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Information on COVID-19

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Guidance for Operating Schools During a Pandemic


Resources for Families and Schools

Families & Students

Families and Students webpage: This page contains family and student resources for learning during COVID-19.



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Featured Video

State Superintendent
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
thanks parents,
teachers, and students
for their hard
work and dedication
during the pandemic.


Department of Health Services (DHS) Orders
District Administrator Emails from Mike Thompson

For District Administrator emails, see the DA E-Mail Chrono webpage for a chronological listing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information about the Coronavirus, including a page with information specific to schools and communities. See CDC’s Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention webpage. 

CDC’s COVID data tracker can be used by schools along with Department of Health Services’ data.

Department of Health Services (DHS)

The DHS maintains multiple websites devoted to COVID-19. DHS’s COVID-19: Schools and Child Care webpage provides guidance for K-12 schools.

​DHS’s Guidelines for Prevention, Investigation, and Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in K-12 School in Wisconsin provides specific guidance for schools in identifying and managing cases of COVID-19 among school staff and students.

DHS also provides post-vaccination guidance for schools

What is COVID-19?

What is COVID-19?

SARS-CoV2 is a new strain of coronavirus that had not previously caused disease in humans but has now become capable of infecting people. Because it is a new virus, scientists have been learning more each day. ​​​​​​People who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle aches, or chills, headache, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Illness can begin 2 to 14 days after an exposure.

COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose or mouth, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick) and environmental cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation are important principles to follow and are included in several of DPI’s guidance documents. Fortunately, there are a number of actions schools can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread.


COVID-19 Questions – Contact DPI


Instructional Areas 

Click tabs below to locate the most current information on COVID-19 and its impact on specific instructional areas.


Statewide Assessments


The Office of Educational Accountability has created a webpage to provide you with current updates on statewide assessments.


Other Assessments


Advanced Placement (AP) Assessments - Updates about AP testing and virtual learning/remote instruction can be found at

Language Assessments - The DPI is looking into language assessments for the two most common assessments (AAPPL and STAMP) from LTI and AVANT to fulfill the language requirement for the Seal of Biliteracy. For more information, contact Pam Delfosse at

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides economic stimulus to individuals, businesses, hospitals, and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in response to the economic distress caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  For more information, go to the CARES Act webpage.

Early Learning

Wisconsin’s early learning community consists of a variety of individuals, agencies and cross sector systems. For resources and information related to COVID-19 that are specific to the early care and education community, go to DPI Office of Early Learning webpage.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

For information related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including waivers for federal accountability, waivers for regarding funding requirements, and providing ESEA equitable services to private school students during the pandemic, please visit the ESEA and COVID-19 webpage.

English Learners

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) understands that guidance can change quickly as the public health emergency due to COVID-19 evolves. To keep you informed, the Teaching and Learning Team will update the Bilingual and English Learner Education webpage.


Food and Nutrition

The Wisconsin School and Community Nutrition Teams have created a Child Nutrition Program COVID-19 Information Website  to help School Food Authorities and Summer Food Service Program sponsors navigate the options for serving children meals in a non-congregate setting in the event of a school closure due to COVID-19.

Graduation Requirements

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has provided an overview of state graduation requirements and a brief summary of local authority around this issue, including grading and class promotion. In addition, the department provides strategies to deal with the current situation of school closures related to a public health emergency. For more information, go to the Graduation Requirements webpage.

Literacy and Mathematics

To plan for literacy, English language arts, and mathematics instruction during an extended school closure, please visit the Literacy and Math Team’s webpage.

Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program

For information and resources related to the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program (21st CCLC) and the public health emergency visit the 21st CCLC team webpage

Private School Choice Programs & Special Needs Scholarship Program

The Department is posting any changes to the requirements for schools participating in the Private School Choice Programs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak to the Choice Program School Information webpage. The Private School Choice Programs include the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), the Racine Parental Choice Program (RPCP) and the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program or statewide program (WPCP).

The Department is posting any changes to the requirements for schools participating in the Special Needs Scholarship Program as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak to the Special Needs Scholarship Program School Information webpage.

Public and School Libraries
School Finance

For information related to school finance and the public health emergency, please visit the School Financial Services Team’s webpage. Included on this webpage is the School Finance FAQ that provides answers to questions on federal and state school funding related to COVID-19.

Special Education
Student Services/Prevention & Wellness (Pupil Services)

For resources and information related to COVID-19 that are specific to Safe Schools, Pupil Services, School Mental Health, Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse (AODA), Health Education, and Expanded Learning Opportunities, go to the Student Services/Prevention & Wellness and COVID-19 webpage.

Waivers - Private School
Waivers - Public School
State Waivers: As responses to COVID-19 vary from district to district during the 2020-21 school year, there may be some cases where school districts require more flexibility than state rules or regulations permit. To address this need, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor is providing school districts with a streamlined option to explore locally-driven solutions that will improve outcomes for Wisconsin students. Visit the Waivers and Alternative Compliance webpage for more information


Federal Waivers: The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has been granted a number of waivers from the U.S. Department of Education to assist school districts in managing the situation created by the COVID-19 public health emergency. DPI has created a Federal Waivers – Information for LEAs document to help understand these waivers.


To find more information about how COVID-19 changes affect WISEdata reporting, review the COVID-related WISEdata Submission Guidance webpage.

Virtual/Online/Blended Learning, Digital Citizenship, Instructional Technology, Digital Learning

For questions about this information, contact