BELOIT — The Beloit School District is down 110 students since the fall as the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction begins its public school open enrollment period today.

To recapture lost students and attract more into its schools, the Beloit School District is marketing its offerings.

Beginning Feb. 1 and running through April 30, parents and guardians can apply to send their children to any public school district in Wisconsin during the 2021-22 school year through the open enrollment program. Application materials and additional information on the program are available on the DPI’s website at https://dpi.wi.gov/. Additional information from an open enrollment consultant is available toll-free by calling 888-245-2732, or emailing openenrollment@dpi.wi.gov.

Wisconsin public school districts are required to count pupils for membership purposes on the third Friday in September and second Friday in January and report the data to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

As of September 2020, there were 6,512 students attending the School District of Beloit. That included 123 enrolling in and 841 enrolling out for a net loss of 718 students.

As of the second Friday in January, there were 6,402 students enrolled in the district, a drop of 110 students since the fall. As of January, the number of students open enrolling in was 117 as 836 were enrolling out, according to data from Executive Director of Business, Human Resources and Operations JoAnn Armstrong.

Armstrong said the decrease in students from the fall isn’t unusual as the numbers are adjusted as the year goes on. It represents a 1.69% difference.

“It’s not uncommon at all to adjust the numbers,” Armstrong said.

In light of the open enrollment period, the School District of Beloit (SDB) will be marketing its unique academic programs, including dual language immersion, technical certifications, advanced placement courses, college credit, student successes, staff accomplishments, community collaborations and partnerships, and overall district highlights through its social media channels, website, stakeholder newsletter, weekly updates from interim Superintendent Dan Keyser, its free and downloadable app and its recently created blog, according to Chief of Communications and Marketing Monica Krysztopa.

“All this information is pushed out through social media, community partners and local news outlets. We strive to ensure that all materials are translated for our Spanish-speaking families. Next month we are starting our SDB Podcast and are releasing a video highlighting all the benefits of an education through the School District of Beloit,” Krysztopa said.

In all of the district’s marketing and communication pieces, it looks to ensure its vision, “preparing and inspiring every student to succeed in life and contribute to an ever-changing world,” is reflected.

“We want to communicate that our students have countless opportunities to succeed today and in their future with our dedicated teaching staff, our robust and diverse curriculum, dual language immersion, exposure to arts and music, technology, extracurriculars and sports, technical certifications, and two-year college degree program with Blackhawk Technical College,” Krysztopa said.

During the 2019-20 school year, 65,266 Wisconsin students transferred school districts through the open enrollment program, according to Wisconsin DPI.

The Public School Open Enrollment program is funded by state general equalization aid transfers between sending and receiving school districts, with the transfer amount calculated on statutory provisions. For the 2020-21 school year, the transfer amount is an estimated $8,125 per student, or $12,977 for students with disabilities.