LIBERAL, Kan.  — Seward County Community College will observe spring break from March 15-19 as originally scheduled on the academic calendar for 2020-21. While students and faculty will enjoy a traditional week off, campus business offices and administration will be open as usual.

Spring break, traditionally a popular time to travel, will look different this year, said SCCC Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan. Indeed, the majority of Kansas’ four-year public universities have cancelled spring break altogether. At SCCC, the week will look different depending on students’ activities.

“Our students have had to make adjustments to travel plans all year, and the changes to our athletic seasons resulted in a tighter spring schedule,” she said, adding that Saints athletes will see competition each day of Spring Break week.

Protocols have been set up for students who do opt to travel. Housing director Jennifer Malin conducted a survey of dorm residents in order prevent potential COVID-19 outbreaks once everyone is back on campus. Students who travel by air or who travel to high-risk locations will be asked to self-quarantine for 48 hours before having a COVID test; once results are received, they will either continue quarantine (if positive) or return to the population.

“We know people feel hopeful now that the vaccine is being distributed, but until we get through the post-Spring break period, we will continue to practice caution,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell.

SCCC employees who travel during spring break are asked to consult with their supervisors to determine whether they should self-quarantine and test for COVID upon return. More than 100 employees have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine, and the second dose will be administered the week after the break. Even so, according to CDC guidelines, caution is in order.

“However and wherever people travel, they need to exercise caution, wear masks, wash their hands,” said SCCC President Brad Bennett. “At the end of the day, we have to trust our team to take care of themselves and others.”

Overall, the administrative team is pleased with the SCCC approach to pandemic measures.

“I’ve said it before — I’m so impressed and proud of our employees and students for how they’ve responded,” said Bennett. “We’re looking forward to graduation, which is amazing when you think about how the year began.”

Business hours at SCCC are 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offices will remain open during the week of spring break.