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DPI: almost 2,700 more students applying to switch school districts than last year

Posted at 11:15 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 00:15:26-04

According to Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction, 2,692 more students than last year have applied to change school districts under the Alternative Open Enrollment period from July 1 to August 13, 2020.

DPI expanded their usual criteria to include families who felt that their district's reopening plan was not in the best interest of their student.

In the same time period, 7,146 students have applied for Alternative Open Enrollment this year compared to 4,454 students had applied by August 13 in 2019.

Sami Vallone had attended Appleton North High school for the past three years via open enrollment, but did not want to spend her senior year learning virtually as the district planned.

"It was just more of less as summer was winding down, realizing this was my last hurrah before becoming an adult," Vallone said of making her decision.

Spring was really difficult for Vallone. She was stir-crazy and bored with virtual instruction forced during the first waves of COVID-19 across the country.

"I would really just do an hour of it, get sick of it, was pretty much done for the day, and I carried on," Vallone said. "I was outside, I was at the barn, I was doing something with people. I didn't slow down."

As Appleton Area School District administration recommended a completely virtual start, the Vallones began to look elsewhere.

"Once they said 'all virtual,' we were just kind of like yeah, I'm not really sure that's the best option for her," Frank Vallone, Sami's father said.

Sami decided to return the Freedom Area School district, her original home district, where she could spend her senior year taking classes in person.

"It was super easy. Freedom was very open and they were excited to get the kids back to school," Patty Vallone, Sami's mother said. "We went there, we registered and signed up for classes, and that was about it."

"I would definitely recommend, especially for your last year, get out," Sami said. "If you don't like the online, get out cause there's always that option.

To apply for Open Enrollment under the Alternative Application period, click here.