Students at Alexandria Technical and Community College, including online students, have now been given two extra weeks of spring break.

The decision initially was to suspend classes for the week of March 16 – when ATCC students were set to return from spring break – was announced on March 12 by Minnesota State. ATCC is one of 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities in the Minnesota State system.

But on Monday, ATCC announced all classes are suspended until Monday, March 30. The college will remain open for business during that time, and all faculty and staff must report to work.

When classes do resume on March 30, they will not be meeting face-to-face for the rest of the semester. The college is formulating details of an alternative format, and advisers will contact all students with updated information on the next steps.

The extra time off for students is being used "so plans can be developed to teach classes using alternative modes of delivery and adjust campus learning spaces to ensure the safety of our communities," according to a Minnesota State press release.

Customized training sessions were canceled for the week of March 16-22. For questions on other upcoming sessions, call 762-4510.

ATCC's Student Life events and intramurals have been postponed, with plans to reschedule.

The free tax preparation sessions at the college on March 17 and 19 have been canceled, and discussions are underway on whether the rest of the sessions will be held. The entire Senior College spring lineup was also canceled (see related story).

The suspension of classes for a week will impact approximately 350,000 students in what is one of the largest school systems in the U.S. The announcement came one day after the University of Minnesota system announced it was suspending in-person classes at its five locations.

All of the Minnesota State system's campuses – including residence halls, dining facilities and student support services – will remain open and appropriately staffed, according to the announcement.

Minnesota State has canceled all gatherings and events where 100 or more people would be in attendance until May 1.

It also has suspended all out-of-state business travel for students, faculty and staff. School-and-business related travel to other countries was suspended earlier on Feb. 28.

Minnesota State urges students to stay in contact with their institutions and instructors before class resumes for the latest details.

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