DPI Releases Guidance on K-12 Reopening

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released guidance for Wisconsin schools on reopening safely and successfully in the 2020-21 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Evers has said his administration is leaving the decision whether or not to reopen schools up to local districts. The DPI guidance does not place any mandates on school districts and instead emphasizes that each school should modify recommendations in the document to fit its own needs, in conjunction with risk assessment information from the Department of Health Services.

In her introductory letter, DPI Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said she expects schools to reopen in the fall, “but they will undoubtedly look different.” The June Marquette Law School poll found that 54 percent of Wisconsin voters are comfortable letting students return to school.

The DPI guidance recommends schools prepare for in person learning, physically distanced learning, and virtual learning options. Options for physically distanced learning include a shortened in-person school week to two or four days, rotations of school days for groups of students, and maximums of 10 students per class. DPI also recommends adults and students wear face masks. DPI plans to use federal CARES Act funding to support remote learning options.

The Assembly Committee on Education held a hearing on June 24 to discuss K-12 reopening.