Highland Community School admits students of any gender, race, color, creed, ethnicity, and national origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The Highland Community School policy of nondiscrimination due to disability complies with U.S. Department of Education regulations for the implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Children who live outside the City of Milwaukee may attend Highland Community School through DPI open enrollment only if seats are available. In-district students take priority. If you apply for prekindergarten (K3, K4), a prekindergarten program must be available, and your child is eligible in your resident district. Milwaukee resident applications for pre-K must be exhausted before out-of-district applicants can be considered. The open enrollment period for MPS is February 1st through April 30th. More information can be found on the MPS website.

All children K3 through eighth grade are eligible for admission, subject to openings for appropriate age groups. Priority admission status is granted to siblings of Highland students and children of Highland employees.

Questions about our admissions process can be directed to Ms. Shanness Williams, Programs and Admissions Director

The Admissions Process

The school highly encourages interested parents to make an appointment to visit the school and observe classrooms in session. Families interested in scheduling a school tour should contact our Admissions Director, Ms. Shanness.

Applications will be available on the Highland website for the 2024-2025 school year beginning February 1st, 2024, with an initial enrollment window of February 1st and February 28th. Applications will be accepted after February 28th, but the child will either be added to the wait list or assigned an open seat after the lottery if one exists. Note: All K3 applicants must be three years old on or before September 1.

The K3 Lottery
If the number of applications exceeds the seats available, a random drawing will be held to fill the available seats on or after March 1st. Siblings of currently enrolled students will be given preference. Letters will be sent via email to all applicants, informing them of their acceptance or their number on the waitlist.

The K4- 8th Grade Lottery and Waitlist
Beginning at K4, seats only open due to attrition. Initial applications are accepted beginning February 1st through February 28th. All applications are then pooled and sorted in March. The first enrollment priority goes to siblings of current HCS students; the next priority goes to students with previous Montessori experience.

The lottery pool is only valid until September 30th of the coming school year. Applications will not be carried over to the following year. New applications must be submitted.

Approximately one month before the start of the new school year, online school registration opens on Transparent Classroom. All new and returning families must complete or update their records and pay their first month’s program fees.

Out-of-District Applicants

Wisconsin’s open enrollment process for schools allows students to attend public schools outside of their resident school district. However, specific rules and priorities are in place to ensure that students living within a district get first preference. Please see below for more information regarding out-of-district enrollment.

In-District Priority:

Students living within the district have priority over non-resident students. In-district students ( i.e., City of Milwaukee residents) are given preference for enrollment before considering students from other areas.

Limited Openings and Capacity:

In the case of a school lottery, when the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats, non-resident students will only receive a seat after all resident applicants have been accepted. 

Availability of Program in Resident District: 

Highland Community School may only accept an out-of-district student for K3 or K4 if a comparable program exists in the student’s resident district. This state-specified condition ensures that students are not enrolling in programs that are unavailable in their resident district.



One exception to the priority system is when a sibling of a current open-enrolled student also applies for open enrollment. In this case, the sibling will be granted enrollment even with capacity limitations, provided the initial open-enrolled student is still enrolled.

Currently Enrolled, In-District Students Who Move Out of District

Students enrolled and attending Highland within the district but later moved to a different district receive priority in open enrollment. The exception allows currently established students who move out of the district to maintain continuity in their education and ensure that students who have already established themselves within Highland remain part of our community. 

Applying for Out-of-District Open Enrollment

If accepted into Highland as an out-of-district student, before attending, you must apply for open enrollment through MPS and complete any requirements outlined by the MPS District Enrollment Office, including but not limited to additional registration paperwork, tuition, or additional fees.  MPS District Enrollment Office in the Department of Student Services: (414) 475-8159.

Toddler Admissions

Toddler admission occurs annually for the academic school year. Seats are available for the year-round or school-year program. If space becomes available throughout the year, we notify families on the waiting list. Once accepted, toddler families must attend the new parent orientation or an individual interview. The Toddler Directress will also set up a visit to the classroom for a special introduction between the child and the Directress. This helps the child have a smoother transition when the student begins school. Toddler admission is not made through the lottery. It is based on the age and gender of the child. This ensures classroom balance and that child-to-adult ratios follow state licensing rules. Applications are available on the school website or in the Main Office.

Probationary Policy for Toddler Program

Children enrolled in the toddler program will be accepted on a one-month probationary basis. During that time, the program staff, the Director, and the parents will be able to determine if the program is appropriate for the current individual needs of the child.