panola college students

A student walks across campus at Panola College one Thursday afternoon.

Panola College will extend its Spring Break by a week and move to online instruction this semester in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Spring Break has been extended to March 29 so that faculty and staff can prepare for providing online instruction. Classes will resume online on March 30. The college said on-campus housing would re-open to students on March 22.

The college said it was enacting the measures to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing. There have been no reported COVID-19 cases among students, faculty or employees, the college said.

“We understand the impact of these decisions and we did not arrive at them lightly,” President Greg Powell said. “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.”

All Panola College campuses will be closed next week to students and visitors. Offices will reopen with limited staffing and altered operations beginning March 30. Students will be encouraged to conduct business via phone, Zoom and email.

The change in instruction means students will not physically report to class. The college says students should monitor their college email and Canvas for additional updates.

The college said all students would be able to complete this semester’s work. Classes with hands-on learning will receive instructions from their instructors about how labs and other components will be conducted.

Students living on campus will have the option to return or remain at home for the remainder of the semester. Residents should contact Residence Life Coordinator Katy Chance by email to let the college know if they plan to return or check out.

The college’s dining room will continue to provide grab and go meals for residence hall students only. Charlie’s Bistro will be closed for the remainder of the semester.

The college has also cancelled all events, including intercollegiate athletics, student activities, community gatherings and graduation through May 10. The college said May 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to participate in the fall commencement ceremony and diplomas would be mailed home.

Items needed from the Panola College Store can be bought online at panolacollegestore.com and then shipped or picked up at the door. The college’s fitness center is closed for the time being.

Updates will be posted online at www.panola.edu/public-relations/coronavirus, via email and on Panola College official social media channels.

Reporter

Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.