The Onalaska School Board voted to limit open-enrollment applications in the middle school for the 2018-19 school year during a board meeting Monday night.

Due to high enrollment and staffing constraints, the district won’t be accepting open-enrollment applications for sixth and seventh graders for the 2018-19 school year.

“There is no space in those two grades,” Curriculum Director Roger Fruit said.

The number of students allowed to open enroll in eighth-grade was also limited to nine additional students. Fruit said the district wouldn’t restrict the number of students open enrolling in other grades.

“The middle school, right now, is a bit of a bottleneck, because of our three elementary schools,” he said, adding that because the district has so many elementary schools it can balance the student population, but it becomes more difficult when all the students move to the middle school.

Normally parents can open-enroll their children in the school of their choosing regardless of what school district they live in. Now that the board has restricted open enrollment in the middle school, parents wishing to enroll their children in sixth and seventh grade will have to wait until next summer.

At Monday’s school board meeting, board president Ann Garrity asked if a student who has already been open enrolled would be exempt from these caps.

“For existing open-enrollment students currently enrolled this year, they are guaranteed a spot next year as are their siblings who might not be in the school system at this point,” Fruid said, answering Garrity’s question.

He said if a family already had one student open-enrolled into the Onalaska School District, their brother or sister would be allowed to open-roll even if there was a cap.

The board voted unanimously to approve the open-enrollment limits.


Coulee Courier reporter

Tobias Mann is a reporter with the River Valley Media Group. He can be reached at or at 608-791-8216.

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