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FAQ

The frequently asked questions below are intended to serve as a resource for families and educators to better understand selected topics affecting online and blended learning. The questions are updated as new policies and guidance are created in response to questions the department receives. speech bubble icon

 

A: Online options for non-virtual charter schools

  1. How can a school district offer a online or blended program to resident students within the district without a virtual charter school?
  2. Why does a school need to be a virtual charter school to open enroll online nonresident students?
  3. May a school district offer a blended program, in which part of the instruction is provided on-site at a school, and part through on-line courses which may be completed at home? 
  4. Is a school district obligated to provide an online option if requested by parents?

B: The roles of the parent, facilitator, and teacher in online learning

  1. What are the duties of the online teacher?
  2. Is it true that the former requirement for 30 hours of professional to teach a K-12 online course has been repealed?
  3. What are the duties of the parent/learning coach (facilitator) in the virtual charter school?
  4. May the parent select the curriculum in a charter school? 
  5. May the parent request a curriculum not specified in the charter school contract?  
  6. May the parent select or request a curriculum in a non-charter school?
  7. Can a parent designate someone other than the parent to provide educational services to the pupil at home? If so, must this person be a certified teacher?
  8. May the parent design lesson plans and tests?
  9. Who is responsible to provide direct instruction to the pupil?
  10. May the parent issue or recommend grades? 

C: Curriculum

  1. May the parent select the curriculum in a virtual charter school? 
  2. May the parent request a curriculum not specified in the virtual charter school contract?
  3. May the parent select or request a curriculum when the school or program is not a virtual charter school?  
  4. May the district or virtual charter school adopt the nonsectarian portion of a sectarian curriculum? May they provide a payment to the parents to purchase a sectarian curriculum with the understanding that the parent will purchase the religious portion of the curriculum?
  5. Can a school district or virtual charter school create a homeschooling resource center? 

D: The roles of the school district or charter school

  1. Must a school provide a computer and internet access to pupils for online courses?  
  2. Is a district or virtual charter school required to provide a computer and internet access to a family that already has a computer in the home? Is the school required to provide a computer to each pupil in the family who is enrolled in the virtual charter school?
  3. Must the school provide a computer to pupils enrolled in blended programs?
  4. May the school reimburse parents for the costs of curriculum, books or materials, courses or internet connection?

E: Question about homeschooled students 

Note: Once a student enrolls in one of the full-time programs, they are no longer considered homeschooled, but are enrolled in the charter school or school district.

  1. Can a pupil be enrolled part-time in a public school and part-time in a home-based private educational program?
  2. Can a school district or virtual charter school create a homeschooling resource center? 

F: Fees

  1. May the school reimburse parents for the costs of curriculum, books or materials, courses or internet connection?
  2. Is the school district responsible for providing a computer and Internet access to students taking online courses?
  3. Is a district or virtual charter school required to provide a computer and internet access to a family that already has a computer in the home? Is the school required to provide a computer to each pupil in the family who is enrolled in the virtual charter school?
  4. May a school district require or allow a parent to pay for an online course (or any other course outside the district) with the stipulation that the school district will reimburse the parent only if the pupils completes and passes the course?  May the school district that pays for a pupil to take an online course (or any other course outside the district) require the parent to refund the cost of the course if the pupil fails to complete or pass the course?

G: Funding

  1. Can a school district provide services to homeschooled students and claim state aid for them?
  2. Can a school district or virtual charter school create a homeschooling resource center? 
  3. Can a pupil who is enrolled in a virtual charter school under the full-time open enrollment program take courses in her or his resident school district? Is there any payment to the resident school district if this occurs? How does this affect the resident school district’s state aid and revenue limit?

H: Questions that apply to virtual charter schools only

  1. May the parent select the curriculum in a virtual charter school? 
  2. May the parent request a curriculum not specified in the virtual charter school contract?  
  3. Can a pupil who is enrolled in a virtual charter school under the full-time open enrollment program take courses in her or his resident school district? Is there any payment to the resident school district if this occurs? How does this affect the resident school district’s state aid and revenue limit?
  4. If several school districts create a virtual charter school via a 66.0301 agreement, may a pupil open enroll to any of the school districts that participate in the consortium? 
  5. Why does a school need to be a virtual charter school to open enroll online nonresident students?
  6. Can a charter school authorized by an organization that is not a school district create a virtual charter school?
  7. Can a CESA or other consortia that includes a school district operate virtual charter schools?
  8. Can a public school student that has been expelled open enroll into a virtual charter school?

 

A: Online options for non-virtual charter schools

 

A1: How can a school district offer an online or blended program to resident students within the district without a virtual charter school?

If students are physically in school while taking online courses, there is no problem with the compulsory attendance law. If students participate in some or all of their educational program from home or another non-school location, Wisconsin Statutes provide flexibility to accomplish this purpose. Legislation allowing curricular modifications or  alternative programs are described below. One caveat is that students open enrolled into your district must physically attend in your district for the entire program unless they are enrolled in a virtual charter school.  The legal references follows.

Curricular Modification:

One of the other exceptions to the compulsory attendance law allows for curricular modifications within the district so that students, after following certain procedures, may take a virtual program within the school district with the approval of the school board.

118.15(1)(d)  Any child's parent or guardian, or the child if the parent or guardian is notified, may request the school board, in writing, to provide the child with program or curriculum modifications, including but not limited to:

1. Modifications within the child's current academic program.

2. A school work training or work study program.

3. Enrollment in any alternative public school or program located in the school district in which the child resides.

4. Enrollment in any nonsectarian private school or program, or tribal school, located in the school district in which the child resides, which complies with the requirements of 42 USC 2000d. Enrollment of a child under this subdivision shall be pursuant to a contractual agreement under s. 121.78 (5) that provides for the payment of the child's tuition by the school district.

5. Homebound study, including nonsectarian correspondence courses or other courses of study approved by the school board or nonsectarian tutoring provided by the school in which the child is enrolled.

6. Enrollment in any public educational program located outside the school district in which the child resides. Enrollment of a child under this subdivision may be pursuant to a contractual agreement between school districts.

(dm) The school board shall render its decision, in writing, within 90 days of a request under par. (d), except that if the request relates to a child who has been evaluated by an individualized education program team under s. 115.782 and has not been recommended for special education, the school board shall render its decision within 30 days of the request. If the school board denies the request, the school board shall give its reasons for the denial.

This begs the question, “why can’t a student open enroll into a district and then use the curricular modification provision to attend a virtual program other than a virtual charter school.”   The answer to this question lies within the open enrollment law:

118.51(2) Applicability. A pupil may attend a public school, including a charter school, prekindergarten, 4-year-old kindergarten, or early childhood or school-operated child care program, in a nonresident school district under this section, except that a pupil may attend a prekindergarten, 4-year-old kindergarten, or early childhood or school-operated child care program in a nonresident school district only if the pupil's resident school district offers the same type of program that the pupil wishes to attend and the pupil is eligible to attend that program in his or her resident school district.

Open enrollment allows a student to “attend” a program in the nonresident district.  If they are not in the district, they are not “attending” the program.  The open enrolled student must physically attend school within the geographic boundaries of the non-resident school district every day school is in session.  The exception to this is that a student may open enroll into a virtual charter school outside of their school district.

Alternative Program:

School Districts have additional flexibility using alternative education programs to craft blended options for students. An alternative education program means an instructional program, approved by the school board, that utilizes successful alternative or adaptive school structures and teaching techniques and that is incorporated into existing, traditional classrooms or regularly scheduled curricular programs or that is offered in place of regularly scheduled curricular programs. Alternative educational program does not include a private school, a tribal school, or a home-based private educational program. Wis Stat. § 115.28(7)(e).

This flexibility can apply to a blended program in which part of the program is online and offered to the student wherever that student is as long as the student resides in the district and the “program” does not meet the definition of a virtual charter school. Teachers need to be properly licensed, the Board has to have a policy, and the school must specify where the student is expected to be.

 

A2: Why does a school need to be a virtual charter school to open enroll online nonresident students?

 
Wisconsin's compulsory attendance law states that a child who is between the ages of 6 and 18 years must attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the public, private, or tribal school in which the child should be enrolled is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the child becomes 18 years of age. Wis Stat. § 118.15(1)(a). One of the exceptions to this law is for students attending virtual charter schools. Wis Stat. § 118.15(1)(g)

 

A3: May a school district offer a blended program, in which part of the instruction is provided on-site at a school, and part through on-line courses which may be completed at home? Must the school provide a computer to pupils enrolled in blended programs?

Yes, school districts may offer blended programs. However, unless the blended program is part of a virtual charter school, pupils who are open enrolled into the school district may participate in the blended programs only if the pupil is required to attend school all the days and hours that school is in session. Thus, the pupil must travel into the school district for the online courses. 

If the online portion of the blended program is intended to be completed at home, the school district must provide a computer and internet access.

A4: Is a school district obligated to provide an online option if requested by parents?

No. The school district is not obligated to offer online courses. The parent's recourse would be to other educational options for the student.

 

B: The roles of the parent, facilitator, and teacher in online learning

 

B1: What are the duties of online teachers?

An instructional staff member is responsible for all of the following for each pupil the instructional staff member teaches:

  1. Improving learning by planned instruction - The school district is responsible for making sure that the courses reflect the district curriculum and that students get enrolled into the appropriate classes. In many school districts this is done by a guidance counselor, case manager, or mentor-coach working with students. In an online setting the selection of purchased online courses is similar to purchasing textbooks. Online courses provide a base from which teachers or a curriculum committee can modify the material to meet the district's curriculum. It is also possible for a district to create its own online courses, but this is an arduous and normally expensive proposition.

  2. Diagnosing learning needs - The teacher is responsible for following each student's progress through the course. Teachers should continually be assessing students' learning, diagnosing learning needs, and prescribing solutions. Some common examples of learning needs identified in online courses could be:

    • Students do not have the prerequisite skills.

    • On a class discussion board some students are not giving thoughtful responses. Some students may not be participating at all, may be giving trivial answers, or giving unsupported opinions.

    • Students may have a disability. Additional requirement apply regarding students with disabilities, the IEP process, and admissions of students with disabilities.)

    • Students may not be able to apply a particular skill to practical situations. The identification and responses to learning needs in online learning are somewhat different than in a face-to-face classroom. Teachers need to be familiar with techniques that are effective in both settings.

  3. Prescribing content delivery through class activities - While much of the content may be prescribed by the district curriculum or charter school contract, there is much flexibility in its delivery. Particularly in online courses, fostering student involvement through class activities is essential to retaining students in the class. This may be as simple as ensuring that the class discussions are vibrant and engaging. It can also mean, however, project-based learning - perhaps in small groups. Students might deliver presentations via video or other web-based tools. Students can virtually connect with experts worldwide. They have the capacity to publish their work online to specific audiences ranging from parents to public groups. The possibilities are endless and it is up to the certified teacher to assign the class activities.Teachers will need to plan for and coordinate the provision of specially designed instruction and needed supports for students with IEPs to ensure these students are able to access instruction and demonstrate their learning.

  4. Assessing learning - Teachers are responsible for formative assessment to monitor each student's progress and ensure that they are on track to meet the learning goals. Teachers are also responsible for summative assessment which usually involves assigning a final grade for the course. Most online courses come with predefined assessments for each unit as well as a final assessment. Teachers may need to modify these to insure that they match district curricula and standards. When assessing students with disabilities, teachers will need to ensure that each student is provided with needed testing accommodations if any are required. The teacher is also responsible for following each student's progress through the course and taking action when the assessments identify a problem for a particular student. The local district will also have an academic integrity policy in regard to plagiarism, etc. It is the responsibility of the online teacher to make sure that students are abiding by it. Learning Management Systems (as well as the Student Information System) in online courses often provide a wealth of information about students' times logged in, times on task, and assessment results. Especially in cases where the students pace, time or motivation seems to be a problem; teachers will want to work with the local contact person (sometimes called a local education guide, coach, case manager, mentor, or liaison) for further insight.

  5. Reporting outcomes to administrators and parents and guardians - The teacher is responsible for reporting the final grades and any other assessment data required by the school administration. The teacher will also want to keep the local contact people (local education guides, coaches, case managers, mentors, liaisons, or parents) well informed so they can assist the teacher with the students' learning. Online courses are particularly suited to keeping parents and guardians informed and involved as they can be given online access to their student's progress and work. Indeed, continual communication and collaboration is a key to success. Communication with students, parents, counselors, etc. can be accomplished via phone calls, e-mails, progress reports, screencast videos, texting, announcements on home page, web conferences, and feedback within individual assessments. In addition, necessary accommodations must be provided, as appropriate, to ensure access to such communication by students and parents with disabilities. Teachers need to communicate clear expectations, provide prompt responses and regular feedback. Teachers in virtual charter schools must respond to inquires from pupils and from parents or guardians of pupils by the end of the first school day following the day on which the inquiry is received. Wis Stat. § 118.15(8)(d).

  6. Evaluating the effects of instruction - As teachers go through classes, they should reflect on what works and what can be improved with an eye toward improving the online class. Student assessments and participation can be used as data. State and other standardized tests can inform the teacher about which standards and objectives students are learning and which may need additional attention.

B2: Is it true that the former requirement for 30 hours of professional to teach a K-12 online course has been repealed?


Yes, the requirement for 30 hours of professional development was repealed in 2013 Wisconsin Act 20: 2013-15 Budget.

B3: What are the duties of the parent/learning coach in the virtual charter school?

Parents and learning coaches are active participants in a pupil’s education. Because the pupil may often work from home in the presence of a parent, the duties may be more extensive than in a traditional learning environment. The parent/learning coach is responsible for the following:

  • Support the child with organizational skills by assisting with tracking assignments and project deadlines.
  • Provide an adequate workspace free of distractions and conducive to study.
  • Assist the child in developing and following time management schedules.
  • Be in communication with the pupil’s teacher to discuss progress and comprehension.
  • Be an advocate for the pupil in dealing with the online provider.
  • Actively encourage the pupil to stay engaged.
  • Follow good parenting techniques: In the same manner a parent supports a child and ensures a balance of school work and free time in a traditional school, the parent of a child in a virtual charter school should ensure that this balance is met in a virtual setting, by asking questions about what they are learning and by staying actively involved in the child’s education.

B4: May the parent select the curriculum in a virtual charter school?

The charter school contract is required to include a description of the educational program at the school. The contract may specify multiple curricula and may provide for parents to work with school staff to select a curriculum from those specified in the contract.

B5: May the parent request a curriculum not specified in the virtual charter school contract?

The charter school contract may allow for parents to request curricula not specified in the contract, but such curriculum must be reviewed by the virtual charter school to determine that the curriculum is appropriate and consistent with the educational goals of the virtual charter and is nonsectarian. 

B6: May the parent select or request a curriculum in a non-virtual charter school?

State statutes require each school board to provide curriculum, course requirements and instruction consistent with specific expectations and knowledge, skills and subjects to be taught, as enumerated in the law.

The school board must provide a curriculum that meets the required goals of academic skills and knowledge, vocational skills, citizenship, and personal development.

Parents and pupils may be offered a choice of more than one school-board approved curriculum that meets the statutory requirements.

B7: Can a parent designate someone other than the parent to provide educational services to the pupil at home? If so, must this person be a certified teacher?

The parent may designate a person other than her/himself to be the pupil’s “learning coach.” If this person is not a member of the instructional staff of the virtual charter school, s/he is not required to be a certified teacher.

B8: May the parent design lesson plans and tests?

No, planning instruction and assessing learning are required to be performed by certified instructional staff. Tests or other non-state assessments must be designed or adopted by the teacher or virtual charter school. As in any learning environment, it is important for the parent to be actively engaged in their child’s education. Frequent communication will help the teacher planning lessons for the child.

B9: Who is responsible to provide direct instruction to the pupil?

The teacher must be available to provide direct instruction for at least the applicable number of hours prescribed in the state standards. “Available to provide” direct instruction does not mean that the teacher is merely a resource to the parent to be called upon when asked. The teacher must plan the instruction and must deliver direct instruction to the pupil. The parent may provide supportive instruction in addition to the direct instruction provided by the teacher. The amount of time and character of the instruction to be delivered by the teacher and the supportive instruction to be delivered by the parent must be determined by the teacher, in accordance with the teacher’s assessment of the pupil’s needs.

B10: May the parent issue or recommend grades?

No. Instructional staff members are responsible for assessing learning, evaluating the effects of instruction and reporting outcomes to administrators and parents or guardians. While communication with the parent may be part of the assessment and evaluation process, such communication is for the purpose of providing information to the teacher and not for the purpose of transferring any part of the teacher’s professional responsibilities to the parent.

 

C: Curriculum

 

C1: May the parent select the curriculum in a virtual charter school? 

The charter school contract is required to include a description of the educational program at the school. The contract may specify multiple curricula and may provide for parents to select a curriculum from those specified in the contract.

C2: May the parent select or request a curriculum not specified in the virtual charter school contract?

The charter school contract may allow for parents to request curricula not specified in the contract, but such curriculum must be reviewed by the virtual charter school to determine that the curriculum is appropriate and consistent with the educational goals of the virtual charter and is nonsectarian. The contract must specify the criteria by which the curriculum will be reviewed.

C3: May the parent select or request a curriculum when the school or program is not a virtual charter school?

State statutes require each school board to provide curriculum, course requirements and instruction consistent with specific expectations and knowledge, skills and subjects to be taught, as enumerated in the law. 

The school board must provide a curriculum that meets the required goals of academic skills and knowledge, vocational skills, citizenship, and personal development. 

Parents and pupils may be offered a choice of more than one school-board approved curriculum that meets the statutory requirements. If a parent requests a specific curriculum, the school board may honor the request after reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it meets statutory requirements.

C4: May the virtual charter school adopt the nonsectarian portion of a sectarian curriculum? May the virtual charter school provide a payment to the parents to purchase a sectarian curriculum with the understanding that the parent will purchase the religious portion of the curriculum?

No. Any curriculum must be purchased directly by the school. A public school is prohibited from adopting a sectarian curriculum.

The parents may provide sectarian instruction as dictated by their beliefs. State law permits pupils to be absent from school for 60-180 minutes per week for religious instruction, but no part of sectarian instruction may be adopted or paid for by the school district or virtual charter school.

C5: Can a school district or virtual charter school create a homeschooling resource center?

Nothing prevents a school district from offering services to home schooled pupils. However, except as specifically provided in state law, Wis. Stats. § 118.53, such pupils may not be counted in membership for state aid and revenue limits.

 

D: The roles of the school district or charter school

 

D1: Must a school provide a computer and internet access to pupils for online courses?

The school must provide a computer and internet access to pupils at the site at which the instruction occurs. In a virtual charter school, instruction is intended to be delivered in the home. Therefore, the school must provide a computer and internet access to the pupil at home.

D2: Is a virtual charter school required to provide a computer and internet access to a family that already has a computer in the home? Is the school required to provide a computer to each pupil in the family who is enrolled in the virtual charter school?

Every pupil who is enrolled in a virtual charter school must be provided her or his own computer. However, if the pupil already has an appropriate computer and internet access, the parent may decline to accept them.

D3: Must the school provide a computer to pupils enrolled in blended programs?

If the online portion of the blended program is intended to be completed at home, the school district must provide a computer and internet access.

D4: May the school reimburse parents for the costs of curriculum, books or materials, courses or internet connection?

All curricula, textbooks and instructional materials, must be purchased by the school. All courses must be taught by licensed employees of the school district or charter school.

In the case of an internet connection, if it is impossible for the school to provide and pay for the connection directly, the school may give the parent a check or voucher made out to the internet provider.

 

E: Question about homeschooled students

 

E1: Can a pupil be enrolled part-time in a public school and part-time in a home-based private educational program?

No. A pupil must be enrolled full-time in either public school, private school, or a private, home-based education program (homeschooling).

However, under the part-time attendance law, Wis. Stats. § 118.53, homeschooled students may attend a public school on a part-time basis. A school district is required, space permitting, to allow pupils who are enrolled in a homeschool program to take up to two courses per semester at any public school. Students must satisfy the minimum standards for admission to a course offered by the school district.

E2: Can a school district or virtual charter school create a homeschooling resource center?

Nothing prevents a school district from offering services to homeschooled pupils. However, except as specifically provided in state law (Wis. Stats. § 118.53) such pupils may not be counted in membership for state aid and revenue limits. 

F: Fees

 

F1: May the school reimburse parents for the costs of curriculum, books or materials, courses or internet connection?

All curricula, textbooks and instructional materials, must be purchased by the school. All courses must be taught by licensed employees of the school district or charter school.

In the case of an internet connection, if it is impossible for the school to provide and pay for the connection directly, the school may give the parent a check or voucher made out to the internet provider.

F2: Is the school district responsible for providing a computer and Internet access to students taking online courses?

Yes. The Wisconsin constitution states:

Article X, Section 3: “The legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years;...”

In the case of online courses, the computer and Internet are required for a student to access their education and, thus, must be provided free of charge. In the case where the online classes are taken during the school day in the school facility, the district may provide access to a school computer within the facility. Where, however, access is required at home or from another non-school location, the district is responsible for providing that access.

F3: Is a virtual charter school required to provide a computer and internet access to a family that already has a computer in the home? Is the school required to provide a computer to each pupil in the family who is enrolled in the virtual charter school?

Every pupil who is enrolled in a virtual charter school must be provided her or his own computer. However, if the pupil already has an appropriate computer and internet access, the parent may decline to accept them.

F4: May a school district require or allow a parent to pay for an online course (or any other course outside the district) with the stipulation that the school district will reimburse the parent only if the pupils completes and passes the course? May the school district that pays for a pupil to take an online course (or any other course outside the district) require the parent to refund the cost of the course if the pupil fails to complete or pass the course?

No. The state constitution provides that public school must be free and without charge for tuition. A school district is prohibited from charging tuition to resident pupils. The only statutory exception to this prohibition allows a school district to charge a pupil for driver education, if the district does not grant credit for the course.

 

G: Funding

 

G1: Can a school district provide services to home schooled students and claim state aid for them?

Part Time

Since January, 1998, a school district has been required, space permitting, to allow a private school student or a homeschooled student to attend up to two courses per semester. Please review the document on counting part-time students from the School Financial Services Team for  more information on counting students under these circumstance. 

Full Time

You may offer services to students who are currently homeschooled in your district; but, they become public school students when you enroll them. Although resident students may be physically located in their homes, you take on the same responsibility for these students as any other student in your district.  According to Wisconsin Statute 118.01 "Each school board should provide curriculum, course requirements and instruction consistent with statutory expectations enumerated under sub. (2)."   Subsection 2 and subsequent sections of the statute spell out the knowledge, skills and subjects to be taught.

As specified by Article X, Section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution, religious instruction is prohibited. Students must be taught by appropriately certified teachers and the rules regarding mandatory state testing are the same as for any other student. While parents are certainly encouraged to be active in their child's education, a certified teacher is responsible for each student for:

  1. Improving learning by planned instruction,
  2. Diagnosing learning needs,
  3. Prescribing content delivery through class activities,
  4. Assessing learning,
  5. Reporting outcomes to administrators and parents and guardians,
  6. Evaluating the effects of instruction.

Non-resident students open enrolling into your school district must either be physically present in your district for instruction or must enroll into a virtual charter school.

G2: Can a school district or virtual charter school create a homeschooling resource center?

Nothing prevents a school district from offering services to homeschooled pupils. However, except as specifically provided in state law, Wis. Stats. § 118.53, such pupils may not be counted in membership for state aid and revenue limits. 

G3: Can a pupil who is enrolled in a virtual charter school under the full-time open enrollment program take courses in her or his resident school district? Is there any payment to the resident school district if this occurs? How does this affect the resident school district’s state aid and revenue limit?

 

The resident school district is not required to permit pupils who have transferred out of the district under open enrollment to take any courses or participate in any activities in the resident school district. However, the resident school district is not prohibited from allowing the pupil to do so.

Since there is no statutory provision addressing this circumstance, there is also no statutory provision for payment. However, the nonresident and resident school districts may enter into a 66.0301 agreement, whereby the virtual charter school pays an agreed-upon amount to the resident school district.

Since the resident school district has already included the open enrolled pupil in its membership for state aid and revenue limits, there is no adjustment.

 

H: Questions that apply to virtual charter schools only

 

H1: May the parent select the curriculum in a virtual charter school?

The charter school contract is required to include a description of the educational program at the school. The contract may specify multiple curricula and may provide for parents to select a curriculum from those specified in the contract.

H2: May the parent select or request a curriculum not specified in the virtual charter school contract?

The charter school contract may allow for parents to request curricula not specified in the contract, but such curriculum must be reviewed by the virtual charter school to determine that the curriculum is appropriate and consistent with the educational goals of the virtual charter and is nonsectarian. The contract must specify the criteria by which the curriculum will be reviewed.

H3: Can a pupil who is enrolled in a virtual charter school under the full-time open enrollment program take courses in her or his resident school district? Is there any payment to the resident school district if this occurs? How does this affect the resident school district’s state aid and revenue limit?

 

The resident school district is not required to permit pupils who have transferred out of the district under open enrollment to take any courses or participate in any activities in the resident school district. However, the resident school district is not prohibited from allowing the pupil to do so.

Since there is no statutory provision addressing this circumstance, there is also no statutory provision for payment. However, the nonresident and resident school districts may enter into a 66.0301 agreement, whereby the virtual charter school pays an agreed-upon amount to the resident school district.

Since the resident school district has already included the open enrolled pupil in its membership for state aid and revenue limits, there is no adjustment.

H4: If several school districts create a virtual charter school via a 66.0301 agreement, may a pupil open enroll to any of the school districts that participate in the consortium?

 
No. A pupil may only open enroll to the school district in which the virtual charter school is located, as designated in the agreement.
 

H5: Why does a school need to be a virtual charter school to open enroll online nonresident students?

 
The compulsory attendance law states the students must “attend school during the full period and hours.”
 

118.15 Compulsory school attendance.

(1) (a) Except as provided under pars. (b) to (d) and (g) and sub. (4), unless the child is excused under sub. (3) or has graduated from high school, any person having under control a child who is between the ages of 6 and 18 years shall cause the child to attend school regularly during the full period and hours, religious holidays excepted, that the public, private, or tribal school in which the child should be enrolled is in session until the end of the school term, quarter or semester of the school year in which the child becomes 18 years of age.


There are four exceptions to this law. One of the exceptions to this law is (g) is for students attending virtual charter schools.
 

118.15(1)(g) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a person having under control a child who is enrolled in a virtual charter school.


Other exceptions to the law are discussed in subsequent questions and do not apply to open enrolled student in virtual programs.

H6: Can a charter school authorized by an organization that is not a school district create a virtual charter school?

 
No, Other authorizers permitted by law to establish charter schools are not permitted to establish virtual schools under Wis Statute § 118.40 (2r) (b)4
 

118.40 (2r) (b) 4. No chartering or contracting entity under subd. 1. may establish or enter into a contract for the establishment of a virtual charter school.


Where the entities referred to under subdivision 1 are:
 

118.40 (2r) (b) 1. All of the following entities may establish by charter and operate a charter school or, on behalf of their respective entities, may initiate a contract with an individual or group to operate a school as a charter school:

a. The common council of the city of Milwaukee.

b. The chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

c. On a pilot basis, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

d. The Milwaukee area technical college district board.

 

H7: Can a CESA or other consortia operate a virtual charter school?

 
 
Yes, they may operate one, but one of its member school districts must authorize it.
 

118.40(8) Virtual charter schools.

(a) Location. For the purposes of sub. (7) (a), (am), and (ar), a virtual charter school is considered to be located in the following school district:

1. If a school board contracts with a person to establish the virtual charter school, in the school district governed by that school board.

2. If 2 or more school boards enter into an agreement under s. 66.0301 to establish the virtual charter school, or if one or more school boards enter into an agreement with the board of control of a cooperative educational service agency to establish the virtual charter school, in the school district specified in the agreement.

H8: Can a public school student that has been expelled open enroll into a virtual charter school?

Pupils who have been expelled by a public school district are eligible to open enroll if they can find a school that will take them. Some virtual charter schools are willing to consider applications from expelled pupils, depending on the reason for expulsion. The parent should contact the individual virtual charter school to inquire about their willingness to enroll expelled pupils.

If the enrollment is being requested outside of the normal open enrollment period (February - April), parents may apply during the school year under the alternative application procedure. More information is available on the DPI Public School Open Enrollment page.