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New DHS Guidance, DCF Resources, and Digital Equity

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Dear District Administrator,

This email provides updates on new guidance from the Department of Health Services (DHS) on COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, new information from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as you work with child care providers, and information to support digital equity.

DHS Guidance on COVID-19 Outbreaks in Schools

DHS today released Guidelines for the Prevention, Investigation, and Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in K-12 Schools. This guidance is being provided to help local and tribal health departments and schools in the case of a school-based outbreak. The guidance includes a number of provisions including:

  • physical distancing,
  • wearing face coverings,
  • absence policies,
  • information on how to identify cases and close contact among students,
  • information on when to exclude students from in-person instruction,
  • how to best isolate and quarantine,
  • effective cleaning and disinfecting practices, and
  • template letters for schools to use in the situation of confirmed cases or close contact.

This guidance builds on existing guidance provided by the Department of Public Instruction in Education Forward.

DCF Guidance on Working with Child Care Providers

DCF has produced a series of guidance documents to help child care providers and local educational agencies as families, schools, and child care providers navigate the reopening of school this fall. Two new documents you may find of interest include:

Digital Equity

In support of digital equity and in recognition of Digital Equity Outreach Month, DPI will be co-hosting a webinar on Friday, August 21st at 10:00 a.m. (link to register). with EducationSuperHighway (ESH), DPI’s nonprofit partner, whose mission is to increase broadband access for K-12 students. In partnership with DPI, ESH has created tools and resources to support school districts with addressing connectivity challenges, including a Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook.

The webinar covers the playbook and action plan for Digital Equity Outreach Month including:

  • Tips and best practices for organizing, resourcing, and conducting an outreach campaign to your families,
  • Useful tools to support your outreach, and
  • Home Digital Access Mapping Tool that enables districts to visualize student connectivity data and overlay available Internet service and LTE provider options.

As a reminder, Wisconsin DPI recently shared internet access at home survey tools to help school districts identify gaps in digital equity. In order to provide continuity of learning online due to COVID-19, it will be important to ensure access to an Internet connection and a dedicated learning device for students at home. This webinar will be recorded and sent out to those who register.

Please continue to send your COVID-19 inquiries into the DPI through the COVID-19 email address at