PULLMAN — The spring semester at Washington State University will start later and won’t include spring break after changes were made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The semester will now start Jan. 19, about one week later than previously scheduled.

A weeklong spring break in March will not happen. Instead, WSU added three weekdays when classes will not be taught on Feb. 25, March 17 and April 13. A class holiday on Feb. 15, or Presidents Day, will also be observed.

“Nonessential travel continues to represent a significant threat to the health of our students, staff, faculty and the communities that support our physical campuses,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton in a news release. “We must make adjustments to the calendar to reduce this risk while maintaining opportunities for students to rest and refocus during the semester.”

The delayed start of the spring semester will give WSU time to adjust to any decisions made by the U.S. Department of Education on remote instruction requirements. It will also allow WSU to implement more robust testing and quarantine procedures.

The university will offer a mix of remote and in-person classes during the spring semester. Large lecture classes will be taught remotely, and each campus will allow an exception process for courses that require in-person access.

The changes were made in coordination with the Faculty Senate and included student feedback, according to the release.

Some health sciences programs will operate on an alternative calendar because of collaborations with other institutions or clinical placements.

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