Pro Choice?

Getting Educated on Education, part 1

‘Tis the season for school open houses, tour schedules, testing and registration.  While a handful of schools began as early as October with their recruiting, typically the annual Catholic School’s Week (which is this week) celebration marks the beginning of what can be a couple months, and for some, years, of parents shoppin’ around for the best fit for their kid(s).

As a parent, how easy is it to make sense of all of this?  How early do you start?  Where do you start? What deadlines, if any, are looming? Virtual school, home school,  or brick and mortar?  Did our parents have all of these choices when we were kids.  For sure…no. Read more

The landscape of education options has changed dramatically, even within the last 48 hours.  Yesterday, Wednesday, Governor Scott Walker extended our Wisconsin school’s open enrollment period.  Previously, open enrollment ran for three weeks.  With this extension, parents now will now have three months to submit (up to 3) applications to a public school that is outside of their home district.  Open enrollment starts on Monday, February 6th and closes on April 30th.  Here is a link for you to learn more about Public School Open Enrollment.

More changes we’ve experienced, specific to the Racine Unified School District is the introduction of the voucher program, also known as the Racine Parental Choice Program. This pilot program, which went into effect as the school year wrapped up last June,  allows qualifying students in the Racine Unified School District to receive a scholarship to attend a participating private school.  This first year, the program had an enrollment cap of 250 students.  Five hundred students will be allowed to participate in the 2012-13 school year, and there will be no enrollment cap in succeeding years.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s website, there were 212.8 full-time equivalent or FTE students (a 4 year-old kindergarten student may be counted as 0.5 FTE or 0.6 FTE) participating as of November at eight Racine area participating schools.

For more information on Racine Parental Choice Program; including participating schools, eligibility, and frequently asked questions, please click the following link:

Don’t delay, according to the Choose Your School Wisconsin website, this enrollment period is in full-swing and the application deadline is February 20th.  I will keep my eyes open for extensions on this.  More information will be available at an Open House schedule for Saturday, February 11th from 9am-2pm at The DeKoven Center (Great Hall) – 600 21st Street in Racine.

So we’ve covered, Public School Open Enrollment and the Racine Parental Choice (aka voucher) Program.  There are also so many on-line school options, that seem to be ever changing.  In addition to private virtual schools, did you know that our area public schools also offer on-line versions?  Attached is a list of 2012-13 virtual charter schools to check out, whose application time-frames fall under the open enrollment period.  As mentioned, our two major school districts, Kenosha Unified School District and Racine Unified School District offer eSchools as an enrollment option for high schoolers (middle school options are available via KUSD, may be available at RUSD) as a full or part-time student.  Here are the links respectively and

More options to choose from are the area’s brick and mortar charter schools and Racine Unified‘s magnet schools, namely Brompton School-Kenosha, Dimensions of Learning Academy-Kenosha, Harborside Academy-Kenosha, Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced CurriculumPaideia Charter School Academy-Kenosha, McKinley Middle Charter School-Racine, REAL School-Racine, Bull Fine Arts Elementary-Racine, Jefferson Lighthouse-Racine, Red Apple Elementary-Racine,Walden III Middle & High School.  Check our website’s calendar for OPEN HOUSES that will highlight these schools along with the area’s private school’s open house events.

Then finally, for those with kids just starting their journey into school, here is the lowdown on our larger district’s kindergarten registration:

  • Kenosha Unified School District, although not yet official announced (confirmed), typically holds kindergarten registration during parent teacher conference days, which are Wednesday, February 29th through Friday, March 2nd. Please call the school your child will attend for specific registration times. For school attendance area information, you should call (262)359-6391

For information on Racine and Kenosha County’s smaller school districts, please search via this link:

In weeks to come, we’ll hit the high school’s and also chat about homeschooling.  If you have anything to add to the conversation, please choose to contact Just Add Kids by submitting a comment, sending an email to, or via our Facebook or Twitter pages.

As peeps are looking at schools for their kiddos for 2012-2013…anyone wanna give a shout out for their school here?


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