Coronavirus Update

Notice on COVID-19 - Updated Reopening Plan
June 10, 2020

LSW remains committed to ensuring the health and safety of our learning centers. We continue to closely monitor the guidelines provided by the state and the CDC and align our plans for the upcoming months accordingly.

Literacy Services of Wisconsin will be gradually re-opening our centers beginning the week of June 15th and Phase 1 of our plan will commence on July 6, 2020.

When LSW originally mapped out our re-opening process, we aligned it with the Badger Bounce Back Plan. LSW has been awaiting additional guidance from the City of Milwaukee, which has changed a great deal over the last week. LSW did not previously provide specific dates because of the nature of COVID-19 and how quickly the circumstances were changing. Although this is still a fluid situation with many variables and unknowns, I hope this update brings clarity to our plan and a better understanding of what we expect our timeline will be.

There are a few things that we would like to stress:

  • Our plan with tentative dates is intended as a guide. It can change at any time.
  • This plan is not linear. We may have to move back or forth between the phases mapped out, depending on the progress of the pandemic.
  • LSW will be prepared to revert exclusively to virtual learning, if needed. We ask that staff, tutors, and students assume that from July 6th through the beginning of 2021, we could have to move back to distance and virtual learning at a moment’s notice. Staff will be providing technology orientations and tutorials this summer and fall.
  • LSW will require masks for anyone in our facilities. If you do not have a mask, LSW will provide you with one. If PPE supplies run low, and more cannot be obtained, LSW will move to virtual learning until we have adequate supplies to ensure that everyone is safe.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

The CDC states that “individuals over age 65 and those with underlying medical conditions” should be cautious until COVID-19 is no longer a public health concern. “Such underlying conditions include, but are not limited to, chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, hypertension, severe heart conditions, weakened immunity, severe obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and chronic kidney disease that requires dialysis.” 54% of LSW tutors self-identified as being part of the 65+ age group. The reality of this situation is that one-on-one tutoring may not resume at its normal capacity until 2021. There may be an opportunity for tutors and students to resume at some capacity this fall, but LSW recommends that those who can and are able consider resuming their tutoring over the phone, via Zoom, Facetime, or other virtual learning options with their students.

For volunteers, here are some action steps that you may choose to take this summer if you have not been tutoring since March:

  • Contact program staff and ask for additional training on virtual learning modes.
  • Contact program staff to check the academic progress of the student you work with, and determine if there is an appropriate transition that can occur so that you can begin working together remotely.
  • Contact program staff if you are interested in teaching a small group of students (3-5) and would like additional information and/or training.
  • Continue to check the website for updates on date changes and plans for the fall.

Here is LSW’s updated plan.

The phased-approach is still deemed most appropriate for its ability to navigate the scope of this plan and react to the fluid nature of COVID-19.

Phase One (beginning July 6, 2020) will allow gatherings of up to 10 people with social distancing requirements. LSW plans to provide students with materials, proctor assessments, and facilitate in-person services on an individual and small group (3-5 students) basis. The hours will typically be from 9 am to 5 pm.

Weekly schedule by location:

Downtown Center
Monday: Downtown ASE Program
Tuesday: Downtown ABE Program
Wednesday: Downtown ELL Program & South Division Program
Thursday: North Division Program

Layton Center
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Silver Spring Neighborhood
Center Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Waukesha Center
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

During Phase One, LSW does not plan to resume one-on-one in-person 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 no matter the phase. HSED classes will remain online with occasional in-person check-ins, if possible.

Phase Two (projected to begin September 14, 2020) will allow gatherings of up to 50 people with social distancing requirements:

  • LSW will mostly conduct learning in small group (3-10 students) settings with one student per table across all sites.
  • 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.
  • LSW will partially resume one-on-one tutoring. 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 times due to space limitations. We ask that you remain flexible and consider continuing distance learning with your student.

During Phase Two and beyond, LSW staff will have extra hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and/or Lysol spray and paper towel 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 (tabletops, desks, etc.) before the beginning of their tutoring sessions.
  • Instructors should spray/wipe down their lab tables and desks before and after each class.
  • Students using individual tables for small group sessions should spray/wipe down their areas.

Phase Three (hopefully sometime in 2021) 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 on what this might be since we do not yet know what a post-COVID-19 world looks like.

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