School Start Date Information
2001 Wisconsin Act 16 eliminated the provision that allowed a school district to commence its school term before September 1 in any year that it held a public hearing and adopted a resolution to do so. Act 16 allows a school district to make a request to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to commence its school term before September 1. The department may only grant a request if it determines that there are extraordinary reasons for granting it. DPI was required to promulgate administrative rules to implement and administer this provision. The rules can be found here: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/pi/27.
(1) Except as provided in subs. (2) and (3), beginning in the year 2000, no public school may commence the school term until September 1.
(2) Subsection (1) does not prohibit a school board from doing any of the following:
(a) Holding athletic contests or practices before September 1.
(b) Scheduling in-service days or work days before September 1.
(c) Holding school year-round.
(3) A school board may commence the school term before September 1 in any school year if the school board requests the department to allow it to commence the school term before September 1 and the school board includes reasons with its request. The department may grant a request only if it determines that there are extraordinary reasons for granting it. The department shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this subsection.
School Start Date Waivers
Waiver requests from school districts must be made by letter and signed by the district administrator and/or the president of the school board (an electronic copy is acceptable). In order to request a waiver, the district must provide an opportunity for the community to offer input regarding the proposed waiver. The opportunity may be provided in conjunction with a regular school board meeting as long as it is publicized well in advance. The waiver request must include a description of the response of the community to the proposed waiver as indicated by a record of the public hearing held in the district. It must also include a copy of school board minutes showing board action endorsing the request for waiver and the board's adoption of the ratified calendar covered by the waiver. The letter and supporting documents can be sent to Christine Tiedje. School start date waivers are effective for one year.