BEMIDJI -- Bemidji State, Northwest Technical College and the 35 other colleges and universities within the Minnesota State system will extend spring break an additional week, officials announced Monday. For the 32 institutions on spring break last week, including BSU and NTC, instruction will resume March 30. For the five institutions starting spring break this week, instruction will resume April 6.

This decision was made to ensure faculty and staff had time to prepare for distance learning, said Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra in an email to faculty and staff Monday.

“In light of the concerns that we have heard from campuses, we will extend the preparation time for faculty and staff by one additional week,” he said.

The email also recommended faculty attempt to work from home if possible, hold meetings over video conference and try to be accommodating of the inevitable increase in employee absences.

“Regardless of the changing circumstances, our priorities will always remain the same: to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of our faculty, staff, and students, and to enable students to complete the spring semester and progress toward their educational goals,” Malhotra said.

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