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Board of Regents schools eye more normal fall semester

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 11:08 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Board of Regents says the state’s six public universities and two special schools are planning for a return to more normal operations this fall.

“Our goal is to return campus life this fall to a setting that looks much like it was before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian L. Maher, executive director for the board. “With vaccines available now in higher education and K-12 settings, we can all look forward to more normal operations ahead.”

Maher said South Dakota’s success in vaccine distribution, as well as local efforts to manage and keep positive infection rates low, will guide the universities’ and schools’ planning for the 2021 fall semester.

The Board of Regents is the governing body for Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, and South Dakota School for the Deaf.

University of South Dakota President Sheila Gestring welcomed the return to normal school life.

“Students can expect to return to USD’s campus this fall and experience the full spectrum of student life, including in-person classes, activities, athletic events and more,” Gestring said.

USD is planning for fall operations that do not include social distancing measures or mask mandates, provided local infection rates remain low.

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