San Antonio universities, colleges extend spring break amid spread of coronavirus

Classes will be taught online when school resumes

SAN ANTONIO – Universities and colleges across San Antonio announced an extension to spring break due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Trinity University’s action was the most restrictive in the San Antonio area. The university announced it will shut down residence halls and only allow students to collect any personal belongings while they move out in the coming weeks.

Students are able to request exemptions to remain on campus if necessary. The remainder of the semester will be taught online.

The University of Texas at San Antonio canceled classes through the week of March 15, according to an announcement from the school. On March 23, classes will be taught online through April 13.

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The university’s housing will remain open, and so will campus services. However, students are encouraged to stay home if possible.

Alamo Colleges District followed suit, canceling classes next week. Only computer labs and college libraries will remain open. Classes will resume on March 23 and will be taught online for a minimum of two weeks. All study abroad travel has been canceled.

Texas A&M University San Antonio also announced extending spring break to prepare for online instruction, which will begin on March 23.

St. Mary’s University also extended spring break for a week. The faculty will use the week to prepare for the “possibility” of online instruction.

Our Lady of the Lake University announced it has extended spring break for students in face-to-face classes through March 20. The school says classes that are fully online will meet as scheduled. When face-to-face classes resume on March 23, all instruction will move to an online format, OLLU announced.

The university sent the following statement:

"All OLLU campuses will remain open during this time and students may remain in the residence halls. Student services including dining, the library, computer labs and counseling services will remain open as well.

"There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in the OLLU community and the risk of infection remains low. The university is extending Spring Break and moving classes online out of an abundance of caution and to minimize exposure for our students.

"OLLU will be prepared to maintain online instruction through April 14. However, students are asked to monitor communication from the university for updates or changes.

“At this time athletic events will continue as scheduled.”

The University of the Incarnate Word announced that it will extend spring break through March 20 for students, with the exception of those with F-1 Visas, who must return to campus by March 16 to meet with the UIW International Office for special instruction.

UIW said beginning March 23, “classes for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term will be held remotely online via Blackboard (or other online tools already in use).”

The university also sent out the following immediate decisions made:

  • "Faculty should return to campus next week (March 16-20) to prepare their online course delivery.
  • "UIW will otherwise continue normal administrative operations. As such, faculty and staff will continue to work from UIW locations.
  • "This direction applies to all of UIW’s Texas locations. Our international campuses will be guided by the Vice President for International Affairs.
  • “Dr. Denise Staudt, dean of the Dreeben School of Education, will provide guidance to St. Anthony Catholic High School.”

UIW said more details will be announced on Thursday.

The University of Texas at Austin said it will extend spring break for students for another week. Classes will resume on campus on March 30. The school said students should plan on returning prior to that date.

“Students who wish to return to campus as previously scheduled on March 23 will still be able to do so — residence halls, dining halls, health and counseling services and other facilities will be open. Other university operations will also continue during the next two weeks and beyond,” the university said in a statement.

Click here to learn more about the UT Austin coronavirus update letter sent to students and staff members.

No school districts in the San Antonio area have announced closures, either.

About the Authors:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.