Wisconsin DPI releases plan to reopen schools for fall


(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has released its plan to reopen schools for fall – “Education Forward: Safely and Successfully Reopening Wisconsin Schools.”

Within the plan, DPI says the “guidance is to offer clear and straightforward decision-making points of consideration for all districts to consider.”

They go on to say that officials should focus on a few things: keeping students and staff safe; caring for the social-emotional and mental health needs of students and staff; keeping learning coherent by creating a scope of standards with aligned systems of assessments, bound in units of instruction — whether learning is in-person, virtual, or physically-distanced; meeting the needs of every student by considering the unique experiences of students and by considering students’ families as active partners in learning, and designing flexibility into school schedules, built-environments, protocols, and norms for being together in-person, physically-distanced, and through virtual learning.

The reopening plan was created with the assumption that the coronavirus will remain until a vaccine is developed and widely used, according to DPI. It anticipates short-term closures of school remains a possibility and frequent cleaning and the reinforcement of prevention behaviors, like handwashing, will be used. DPI also discusses the operations that may occur when school resumes, like screening students and staff for symptoms, as well as the emotion side affects of the virus, like fear, loss, and isolation.

Education Forward includes information on infection control and mitigation, lays out sample learning scenarios, and provides specific considerations for special education students, English language learning students, gifted and talented students, school libraries, teaching and learning staff, school safety/mental health, and out-of-school time programs. Resources such as a risk assessment tool and a school nurse toolkit are also included.

In the plan, which can be reviewed below, DPI recommends schools be prepared to shift between in-person, physically-distanced, and virtual learning throughout the school year. DPI offers guidance on in-person learning, physically distanced learning, and virtual learning.

In addition, DPI offers scheduling scenarios for physical distancing. These include schedule modifications such as four-day weeks with the fifth day reserved for cleaning the building, scheduling with in-person learning just two days a week, splitting up the student population in an A/B week that rotates between in-person and virtual learning, or just elementary students attending in-person classes for four days a week while secondary students remain in virtual learning.

Do you feel comfortable sending your kids back to school in the fall? Let us know:

The plan includes guidance on what school officials should do ahead of and throughout the school year regarding governance, operations, and technology. Health and safety guidance is also provided. This includes infection control and mitigation as well as school safety and mental health.

Guidance is also offered in regards to teaching and learning during this time, school libraries, special education, English learners, and gifted and talented programs.

Here is a look at the full document:

Education Forward Plan

(Unable to view the document? Click here.)

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