Compulsory School Attendance


Wisconsin public schools share responsibility with parents/guardians to ensure school-age children are enrolled in and attending appropriate educational programs. The Department of Public Instruction provides consultation, technical assistance, and resources to help reduce truancy and improve attendance.

Below are Department of Public Instruction publications and other resources about compulsory school attendance laws and strategies to reduce truancy and improve attendance.



State Superintendent Evers' Letter to Elementary School Principals (August 2014) new

Sample Letter for Parents (August 2014) new

State Superintendent Evers' Letter to District Superintendents (September 2013)

Early Attendance Memo (October 2012)

Early Attendance Parent Fact Sheet (2012)

Early Attendance Parent Fact Sheet - Spanish (2012)

Early Attendance Research (2012)

Early Attendance Call to Action (2012)

Early Grades Attendance Resources
The Early Attendance Resource list is a table of resources to assist in understanding the issue of early school absence, identification of students at risk of attendance problems and effective intervention programs and strategies. Includes web links, author list and a brief description.

Answers to Frequently Asked Compulsory School Attendance Questions (2009)

Five-year-old Kindergarten Attendance and First Grade Admission



Pupil Transportation

Special Education Transportation


Truancy and Dropout Prevention

Best Practices Review: Truancy Reduction Efforts Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (2008)

Best Practices in Developing Truancy Reduction Programs - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2008)

Finding Effective Solutions to Truancy – UW Madison & Extension

Freshman Transition Initiative

Improving School Attendance: A Resource Guide for Virginia Schools

Measuring Student Engagement in Upper Elementary through High School: A Description of 21 Instruments

National Center on School Engagement

National Dropout Prevention Network

National Education Association

Truancy Prevention – National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Violence Prevention

Truancy Prevention – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse

What research tells us about effective truancy prevention and intervention programs – UW Madison & Extension


Educational Alternatives

Alternative Education

Contracting with Technical Colleges and Other Ways to Complete High School

GED/HSED Program

Home-Based Private Education Program (Home Schooling)

Open Enrollment

Virtual Schools

For questions about this information, call the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Helpline at (608)266-8960, or email