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Charter School Licenses

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

Licensure in Charter Schools-Tier I

There are two licenses available for staff hired in a non-virtual charter schools when the person hired does not already hold the appropriate Provisional, Lifetime or Master Educator License in the subject(s) and grades or for the position they hold.

Charter School License

Candidates for the Charter School License are issued this five year license if by June 30*, they can verify the following:

  1. hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited, four-year institution of higher education
  2. are assigned to teach in grades and subjects for which they do not hold a Provisional, Lifetime or Master Educator License
  3. can demonstrate content knowledge in that subject through one of the following:

Application Process for Charter School License

An applicant who meets the criteria under 1-3 above will follow the directions to apply for the charter school license found here: https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/elo/other/charter-teacher

Next Steps

There are no professional development requirements for renewing this license.

* Individuals who do not qualify for the above licenses before the beginning of the school year may be eligible to apply for a One-Year License with Stipulations license. Please see https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/elo/substitute-emergency/lws-oneyear for more information.

 

Charter School Principal License:

Candidates for the Charter Principal License are issued this five year license if by June 30*, they can verify:

  1. a valid, regular (not provisional) principal license from another state; and
  2. three years of full-time classroom teaching

Application Process for Charter School License

An applicant who meets the criteria under 1-2 above, will follow the directions to apply for the charter school license found here: https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/elo/other/charter-principal

Next Steps

There are no professional development requirements for renewing this license.

 

Note about licensing in virtual Charter Schools:

Up until the 2017-19 State Budget, staff hired to work in a virtual charter school had to hold a valid WI Provisional, Lifetime or Master Educator License (formerly: Initial Educator or Professional Educator license). Changes to state law under s. 118.19 (1b), s. 118.40 (8) (b), and s.121.02 now allow on-line teachers located in other states to teach WI students on-line courses under a valid license from that state. Teachers located in WI must still obtain a Provisional, Lifetime or Master Educator License in the grades and subjects of their assignment. The above Charter School License is not an option for teachers in a virtual charter school setting.

(For more information about charter schools, please see https://dpi.wi.gov/sms/charter-schools)