Wisconsin state law requires that all children between the ages of six and 18 attend school. If you live in Madison your child is eligible to enroll in the Madison Metropolitan School District if he/she is five years old on or before September 1 for entrance into kindergarten. Children who are six years old on or before September 1 can begin first grade. Most Madison children begin at the age of 5 in the public school kindergarten.

Public schools are free to all children except for a small fee which parents pay to cover the cost of books and supplies. If you have school-age children, call the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Registration & Enrollment office (663-4957) to find out which school they will attend. Then contact that school and make an appointment to register your children. Take their passports, health records, and school records when you register them.

The Madison Metropolitan School District provides bus service for children in elementary school who live more than 1.5 miles from their school. The school district also has arrangements for children with special needs or disabilities.

For more information about the Madison Metropolitan School District, visit:

Private schools and parochial schools can be found by visiting the webpage of the Wisconsin Department of Public instruction:


When you are leaving Madison permanently, notify the teacher of your expected date of departure. The school will give the chil­dren report cards and certificates of attendance.

Most schools have parent teacher organizations (often identified by the acronym PTO or PTA) that make it possible for you to meet your child’s teacher and the parents of classmates. Contact your child’s school for information about meeting times and how to get involved.

You or your spouse may also want to contact your child’s school or teacher and offer to volunteer. This extra help is often highly appreciated.