Panola College to extend spring break, move to online instruction

Panola College to extend spring break, move to online instruction
Panola County has updated their information regarding the extension of their spring break and moving to online classes. (Source: Panola College on Facebook)

PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The challenge of keeping students and faculty healthy is an ongoing topic among East Texans, including schools and universities.

Panola County has updated their information regarding the extension of their spring break and moving to online classes.

From Panola College:

As Panola College continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the safety of our students, employees, and community remains our top priority. Therefore, Panola College will extend spring break for students Monday – Sunday, March 23 – 29, 2020, to allow faculty and staff to prepare for providing classes and services online, and to follow the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing. Courses will resume with online instruction beginning March 30th. Faculty and staff are working hard to try to ensure a seamless transition. To date, there have been no reported COVID-19 cases impacting our students, faculty or employees.

This means that students should not physically report to class in person; however, all students should continue to monitor their Panola College email and Canvas for additional updates from their instructor(s). At this time, Panola College states that all students will have the opportunity to complete this semesters course work.

Classes where the learning is hands-on (e.g., Welding), students will hear from their specific instructors about how the labs and hands-on components will be conducted with social distancing best practices in place.

All Panola College locations will be closed next week to students and visitors as faculty and staff work to transition courses. Offices will reopen with altered operations and limited staffing on March 30th. While the staff remains ready to assist students in person by appointment only, students are encouraged to conduct business via phone call, zoom meetings, and email. Items needed from the Panola College Store may be purchased online at www.panolacollegestore.com and can be shipped or picked up at the door. The fitness center will be closed for the being.

On-campus housing will reopen to students on March 22nd. With most course instruction moving online, students will have the option to return to or to remain home for the remainder of the semester. All residences should contact Residence Life Coordinator, Katy Chance by email with their intent to return or check-out. The dining hall will continue to provide grab and go meals for residence hall students only, while Charlie’s Bistro will be closed for the remainder of the semester.

Due to the restrictions on event sizes, Panola College is also canceling all events including intercollegiate athletics, performances, student activities, on-campus community gatherings, and commencement in keeping with federal social distancing standards through May 10, 2020. May 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to participate in-person at the fall ceremony and diplomas will be sent via mail delivery to graduates.

Dr. Greg Powell, president of Panola College, recognizes how these changes and cancellations have created uncertainty and disappointment.

“We understand the impact of these decisions and we did not arrive at them lightly,” said Dr. Powell. “These decisions were made with careful thought and consideration of what is most important – the preservation of health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the community. These are unprecedented times, but I am confident that we will get through this with the support of one another.”

Further updates will be made available online at www.panola.edu/public-relations/coronavirus, by email, and on Panola College official social media channels.

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.