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Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction releases guidelines for reopening schools in the fall

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Posted at 7:13 AM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 14:29:20-04

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has released its guidelines for reopening schools this fall.

The DPI published Education Forward, an 83-page document that details plans for a safe return to school.

The DPI said it expects schools to reopen in the fall, but expect it to look very different amid the pandemic.

Several scheduling scenarios were presented in the DPI's plan, including variations of four-day weeks, two-day rotations and continued virtual learning for secondary students.

Below are scheduling scenarios released by DPI:

Four-day week:

  • Each student level (elementary, middle, and high school) reports to school, outdoor learning spaces, or community-based organizations four full days a week.
  • Schools are closed on the fifth day to allow for deep-cleaning.
  • Students are provided with virtual learning materials—digital, analog, or a combination of the two formats—to support learning on those days when they do not report to school for in-person learning.
  • All English learners, special education, gifted and talented, and resource teachers work with small groups of students to reduce the student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer in each learning environment.
  • Learning in outdoor spaces or partnerships with community-based organizations may be needed to keep student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer.
  • One day per week is used for teacher planning and professional learning. On this day, students do not report to school but virtual learning continues.

Two-day rotation:

  • All students report to school, outdoor learning spaces, or community-based organizations two full days per week (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday).
  • Students are provided with virtual learning materials —digital, analog, or a combination of the two formats— to support learning on those days when they do not report to school for in-person learning.
  • All English learners, special education, gifted and talented, and resource teachers work with small groups of students to reduce the student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer in each learning environment.
  • Learning in outdoor spaces or partnerships with community-based organizations may be needed to keep student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer. • One day per week is used for teacher planning and professional learning. On this day, students do not report to school but virtual learning continues.

A/B Week Rotation:

  • Half of the student population reports to school, outdoor learning spaces, or community-based organizations four full days per week for in-person learning while the other half of the school population participates in virtual learning at home. The two student groups alternate between in-person and virtual learning weekly. All grade bands are included.
  • Students are provided with virtual learning materials—digital, analog, or a combination of the two formats—to support learning on those days when they do not report to school for in-person learning.
  • All English learners, special education, gifted and talented, and resource teachers work with small groups of students to reduce the student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer in each learning environment.
  • Learning in outdoor spaces or partnerships with community-based organizations may be needed to keep student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer.
  • One day per week is used for teacher planning and professional learning. Students do not report to school on these days but continue learning independently.

Elementary face-to-face and secondary virtual learning:

  • Elementary students start back to school first, before other levels.
  • Elementary students attend four full days per week and are distributed across multiple sites (e.g., elementary and middle school buildings) to reduce the student-teacher ratio in accordance with physical distancing recommendations.
  • Secondary students continue to engage in virtual learning.
  • Students are provided with virtual learning materials—digital, analog, or a combination of the two formats—to support learning on those days when they do not report to school for in-person learning.
  • All English learners, special education, gifted and talented, and resource teachers work with small groups of students to reduce the student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer in each learning environment. Learning in outdoor spaces or partnerships with community-based organizations may be needed to keep student-teacher ratios to 10/1 or fewer.
  • One day per week is used for teacher planning and professional learning. Students do not report to school on these days but continue learning independently.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the inequities existing in Wisconsin," said Carolyn Stanford Taylor, the State Superintendent. "As we look to address these inequities and the planning around the pandemic, the DPI is focused on providing school districts the necessary supports and regulatory relief to pursue innovative strategies to ensure equitable access to learning."

To read the full DPI guidelines, click here.

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