Filing the PI-1206 correctly, giving no more information than is required, and doing it at the appropriate time helps protect our great homeschooling law in Wisconsin.
Please read ALL of the following information for more details.
As a Wisconsin homeschooler, you are required to file your PI-1206 form online every year you are homeschooling, whether your homeschool “starts” the day public schools open or your homeschool operates on a different schedule. You are not legally homeschooling for the year if you have not filed the PI-1206 by October 15th.
Before you file you should know:
- In filing the form, you are simply REPORTING the enrollment in your homeschool. (Wisconsin statutes require all public and private schools, including homeschools, to report to the DPI their enrollment numbers as of the third Friday in September.) You are NOT requesting permission to homeschool. You are not seeking approval from your school district nor the DPI for your curriculum.
- For accurate information about homeschooling and Wisconsin’s homeschooling law please read this website thoroughly (www.homeschooling-wpa.org).
- Save a copy of each year’s PI-1206 form as an official document that shows that you are homeschooling. The DPI only keeps records for 7 years.
- You are required to update your PI-1206 form if your name, address, or the number of children that you are homeschooling changes. Save an additional copy of the form each time you make changes.
- NO PAPER FORMS will be accepted by the DPI.
- Children enrolled in a public virtual charter school are NOT homeschooling.
- In order to continue to have access to electronic versions of your PI-1206 form create a user name and password that you will remember.
- Always keep copies of your completed PI-1206 form for each year that you filed one, as proof of your compliance with Wisconsin statutes regarding homeschooling. Do not depend on the DPI website to do it for you. The DPI only keeps records for 7 years.
When to File the Form
- DO NOT FILE a PI-1206 form until the school year in which your child is six years old on or before September 1st.
- To begin homeschooling, the first thing you should do is file the PI-1206.
You must file a new PI-1206 form for each year that you are homeschooling children.
- File your PI-1206 form between the third Friday in September and October 15th.
Why that date range? The third Friday in September is the date all private schools in Wisconsin “take attendance” in their schools and report those numbers to the DPI. That report is due by October 15th. The PI-1206 is a report of enrollment of a type of private school in Wisconsin, a homeschool.
- If you filed the PI-1206 last year and you have another child who has reached the age of compulsory attendance this year, file between the third Friday in September and October 15th. It is only your enrollment that is changing when you add another child who has reached the age of compulsory attendance.
- If you begin homeschooling after October 15th, file the PI-1206 immediately.
- If you move to Wisconsin and are actively homeschooling, file the PI-1206 immediately regardless of date.
- If you move AWAY from Wisconsin or enroll your child(ren) in school, go into your already filed PI-1206 and change the number of students you are homeschooling to accurately reflect the number that are homeschooling. If you move or if all your children enroll in school, change that number to “0.” Keep a copy of the changes.
How To File the PI-1206 Form
STEP 1: Go to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) website. Paper copies of the PI-1206 are not accepted.
STEP 2: Follow the instructions on the DPI web site.
Create a user ID and password that are easy to remember.
Log back into your online account if you need to print additional copies of your PI-1206 or if you need to update your address or the number of children in your homeschool.
STEP 3: When you have filed your form, print a copy for your records and see below for “What To Do After You Have Filed Your Form.”
(If you need more detailed information, click here.)
(For a sample completed form from a previous year, click here.)
What To Do After You Have Filed Your Form
- Understand your rights and the limits on what school officials can demand. Near the bottom of the PI-1206 it says,
“Recommendations: It is recommended that a copy of the following be maintained in your home if you are homeschooling children:
- A school calendar verifying a minimum of 875 hours of instruction.
- Course outlines verifying that there exists a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction.
- A copy of this PDF.”
This statement has appeared on PI-1206 forms since 1984. Remember that the DPI does NOT have the authority to require that you keep either a school calendar or course outlines, and local school district officials do NOT have the authority to ask you for them. (Officials do have the authority to ask to see your attendance records to prove compliance with the compulsory attendance law.) If an official asks to see your school calendar or course outlines, politely respond that they do not have the authority to make such a request. If you need more help, contact our Question Answering Committee.
- If your child was enrolled in a public or conventional private school, WPA recommends that you write a letter to the principal, as a courtesy, letting them know that your child will no longer be attending that school and ask that your child be removed from the school’s attendance rolls. Take the letter and a copy of your PI-1206 to the school and ask that the principal sign as verification that they have received the information and will remove your child from the attendance rolls. Your PI-1206 has a date/time stamp in the lower right-hand corner that is the official date/time you began homeschooling. Keep this signed copy for your records.
- Keep copies of each PI-1206 that you file or modify. Copies are sometimes required by school officials, employers, colleges, Social Security officials, military recruiters, and others. However, if you need another copy of the PI-1206 form you filed for the current school year, you can sign in on the same DPI web page using the ID and password you created. On the next page, which says “Review Sign-In Data,” you will now see a box that says, “Click here to reprint your current PI-1206 Homeschool Report data.” The DPI only keeps PI-1206 forms for seven years.
- Update your form if necessary. If your name, contact information, or the number of children you are homeschooling changes, update your online form. To do so, sign in and press the “Continue” buttons until you get to the page that has the information you want to change. Delete the old information and enter the current information. Complete the process of filing your form as you did before. Print a copy for your records.