NOSD expects open enrollment to grow

Board makes 327 seats available in K-12 due largely to anticipated increase of students at outdoor learning school
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press staff

The Northern Ozaukee School District will make available 291 open-enrollment seats in kindergarten through grade 12 for the 2020-21 school year, the School Board voted Monday.

Another 20 seats in 4K are being made available. That projects to a total enrollment of 1,010 students at Ozaukee elementary, middle and high schools, Supt. Dave Karrels told the board.

In addition, the Riveredge Outdoor Learning Elementary School (ROLES), an NOSD charter school, expects to add 36 students from outside the district next year and hopes to increase its total enrollment to 90 students from kindergarten through fifth grade, up from 62 this year.

That would bring the district’s open-enrollment capacity to 327.

The open-enrollment period runs from Monday, Feb. 3, through Thursday, April 30.

If more families apply to fill those seats at ROLES, a lottery will be held, just as was done prior to this school year, ROLES Governance Council President Jessica Jens said in a memo to the board.

 The number of open-enrollment seats being offered is more than the 307 the district made available this year. But that doesn’t mean all those seats will be taken.

 This year, the number of open-enrollment students attending NOSD totaled 143, including 81 at the three “brick-and-mortar” schools, up from 59 the year before, and 62 at ROLES in its first year. Six students from within the district also attended ROLES.

In addition, the number of open-enrollment students attending Wisconsin Virtual Learning, the NOSD’s online charter school, totaled 333 students this year compared to 308 last year. Eight students who live in the district also attend WVL this year.

Enrollment at the elementary, middle and high schools totaled 709 this year, up from 701 in 2018-19.

NOSD’s base revenue per pupil is $10,091 for 2019-2020, with the open-enrollment rate for a regular-education student being $7,771.  

The difference between these two amounts is retained by NOSD for resident students.

ROLES was awarded a $700,000 start-up grant in 2018 through the state Department of Public Instruction, to be paid out over five years.

As ROLES’ fiscal agent, NOSD receives 5%, or $35,000, of the grant money over those five years, plus $500 per student and the approximately one-third of state aid that accompanies any child who attends the school from outside the district.

ROLES conducts classes outdoors year-round on the Riveredge Nature Center grounds in the Town of Saukville.

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