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About the Data - Enrollment

Overview | Data Availability | General Information |Learning Modality | Data Sources and Notes | Useful Links Glossary | FAQ| Data Privacy | Data Errata | Data @ DPI



Enrollment is a head count of all students receiving their primary PK-12 educational services through Wisconsin public schools. Enrollments by district, by school, and by student group are available for the public to view on the WISEdash Public Portal.

Data Availability

  • 2005-06 onward for most enrollment topics.  Data on homelessness begins with overall student counts in 2006-07.  Statistics on homeless students' primary nighttime residence and whether they are unaccompanied youth was added beginning in 2018-19.  See Education for Homeless Children and Youth for additional historical homelessness data.
  • Includes data for all public schools (including charter schools) in school districts and all non-district charter schools( under s. 118.40(2r) , Wis. Stats).
  • To view Enrollment data from 1995-96 through 2004-05 please see the WINSS Historical Data Files.

WISEdash Enrollment Dashboards: General Information


WISEdash is an effective tool for enrollment trend analysis and comparison across multiple demographic factors. Enrollment data are used extensively across data topics. Multiple Wisconsin statutory provisions relate to counting of students on the 3rd Friday of September so most publicly reported counts are as of that date which should be considered the Certified data.

  • Enrollment Count: The number of students enrolled on specific dates as determined by school enrollment/exit dates that cover those dates. Additional factors may be considered as described below.  Accountable district and school are used.
  • Percents by Student Group: Student group count as a percent of the enrollment count for all student groups combined.
  • Percent Change: For any given year, change in enrollment as a percent of prior year enrollment. Change in enrollment is the enrollment count for the given year less the enrollment count for the prior year.
  • Disability - Group By:
    • When grouping by Disability in the Enrollment dashboards, the students without disabilities (SwoD) and with unknown disability status (UNK) have been removed from the graph counts. This grouping method allows better comparison among the small counts of disability types. Each student is counted only once, even if they have multiple disabilities.  Disability code explanations appear in the chart above the graphs.
    • The Enrollment dashboard displays any disability codes with a count greater than 0.
    • The Enrollment Comparison dashboard displays the codes A, ID, EBD, LD, SL, and groups the remaining disability codes with counts greater than 0 into the "Other" category.
    • The Enrollment Trends dashboard does not group by Disability.
  • Total Enrollment: Total enrollment is not a headcount on a specific day.  This tallies the number of students that attended a Wisconsin public school at any time during the school year.  A student is counted only once for Statewide, Districts and Schools based on where they last exited enrollment or completed the school term.
  • Homelessness: Counts and percentages of students experiencing homelessness are tallied for the entire school year and attributed to the district-school where they last exited enrollment or completed the school term.  For this reason, reporting of homeless data generally lags one year behind the reporting of enrollment data.

Learning Modality

Starting in 2022-23, WISEdash Public Enrollment dashboards include a chart for Learning Modality which is a breakdown of students who were enrolled on the Third Friday of September by

  • Available US Department of Education required demographics (Economic Status, Race, English Learner status, Disability Status and Migrant Status), and
  • Learning Modality or how the student receives instruction:
    • Virtual – Receives instruction remotely or online only
    • Hybrid – Both remote/online and in-person instruction
    • In-Person – Full-time instruction at a district facility

If a year prior to 2022-23 is chosen, these charts will not display. As of this writing, a single year chart is given along with comparison charts.

Note: More on the definitions of Learning Modality can be found here.

WISEdash Enrollment Dashboards: Data Sources and Notes

  • Data Sources
    • Migrant Status In years prior to 2019-20 and including the Third Friday of September snapshot for 2019-20, this data was submitted directly by districts. In the 2019-20 Year End snapshot and in subsequent years, this data was gathered directly from the statewide migrant vendor. See the migrant status data element page for more information.

    • Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, enrollment data began being sourced from the WISEdata system.
    • Between 2005-06 and 2015-16 enrollment data was sourced from the Individual Student Enrollment System (ISES) Collections.
  • Data Notes
    • Count Inclusion For 3rd Friday of September and Child Count enrollment, districts must submit valid count inclusion flags.  
    • Disability Code Updates 2015-16 In 2015-16 the disability code CD - Cognitive Disability changed to ID - Intellectual Disability. The change was applied retroactively in the dashboard.
    • Race Ethnicity Code See Racial and Ethnic Data
    • Economic Status Economic status does not equate to eligibility for Free or Reduced Lunch. All students within districts participating in the National School Lunch Program under Provision 2 and districts and schools participating the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) are eligible for Free Priced Lunch. Though income data is gathered only at periodic multi-year intervals for program purposes, these districts and schools must use an alternate method to determine economic status annually. For WISEdash purposes, students are included in counts for the district/school accountable for the students' educational outcomes. Economic data are also used for non-accountability purposes including e-rate discounts and to qualify site/centers under the USDA child nutrition programs. School counts used for these other purposes may not match those on WISEdash because these other counts are based on where students actually sit even if accountability for the students' outcomes is assigned to another school, students served outside of school buildings are not counted at all, and in some cases charter, magnet, and partnership schools are excluded. In some cases, poverty rates reported by other sources are based on other data sources.
    • EL Status Beginning with 2017-18,  English learner status changed to display the value reported for the third Friday of September for this topic.
    • Homeless Status  Homelessness can be reported at any time during the school year.  That status remains with the student throughout the school year, regardless of transfers or regaining a permanent home.  Additional restrictions are applied to grouping and filtering homeless details to protect student privacy.  See Homeless Primary Nighttime Residence Type and Homeless Unaccompanied Youth for more information about how that data is collected.
    • School Year While school districts set their own school year calendars, the DPI has selected a fixed school year boundary of July 1 through June 30. WISEdata requires annual enrollments based on this DPI boundary. For data originating from WSLS and ISES enrollment periods may have spanned multiple school years; each student enrollment record is adjusted to fit within the dates of the applicable school year. No enrollment records are created for schools that are officially closed for a school year. Any records with overlapping dates are resolved in favor of the record with the latest exit date. The enrollment record with the earlier exit date is adjusted to end the day before the latter record begins. Records from different districts for the same student that overlap entirely are not reported.
    • Enrollment vs. Membership Enrollment and membership are collected separately and used for different purposes. Differences in the purposes of these collections affect which students count for which districts and whether or how much each student counts. Enrollment and membership counts will not typically match. For more details about the relationship between enrollment and membership, see Enrollment and Membership.
    • Use caution when comparing data between WISEdash and other reports or dashboards. Before making connections between the data or about the data understand the data sources and business rules behind the report or dashboard to ensure that they are truly representing the same outcomes.

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