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COVID-19 Updates - March 24, 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dear District Administrators,

This email addresses the new order from Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, as well as questions we have been receiving on educator effectiveness, attendance, and school finance.

Order by Secretary-designee Andrea Palm

Secretary-designee Andrea Palm today issued Emergency Order #12, Safer At Home Order. This order shall become effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. The order requires all individuals present within the State of Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence, with exceptions. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces other than their home or residence, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six (6) feet from any other person consistent with Social Distancing Requirements.

Schools play an important role during this public health emergency. Schools may continue to be used for food distribution. Also, schools may be used for essential government functions such as functions necessary to implement distance learning. A school district may determine its own essential government function and identify the employees and contractors necessary to perform those functions. In addition, schools may continue to perform Minimum Basic Operations, including human resources functions such as processing payroll and employee benefits and preserving the physical condition of the school and its equipment. Under the order, public and private K-12 schools remain closed for pupil instruction and extracurricular activities, except for facilitating distance learning or virtual learning.

Educator Effectiveness

The DPI is providing this guidance to support school districts who wish to complete the Educator Effectiveness Cycle for educators in their Summary Year in 2019-20. If it is not possible to do so, the department will waive those requirements, PI 8.01 and Wis. Stat. § 115.415, upon completion of this form.

As a reminder, Wisconsin Administrative Code sec. PI 8.01 requires each school district to evaluate all licensed school personnel in their “first year of employment and, at least, every third year thereafter.” Wis. Stat. § 115.415 requires the specific process by which all Wisconsin districts meet the requirements listed in PI 8 for principals and teachers, the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System.

Contact Katie Rainey, Director, Educator Development and Support, at for more information.


The department will not be requiring school districts to report attendance during the period you are closed for this public health emergency, regardless of whether you are offering instruction. Locally, if you choose to continue to take attendance, you have the latitude to determine how to do so, but that information will not need to be reported to DPI.

School Finance

DPI published frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding school finance and COVID-19. LEAs should check this FAQ frequently as it will be continually updated as more information is available. If there are questions related to school finance, please send them to

If you have any other COVID-19 questions, email