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About the Data - Private School Enrollment

Overview | Cautions | Definitions | Calculating Rates | Data Changes | Data Sources | FAQ | Useful Links | Data Errata | Privacy | Contact Us


WISEdash Public-Private School Enrollment data was created from data collected under the new application for obtaining PI-1207 data which includes, among other things, private school Third Friday of September enrollment data by school and by grade.  Both Single Year and Comparison dashboards were created during this initial year while plans are made to provide trend data as soon as multiple years of data are collected.  

The DPI uses the PI-1207 to certify an institution’s status as a private school under Wis Stat. 118.165, and this certification is required in order to receive equitable services from an LEA under some federal programs such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); to receive services from DPI under the Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS) program authorized by the second and third stimulus funding programs ; to receive reimbursement from the USDA child nutrition programs as well as other state grant programs.

The data does not include the K4 students in public school community-approach K4 programs. These students are public school students and are counted under Public School Enrollment. The “CHC” Choice Identifier indicates the school was part of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Racine Parental Choice Program, or the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program on the Third Friday in September.

Where to Find Data about Private Enrollment
School Years  WISEdash   PI-1207 historical Excel Files 
 Data Files 
Beginning in 2020-21 X --
1992-93 through 2019-20 -- X


  1. WISEdash Public - Public School Enrollment data is first collected as a set of student level data, student level demographics, and student level enrollments and then aggregated by school and demographic to provide counts and percentages of enrollment at public schools.  Such student-level data is uploaded from the individual district's student information systems and are otherwise used in multiple places and in multiple systems. Because of this, there are controls in place that, among other things, help prevent students from being missed, prevent students from being counted twice, and prevent students from being reported under incorrect demographics.  In contrast, the PI-1207 data student counts are hand entered -in aggregate- by gender and by grade. As such, there are few built-in controls to validate the accuracy of these data.  Counts reported here are as they were reported to the DPI. 
  2. Because student attribute data, other than gender (2020-21 only) and grade, are not being collected in private enrollment counts, the dashboard cannot disaggregate by any of the other standard disaggregations that you typically see in other dashboards.  
  3. Statewide counts are determined through the aggregation of all counts reported by private schools through the PI-1207 application and are not independently counted or verified.  As such, statewide counts are the total of all schools reporting counts and not necessarily an absolute count of all private students enrolled on the Third Friday of September.  In other words, statewide private enrollment may be under-reported by the total number of private schools not reported through the PI-1207 application (if any).     

Definitions of Key Terms

For definitions, see the WISEdash Glossary 

Code abbreviations used for Grade Levels:

  • K4 = 4-year-old Kindergarten
  • PK = Pre-Kindergarten
  • KG = 5-year-old Kindergarten
  • UE = Ungraded Elementary
  • US = Ungraded Secondary

Codes used in District Type:

  • 03 = District

Codes used in School Type:

  • 14 = Private School

Calculating Rates

Student Counts - The sum of reported student counts by grade and by gender.

Percentage - The sum of reported student counts for a given student group divided by total student counts across all student groups.

Statewide Counts - The sum of reported student counts from the private school reporting data. 

Data Changes Over Time

  • Beginning in 2021-22, gender was removed from the data collection.  As such the student attribute 'gender' is available within WISEdash only for 2020-21.
  • Beginning in 2020-21, efforts were made to replace these Excel spreadsheets with WISEdash Public dashboards as the main method of reporting data.  This was done to better present the information in a format that was interactive and responsive to user questions. As users still needed to download data, simpler downloads, similar to those provided in other WISEdash Public dashboards, were created to fulfill this need.  Data is "frozen" prior to being displayed in WISEdash Public and, therefore, will be constant over time. 
  • From 1992-93 to 2019-20, PI-1207 private school enrollment data was presented in a detailed set of user-friendly formatted Excel spreadsheets, as this was the only public reporting done for this data set.

Data Sources

  • Beginning in 2020-21, PI-1207 private enrollment data is collected through an online application and displayed through dashboards in WISEdash Public. 
  • From 1992-93 to 2019-20, PI-1207 private enrollment data was collected through a paper form, compiled into Excel spreadsheets and posted on the DPI website. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Private School Enrollment

  1. Does the data include the K4 students in public school community-approach K4 programs?

    No, it does not include those K4 students. Those students are public school students and are counted under Public School Enrollment.

  2. What is the definition and significance of non-profit status for a private school?

    A private school is required to be a non-profit organization to be eligible for equitable participation in some federal programs (e.g., Elementary and Secondary Education Act, etc.). Generally, a non-profit organization is a legal entity whose net earnings cannot lawfully benefit any private shareholder or entity.

  3. What’s the consequence of marking False/No to one of the state statutes?

    If a school selects False/No to one or more of the state statutes, then DPI will assume the school does not comply with private school requirements. DPI will mark the school as Inactive and will not include the school in the printed or online school directory.

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