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UPDATE: St. Norbert Colleges classes to remain online the rest of the semester, commencement postponed

Local News
WEDNESDAY 3/18/2020 2:26 p.m.

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – St. Norbert College has announced classes will remain online for the remainder of the semester due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to the college community from President Brian Bruess, “St. Norbert College, in line with colleges across the country, will need to remain online through the rest of this semester. As we make this decision, I feel completely assured that our faculty members will continue to provide quality instruction to our students, allowing course learning outcomes to be fully achieved. Faculty members are supported by our wonderful staff in ITS, the Library, and Faculty Development.”

The letter goes on to say that commencement will not take place as originally planned and will be rescheduled. Despite this, St. Norbert says they do intend to celebrate the milestone.

President Bruess says St. Norbert College is actively working on a plan to provide a refund or credit for room and meal plans. The details of that plan are expected to be shared in early April. Students still living on campus are being asked to plan to fully move out as soon as possible. School officials are ready to assist those in need. The housing office is set to inform current students on instructions regarding moving out of campus housing.

St. Norbert College staff have been asked to continue remote-working arrangements through March 27.

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St. Norbert moves to ‘alternative delivery modes for course instruction’ until April

WEDNESDAY 3/11/2020 5:07 p.m.

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – St. Norbert College has decided that, “out of an abundance of caution, St. Norbert College will move to alternative delivery modes for course instruction” beginning on Monday, March 23. This comes shortly after the school asked students to bring all course-related materials over spring break, which begins Monday, March 16.

In a letter sent to faculty forwarded to WFRV Local 5, the change will be in effect until April 13, but could be extended depending on local and national conditions.

RELATED: UPDATE: Three more cases of coronavirus confirmed in Wisconsin

“Please note this is not a campus closure but rather a change in how course content is delivered for the designated period.”

Students will be asked to be at home during this period, “unless they have received an exception,” according to the letter.

St. Norbert College is expected to hold a press conference at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Local 5 will have a crew on scene to provide more information.

RELATED: WHO declares that virus crisis is now a pandemic

St. Norbert College students studying abroad are being recalled and will receive a refund to their study-abroad fee. Outdoor athletic events will continue as planned, but St. Norbert says indoor athletic events may continue as planned without fans.

“All events expecting to attract 50 people or more and scheduled to take place on campus between Friday, March 13, at 4:30 p.m. and April 13 should be rescheduled or canceled. No decision has yet been made for events after April 13,” says the letter.

St. Norbert says they will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and changes surround the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin confirmed its fourth, fifth, and sixth cases of coronavirus in the state.

Original Story: St. Norbert College expands travel advisory, asks students to bring course material home over spring break

WEDNESDAY 3/11/2020 12:21 p.m.

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – St. Norbert College is asking its students to bring all course-related materials over spring break should the college need to implement “alternative modes of course delivery.”

According to a letter sent to the college community, St. Norbert College is also expanding travel restrictions. School officials say these new developments are a result of new recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

“All college-sanctioned travel for faculty, staff and students to or through any states so designated (as communities with widespread transmission and/or at CDC alert level 2 or above) is now precluded. (At time of writing, U.S. states so designated are New York, Washington, and California).”

UW-Madison has suspended spring semester face-to-face instruction after spring break until at least April 10. UW-Milwaukee extended its spring break until March 29 and is preparing to move the majority of its classes for all three campuses online following the extended spring break.

St. Norbert says the President’s Cabinet is now meeting daily on issues relating to coronavirus and its impact to the college community. A coronavirus working group including college divisions is meeting three times a week.

RELATED: Three more cases of coronavirus confirmed in Wisconsin

According to Gail Gilbert, Director of Study Abroad and Off-Campus Programs at St. Norbert College, students studying abroad have been given the option to return to the U.S. as the coronavirus continues to remain a concern. As of Wednesday morning, Gilbert says all but one student in Czechia are returning to the U.S. after the country’s government shut down all schools and imposed travel restrictions. About half of the St. Norbert College students in Spain are returning.

At this time, no St. Norbert College students have been told to return, they are only being offered the option. Gilbert says this could change as the CDC changes its travel advisories.

RELATED: St. Norbert study abroad students being brought home amid coronavirus outbreak: ‘It’s just very unfortunate’

Students planning to study abroad in fall are currently being asked to have two plans in place: one for if they need to remain on campus, and one for if they go abroad, says Gilbert.

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