Coronavirus Update

Notice on COVID-19 - Updated Reopening Plan
July 8, 2021

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. LSW suspended normal operations on March 16, 2020. We had hoped that we would be able to open sooner, but we have been carefully planning out what our new operating procedures and on-site classes will look like for now and into the near future.

Literacy Services of Wisconsin will be gradually re-opening our centers beginning the week of September 7, 2021. 

LSW did not previously provide specific dates because of the nature of COVID-19 and how quickly the circumstances were changing. LSW has shifted all of our services online over the last sixteen months. Many of those online options will remain permanently. Vaccinations are now readily available throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha. This has prompted LSW to lay out our guidelines for reopening this fall. 

Per the City of Milwaukee Health Department:
The best way to stop the community spread of COVID-19 is to take preventative action to protect yourself and others:
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Vaccines are safe and readily available at walk-in clinics throughout the community for anyone over the age of 12 years old.
  • If you are unvaccinated, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others, and stay at least 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and improve ventilation whenever possible.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

LSW has reconfigured our spaces to allow for social-distancing. We will be offering tours at our Downtown Center in August ahead of our re-opening for those who are returning in-person so that they can better understand the buildings’ new layouts and spatial purposes. 

Although not required, LSW strongly recommends that staff, volunteers, and students consider receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. In accordance with the CDC guidance, fully-vaccinated individuals can safely resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. Those who are not yet vaccinated should continue to wear a mask when in public to keep themselves and those around them safe. Those who are not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask while on-site at all LSW locations.

All staff, volunteers, and students will be required to complete a daily health screening to certify that they do not have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or had recent contact or potential exposure to COVID-19. 

Please plan to show up for your classes or tutoring sessions 10-15 minutes early to allow for the time necessary to get a temperature check and complete the health screening. You will be required to use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands upon entry to LSW locations. 

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

  • This re-opening 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 we could have to move back to distance and virtual learning at a moment’s notice. 
  • If you are sick, stay home. 

In-person one-on-one tutoring will resume (at limited capacity)
on September 7, 2021: 

During one-on-one tutoring sessions, both tutors and students will be required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. No exceptions will be made. Tutors and students will also be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver. 

If a tutor or student prefers to not wear a mask or sign the waiver, virtual one-on-one tutoring remains an option for everyone. 

For volunteers, here are some action steps that you may choose to take this summer if you have not been tutoring since March 2020:

  • Reach out to your program staff contact at LSW to express interest in returning to in-person tutoring.
  • Reach out to your program staff contact 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. 

In-person classes will partially resume
on September 7, 2021: 

  • In-person classes will vary by LSW location.
  • In-person class capacity will be determined based on the size of the room in which the class is held. Staff have received dimensions of all LSW spaces and will follow the guidance of their respective site. 
  • Typically, in-person classes will be no larger than 15-18 students.
  • In classrooms where there is more than 6 feet of distance between students and individual seats/tables, vaccinated students will not be required to wear a mask. 
  • Students attending in-person classes will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver. 

There will be virtual classes offered for any student who prefers that option. 

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 and at the end of their tutoring sessions.
  • Students using individual tables for small group sessions should spray/wipe down their areas before the beginning and at the end of their class or tutoring session.

The kitchen area of LSW’s Downtown Center will remain closed until further notice. This means no food or coffee will be provided. 

The Milwaukee County Jail location and HSED classes will remain entirely virtual this fall. 

LSW hopes to gradually increase in-person options throughout 2021-2022. By spring, our hope is that we will be able to operate in-person at 100% capacity with our newly-designed and reconfigured spaces. 

Previous Updates