Office of Educational Accountability - OEA
  • The Office of Educational Accountability (OEA) Accountability page reviews school performance to meet state and federal accountability measures. To differentiate between state and federal accountability systems, review the Accountability Crosswalk. The state accountability system is administered through School Report Cards, which rates school and district performance outcomes. The federal accountability system is required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and ranks performance to identify the lowest performing schools and student groups for support.

  • The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) tests student knowledge and application through The Wisconsin Forward Exam, Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), PreACT Secure at grades 9 & 10, and the ACT with Writing. For state testing information, regulations, and timelines, visit the Assessment in Wisconsin webpage.

Academic Standards
  • Wisconsin Academic Standards specify what students should know and be able to do in the classroom. They serve as goals for teaching and learning. In Wisconsin, all state standards serve as a model. Locally elected school boards adopt academic standards in each subject area to best serve their local community.

  • Wisconsin’s Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning inform the design and implementation of all academic standards. All educational initiatives are guided and impacted by attitudes or principles for teaching and learning.

Wisconsin Information System for Educators - WISE
  • The Wisconsin Information System for Education (WISE) is a collection of tools used for data collection, ID generation, and improving educational outcomes for Wisconsin students. The Introduction to WISE video provides a short overview of WISE systems.

    • WISE Applications

      • WISEhome and WISEsecure are portals for managing security roles and application log-ins.

      • WISEadmin is a portal created specifically for District Administrators as a one-stop shop for what they need to know.

      • WISEdata collects required data from school districts through the student information system (SIS).

      • WISEdash presents student and school data in dashboards.

      • WISEstaff is used to manage the reporting of district staff.

      • WISEid is used to assign and manage student identity information.

      • WISEgrants is used to apply for federal grants.

      • WISELearn is used for professional learning and educational resources.

      • WISExplore is a project focused on improving the data inquiry process.

  • The WISEsecure Roles page explains security roles within a district. The WISEsecure Tasks for District Security Administrators (DSAs) page provides information on district security tasks.

  • To get started, create a WAMS ID with your district email address. Instructions for creating a WAMS ID and gaining authorization can be found on the Information for District Security Administrators (DSAs) section of the WISEhome and WISEsecure Access and Usage page. This page also demonstrates how to request access to many DPI applications. We recommend applying for access to WISEhome, WISEsecure, WISEadmin, WISEdata, WISEdash, and School Directory.

  • With access to detailed student information, student data privacy practices are essential. Please review the Student Data Privacy webpage for overview, training, and more information about student data privacy.

School Directory
  • The School Directory application allows districts, independent charter schools, and private schools to update the DPI database directly with contact information, grade levels, addresses, and school calendars. New District Administrators should request access to the online School Directory application via WISEhome to add or update their contact information for the district.

  • View the School Directory webpage for more information about School Directory data requirements.

  • Login to the School Directory application for access to the School Directory Management Portal.

School Finance Services - SFS
  • The School Financial Services team provides information and support to district administrators and fiscal staff, CESA/CCDEB administrators, legislators, public interest groups, taxpayers, researchers and media. For more information on the SFS team and the topics listed above, visit the SFS webpage.

Parental Education Options - PEO
  • The Parental Education Options (PEO) team provides technical assistance to school districts, schools, families, and the public in the areas of public school open enrollment, private schools, the Private School Choice Programs, Special Needs Scholarship Program, charter schools, and home-based private education (homeschooling). For more information on the PEO team and the topics listed above, visit the PEO webpage.

  • All superintendents are given access to OPAL (open enrollment student database), HOMER, (homeschooling database), TOS (transfer of service) and AUM (application user management system). District staff members who need access to OPAL, HOMER, and TOS must be authorized by the superintendent in AUM. The Department cannot add or delete users for these systems. Credentials for AUM will be provided to new superintendents by DPI’s open enrollment staff. These credentials will be used for AUM, OPAL, HOMER, and TOS. Credentials used for these systems are not the same as WAMS credentials.

If you are a new district administrator and need access to any of these systems, please contact DPI’s open enrollment team.

School Nutrition Team - SNT
  • The School Nutrition team provides nutrition information and program guidance to sponsors of the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Wisconsin School Day Milk Program, Afterschool Snack Program and the USDA Foods Program. For more information on the SNT team and the topics listed above, visit the SNT webpage.


Important Deadlines

  • There are two reporting deadlines for student information within WISEdata/WISEdash, one in December and another in May. The WISEdata Annual Tasks Checklist reviews these deadlines and their reporting requirements. To keep track of these important dates and other events, use the WISEdata Events and Due Dates Calendar.
  • Additionally, there are two pupil count dates, one in September and one in January. Membership and reporting information can be found on the School Financial Services website.
    • Reporting accurate data before these deadlines is extremely important for federal reporting, public reporting, accountability report cards, and some funding determinations. Use the following webpages to prepare for each snapshot:
  • Grant deadlines vary and are typically due August through October. More information can be found on the WISEgrants website.

Further Help and Resources