Residency, Moves, Senior Rule, Tuition Waiver, Tuition
Residency for purposes of elementary and secondary education is not defined in statute. The Wisconsin Supreme Court first addressed the definition of residency for this purpose in State Ex Rel. School-District Board V. Thayer, State Superintendent, 74 Wis. 48, 41 N.W. 1014. (1889). (Thayer).
Under Thayer, a child is a resident of the district where he or she lives, regardless of where his or her parent lives, unless the is there “for the sole purpose of having the privileges of the public school of the district to which he may be transferred.”
Thus, a foster child placed by an agency or court is a resident of the school district in which the foster parents reside. Conversely, a child placed by her or his parents with a relative for the purpose of attending school in the district in which the relative resides is not a resident for school purposes and is not entitled to a free education in that school district.
A child whose parents are divorced or separated and who lives with each parent part of the time may be considered to be a resident of both districts and may attend either or both as a resident. There is no requirement that the child live more than 50% in one parent’s district or the other.
Moves - Within Sauk Prairie School District and Elementary Attendance Areas
Elementary students are expected to attend the school within their address attendance area. When a family move occurs from one Sauk Prairie School District elementary attendance area to another Sauk Prairie School District elementary attendance area the student is expected to begin attending the new school. If the student wants to remain at their original school per school board policy, an appeal must be submitted to the Superintendent’s office for approval. If the appeal is denied, the family may appeal to the school board.
Moves- To Outside the District and Tuition Waiver
If a pupil moves from one school district to another school district, the pupil’s resident school district changes as a result. In most cases, the pupil enrolls and attends school in the new resident school district. However, often the pupil wishes continue to attend the former school district. The pupil may do so under either a “tuition waiver due to a move” or public school open enrollment or both.
For example, for a child who moves from Sauk Prairie School District to another district in October, a tuition waiver guarantees that the child may continue to attend Sauk Prairie for the remainder of that school year. However, the child may only continue to attend Sauk Prairie in future years if the pupil applies and is approved for open enrollment. The pupil may either apply for open enrollment during the annual February-April application period in anticipation of the move or may apply at the time of the move using the alternative application procedure. For more information on the Tuition Waiver program or to print a Tuition Waiver Form go to http://dpi.wi.gov/open-enrollment/funding/tuition-waivers
If a pupil has attained senior status while a resident of a school district, the pupil may complete the senior year in that school district, even if the pupil is no longer a resident of that district. Once a pupil has attained senior status, the pupil may continue to attend the school district until the pupil graduates or until the end of the school term in which the pupil turns 21.
Given the availability of various types of tuition waivers, regular open enrollment and alternative open enrollment, the necessity for parents to pay tuition is relative rare. However, there may be instances in which the only way a pupil can attend a nonresident school district is through parent-paid tuition, such as:
The pupil is not a resident of Wisconsin.
The pupil cannot open enroll for 4-year-old kindergarten because the pupil’s resident district does not have 4-year-old kindergarten.
Parent-paid tuition is the same as the open enrollment aid payment amount, which is prorated for less than full-time enrollment.
Resource: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
For questions please contact the district office and ask for the Students Records Registrar, or search the staff directory by title located in the upper right hand corner.