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School Choice

School Choice


School Choice Quick Facts

  • St. Mary’s Springs Academy’s vision is to be a welcoming, supportive educational community, recognized for its excellence. We will educate and inspire students to change the world by fully living our faith, fostering a love of learning, and developing their full range of potential.


  • St. Mary’s Springs Academy (SMSA), rooted in Christ’s teaching, academic excellence, and service to Church and community, prepares students to meet global challenges and become leaders for tomorrow.


  • In September 2013, there were 25 private schools participating in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, with a total enrollment of 512 students or 499.9 full-time equivalent (FTE) in the program.


  • SMSA’s participation in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program began with the 2013-14 school year.


  • In the 2013-14 school year, the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program state aid for a student enrolled full-time in the WPCP is $6,442 or the private school's operating and debt service cost per student, whichever is less.


  • The Wisconsin Parental Choice Program is fully funded from state general purpose revenue.


  • The next application period will be from February 1, 2014 - April 20, 2014. 


  • SMSA currently does, but is not required, to offer transportation or free and reduced lunch prices.


  • Students who participate in the Choice program can opt out of faith-based instruction and activities. The experiences of other schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and other private Catholic schools indicate that such situations are extremely rare and go against many of the reasons that parents would have for selecting SMSA as the school of their choice for their children.


  • All student and parents, regardless of their tuition support level, are required to read and sign the student handbook. Any student who does not adhere to the handbook and its disciplinary expectations for attending SMSA will be subject to remedial and disciplinary action.


  • Should a family not qualify or receive a Choice voucher, SMSA remains committed to providing assistance to families that desire a Catholic, value-based education for their children.


Who is eligible to receive a private school voucher?

Families interested in applying for a private school voucher may qualify at certain income levels. The following scale will help you determine if your family qualifies. For the 2014-15 school year, the family income of a student applying to the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program must be at or below the amount listed in the table below. If a student is continuing in the program or was on the Department of Public Instruction's choice waiting list in the prior year, he or she is no longer required to meet the income limits. Family income includes the income of the child's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) that reside in the same household as the student applicant. If the child's parents/legal guardians are married their income is reduced by $7,000 when determining income eligibility for the program. Family size includes parents/legal guardians and their children by birth, marriage or adoption that reside in the same household as the student applicant.

185% of the Federal Poverty Level for 2014-15

Family Size          Maximum Yearly Income*

1                             $21,554

2                             $29,095

3                             $36,636

4                             $44,177

5                             $51,718

6                             $59,259

* As determined by Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on the federal income tax return for the prior calendar year (2013 for the 2014-15 school year).

When do I apply for the School Choice voucher? 

The next application period will be from February 1, 2014 to April 20, 2014. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website for more information. 

If you have received SMSA financial aid for the 2013-14 year, you may still qualify for a private school voucher. 

  • Families apply by filling out and submitting an application online.
  • Students will be chosen using a random lottery selection administered by DPI. 
  • Families will need to provide documentation on their family income to SMSA during the application period. Acceptable verification includes:
  • Using the Department of Revenue system to verify the online application
  • Copy of their 2012 tax form 1040 or
  • Other forms of income documentation, W-2 1099, etc.
  • Families will need to provide proof of residency to SMSA during the application period (no exceptions or extensions). Acceptable documentation includes:
  • Current copy of WPS bill
  • W-2 or
  • Current property tax bill

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