New open enrollment requests approved in Ashwaubenon
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The Ashwaubenon school board voted last month to approve 278 new open enrollment requests from non-resident students, with less than one-sixth as many students living in the district granted permission to attend school elsewhere in 2021-22.
“We’ve had more applications (for open enrollment) than we’ve had in a typical year – 314 total applications,” Business Director Keith Lucius said. “We are recommending 278 for approval (and) 36 for denial.”
Lucius said the reasons for the district denying new open enrollment applications are limited, such as 21 students having special education needs for a program with no open seats.
“We had 10 students who are in a grade with zero open seats, and they’re being placed on a waiting list,” he said. “As we see students move out (of Ashwaubenon), or other students change (where they attend school), we can bring those students in.”
Lucius said two students have an individualized education plan pending for special education, one student is ineligible because of age and two others are habitually truant students being denied admission under open enrollment.
More than 230 students residing in the Green Bay school district accounted for the majority of new incoming open enrollment requests approved for 2021-22 in Ashwaubenon, with nearly 100 enrolling in 4-year-old kindergarten/early childhood or 5-year-old kindergarten.
Ashwaubenon, which has about a third of its approximately 3,200 students attend the district under open enrollment, does not require existing open enrollment students to reapply for admission.
The district receives funding for non-resident students who attend Ashwaubenon.
According to the 2020-21 budget, the amount of open enrollment funding coming from other districts is expected to exceed $9 million for the current school year.
Lucius said the district received 45 applications from 42 resident students seeking to leave Ashwaubenon.
“Students can apply to multiple districts,” he said. “That’s how that number (of requests) can be more than the number of students. We really don’t have the ability to deny them (from leaving the district), but the state still requires you to approve them.”
Lucius said he believes more parents are applying to multiple districts for their children to have options where to attend, in the event a district switches to virtual learning, for example.
Of the 45 requests to transfer out of Ashwaubenon for 2021-22, 21 applied to attend school in Green Bay.