Office of
Catholic Schools
“God is here in these moments and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. 
Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and we look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much that we planned has gone undone, and all the reasons we have to be embarrassed and ashamed: let us take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then we will be able to rest in Him -- really rest -- and start the next day as a new life. Amen.” Edith Stein St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross 1891-1942
WI Choice Update from Fiscal Management Training
Schools with 20 or more students in grades 3-12 are required to participate in all state mandated testings for Choice students, unless the parent opts out. DPI has the option to conduct audits of any school that has a large number of Choice Opt Out testers to verify validity. The requirement to Opt Out is that the Parent of the Choice student must request,in writing, that they do not want their children to be tested. The school can not create a standard form that all parents sign. A school can provide guidance on what the letter should say, but cannot use their own form.

One Month Until Choice Portal Closes

A reminder that if your school participates in the Choice program, you have approximately one month to get your eligible families signed up and verified. The portal closes on April 20, 2019.

Keep sending reminders out and informing people via the school social media and websites. Here is some verbage you can use:

NAME OF SCHOOL participates in the Wisconsin School Choice Program. Current families with children entering PK4, K, or 1st grade are eligible to apply. New families with children in PK4 through 8th grade are eligible to apply. The process is very simple – all you need to be is a resident of the State of Wisconsin and meet the income level requirements (for example, a family of 4 must have a gross household income less than $62,000). There is no cost to complete the application. Please go to to apply or contact the school for more information. Deadline to apply is April 15th.

Notification of Acceptance

Just a reminder that under Wisconsin School Choice Program:
  • Schools must notify each applicant that is NOT eligible for the program. This will be reflected in OAS.
  • DPI will notify eligible applicants if they receive a seat or are on a waiting list.
  • Notifications will not begin before June and updates to the waiting list may continue throughout the summer and into early January.
  • Students that are already receiving a voucher are automatically renewed.

Upcoming Choice Deadlines

April 20
  • Student Application Closes.
May 1
  • Schools must have all applications verified and all changes completed.
  • Schools must submit their 2019-2020 Hours of Instruction Report.
  • Schools that used the Surety Bond Option for the 2018-2019 School Year must provide a completed Surety Bond form for the 2019-2020 school year. 
  • NEW SCHOOLS for the 2019-2020 school year must submit the DPI Budget and Cash Flow Report with Attachments OR a completed surety bond form. 
  • If you have not received the surety bond form please notify DPI at
May 2 - 7
  • Schools may revise the number of seats available for each grade for the 2019-2020 school year. 
May 15
  • Schools with revisions to their 2018-2019 Hours of Instruction Report must provide a revised copy. 
May 21
  • The Demographic Collection Snapshot occurs with the WISE data for the 2018-2019 school year. Becky Krahn at the Diocese for assistance.
June 1
  • Schools with applications that have been determined ineligible through the application process must notify the parent of each applicant via mail or email that their application is ineligible. 
June 30
  • Annual budgets must be completed for schools that are NOT NEW to the program for the 2019-2020 school year and new schools that have chosen the surety bond option.

Choice Administrator List

We are creating a listing of both Choice Administrators and any Office staff that are also involved in the Choice process for our schools. Please send these names to Lori Paul at .
Inviting Legislators to Your School:
A how to Guide

If you haven’t already, consider inviting your local legislators to visit your school. It helps them understand how private K-12 schools contribute to the state’s educational infrastructure.

Then, when efforts to regulate private K-12 schools come along, they are more likely to consider the impact through the lens of a real school in their district.

How to Conduct a Legislative Visit

1.Identify who your legislators are.
2.Send an invitation.
3.Hosting the visit.
  • Most legislators prefer visits on a Monday or Friday because they have to be at the Capitol on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for committee meetings and general legislative sessions and floor votes.
  • Give them a tour of your school building and have them see students learning and meet some parent leaders, if possible.
  • Take pictures of the legislator with your staff and students (make sure you have permission to be photographed waivers on file).
4.Points to make during the visit.
  • Express gratitude for the legislature’s changes to teacher life licenses that acknowledged private school teaching experience (the vote on this was virtually unanimous).
  • Express gratitude for the Legislature’s creation of school safety grants if you got one. If you didn’t, ask them to support more grants and show them what you would do with the money (securing main entrances with updated locks, bullet proof glass, door bells, cameras, alarms, classroom door locks, etc.).
  • If you are a Choice school, discuss what it has done to help your school families and ask them to support the Choice program as-is.
  • Tell them your school is a member of WCRIS and we are your voice in Madison. Invite them to contact the WCRIS Executive Director if they have any questions about private schools and pending legislation or existing laws affecting private schools.
5.Post-visit follow up.Send a student-generated thank-you notes and share a picture of the Legislator’s visit to your school.

Important Reminder: Your school is a nonprofit organization that can not engage in electoral politics, candidate endorsement or political campaigns. You should not be endorsing or encouraging voting for a specific candidate. Your job is to educate your lawmakers about what your school contributes to the state’s educational infrastructure and how state programs and laws affect your school. School parents are free to do what they wish on their own time.
Upcoming Events
Einstein STEAM Fair 2019

Einstein STEAM Fair 2019 is April 27, 9:00-2:00 at the NWTC Student Center. For more information  Registration for projects closes March 30, 2019.
WRISA Action Plan Training

If you school hosted a WRISA Visiting Team this school year, then this webinar is for you.
Webinar Timing: Noon - 1 PM
Webinar Date: Monday, April 1, 2019

Upcoming NCEA Webinars

Click here for upcoming NCEA webinars.
Gathering of Administrators

Mark your Calendar - April 30 - 1:00-3:00 at Distillery in Green Bay. Meet with other principals for an afternoon. Enjoy learning and conversation.
Upcoming Dates

March 25 - DASA Central  1:30, St. Mary, Greenville
April 1 - WRISA Webinar - Action Plan Training 1:00
April - Child Abuse Awareness Month
April 8 - New Administrators 9:00-12:30
April 9 - Powerschool User meeting 8:30
April 9 - DASA SE 1:00 St. Mary, Hilbert
April 30, 2019 - Principal, Administrator and President Meeting at Green Bay Distillery from 1:00 - 3:00 with end of the year social to follow
August 9, 2019 - WCRIS Teacher Conference - Kalahari
March 6, 2020 - WCRIS Leadership Conference - Pewaukee

This has the major dates. However, we continue to update as things come to our attention. 2019-2020 Office of Catholic Schools Calendar
  • Marc Vandenhouten found this new science resource for elementary teachers, Mystery Science. It looks great and they’re offering a free subscription to a few thousand teachers this week. You should sign up quickly, they have less than 1,300 free spots remaining (it normally costs US $99 per year).

Office of Catholic Schools

Questions? Contact us at or (920) 272-8273.
Diocese of Green Bay
The Compass