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District of Residence (Resident District)

Resident District: WISEdata

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Resident District is based on where the student typically sleeps at night. This may be at home, in an institution, or in any other facility.

An exception exists for students with disabilities who, for EDUCATIONAL purposes, are placed by a school district in a residential facility located outside the school district (e.g., WSD and WCBVI). Although these students may sleep at the residential facility, the "Resident District /Public Agency of Responsibility" is the school district that placed the child in the facility.

​In WISEdata, Resident District is not necessary or expected for any student who lives in and receives his or her primary PK-12 educational services from the district submitting the data for that student. Resident District is assumed to be the submitting district unless otherwise noted by inclusion of data in the Resident District field. If the resident district is not the district submitting to WISEdata for that student, then the submitting district will need to submit the code for the resident district.

USES: Resident District helps determine information about where students live in relation to which district submits and is responsible for them. Additionally, Resident District may also be critical in tracking a discipline incident to the correct school where the incident occurred.

FAQs, Details, and Points to Note

Supreme Court Ruling, District of Residence, and Educational Rights: In State v. Thayer, 74 Wis. 48 (1889), the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that students are entitled to a free public education from the resident district. If the student is living in a school district "for other, as a main purpose, than to participate in the advantages which the school affords," then the student is a resident for school purposes. Note that:

  • A student may have a district of residence other than that of his or her parents.
  • The right to a free public education exists as soon as the student becomes a resident of the district; there is no minimum length of residency before this right takes effect.
  • The Supreme Court ruling applies in almost all situations, but note special provisions for certain students at Residential Care Centers as listed in §. 115.81, Wis. Stats. See the Answers Section of District Data Collection and Reporting page for more information about Residential Care Centers and WISEdata.
  • In all situations, Resident District as submitted in WISEdata should be the school district where the student typically sleeps at night as long as the main purpose of this sleeping arrangement is not educational.
  1. Services Provided by Non-resident Districts: For WISEdata purposes, students should be submitted as enrolled in one, and only one, district at any given point in time. As authorized by law, contract, or agreement, a student may receive educational services from a nonresident Wisconsin district. If the nonresident district provides the primary PK-12 educational services, then the nonresident district should submit data for the student. If PK-12 educational services are provided by multiple Wisconsin districts simultaneously, then the district that most directly supervises the primary PK-12 educational services for this student should submit to WISEdata for the student. If the submitting district is not the resident district, then use the Resident District field to document this fact in WISEdata. Examples are provided below.
    • Example 1: If the resident district is District A and, pursuant to a District A IEP, a student with disabilities is receiving his/her primary educational services from District B, then District B submits data for that student. District B would include the code for District A in the Resident District field.
    • Example 2: If the resident district is District A and a student attends District B under part-time open enrollment, but the student's primary educational services are provided by District A, then District A would submit data for the student. Inclusion of data in the WISEdata Resident District field is not required or expected.
    • Example 3: If the resident district is District A and a student attends District B under a full-time open enrollment program, then District B would submit data for the student and would indicate District A as the resident district.

To contact the DPI Special Education Team, submit a Special Education Team Help Ticket, or call: 1 (608) 266-1781

If you need assistance from the Customer Services team, please submit a WISE Help Ticket.
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