Coronavirus Update

Notice on COVID-19 - Reopening Plan
April 30, 2020

Literacy Services of Wisconsin (LSW) is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our learning centers and the students, volunteers, and staff that utilize them. We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and align our plans for the upcoming months with the guidelines provided by the state and the CDC. We want to emphasize that all plans are tentative and could change depending on a number of variables. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more or if anything else changes.

LSW plans to align our reopening process with Wisconsin’s Badger Bounce Back, the statewide roadmap that provides guidance for safely relaxing social distancing requirements. It is important to note, however, that some of our LSW learning centers are co-located within Milwaukee Public Schools and other partner organizations. In such cases, LSW will follow the partner’s lead on when to reopen a particular site. Should a discrepancy in timelines occur, staff and students at these locations may temporarily use the downtown location to ensure access to classrooms and learning materials.

The LSW reopening phases will be as follows:

Phase One will allow gatherings of up to 10 people while observing social distancing requirements. Although facemasks will not be required, we strongly encourage their use while on premises. During this phase, LSW plans to distribute student materials, proctor assessments, and facilitate in-person services on an individual and small group (3-5 students) basis:

  • Downtown will have the following weekly schedule:
    • Monday and Tuesday: Downtown ABE & ASE Program
    • Wednesday: Downtown ELL Program
    • Thursday: South Division Program
  • Layton Center will have the following weekly schedule:
    • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
  • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center will have the following weekly schedule:
    • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Waukesha will have the following weekly schedule:
    • Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

During Phase One, LSW does not plan to resume in-person one-on-one tutoring.
This may be a good time for tutors to meet with LSW staff to discuss student lesson plans and check in on the progress of students. We will continue to offer ongoing volunteer support  throughout all phases. HSED classes will remain online with occasional in-person check-ins.


Phase Two will allow gatherings of up to 50 people while observing social distancing requirements.

  • LSW will conduct most learning in small groups (3-10 students) with one student per table across all sites.
  • LSW will partially resume one-on-one tutoring and centers will be open during regularly scheduled business hours. Staff will work to coordinate one-on-one tutoring to ensure that there is adequate space for tutor and learner pairs to sit 6 feet apart with no more than 8 one-on-one pairs within any large classroom space at one time. This may mean that tutor and student pairs cannot meet every week or at their regularly scheduled time due to space limitations. We ask that tutors remain flexible and consider continuing distance learning with their student.
  • HSED classes will be offered both in-person and online. Classes will be limited in size and students may attend on alternate days to maximize capacity.

During Phase Two and beyond, LSW staff will have extra hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and/or Lysol spray and paper towels near all program learning areas (ask your program staff for specifics). We will continue to request that:

  • Volunteer tutors spray/wipe down their individual learning stations (table tops, desks, etc.) before the beginning of their tutoring session.
  • Instructors wipe down their lab tables and desks before and after each class.
  • Students using individual tables for small group sessions spray/wipe down their areas.


Phase Three will allow all businesses and gatherings to resume. LSW will slowly begin to resume regular programming across all sites. There will be more details to follow, as we do not yet know what a post-COVID-19 world will look like.

LSW’s kitchen will remain closed until further notice, even after programming resumes. This includes food and coffee.


We will continue to strongly encourage all of our LSW community to please stay home, rest, and contact your medical provider if you or a loved one are experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath.

LSW has built a solid foundation of programming that will not be dismantled by this pandemic. We continue to feel so much love from all of you. Please know that while your support is always appreciated, it has served a special function during this time and has motivated all of us through some challenging moments. Adult literacy education will remain an important part of our state’s road to economic recovery. Our work will be more important than it ever was before. This will continue to be a time of learning and planning for the future of LSW. As we learn more, we do better.