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Mississippi public universities modify class schedules in response to coronavirus

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University of Mississippi campus. (Photo by Fredlyfish4, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74526667)

Mississippi’s public colleges and universities will extend spring break and suspend in-person classes after the break, the Institutions of Higher Learning announced Thursday.

Mississippi’s eight public universities have modified the schedules for the spring semester classes to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are paramount,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. in a statement. “Our universities are modifying the schedules for the spring semester out of an abundance of caution.”

All eight universities, including Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi are observing Spring Break this week and will extend Spring Break an additional week, which will allow faculty members time to prepare to offer classes remotely.

Classes will resume the following week, on Monday, March 23, and will be taught online and via other alternative instructional methods. Students are encouraged to remain at home and will participate in their classes remotely. Students enrolled in professional and graduate programs will be notified of any exceptions to meet clinical and other requirements.

“The situation remains fluid and university plans are subject to change in response to new information and recommendations received,” Rankins said. “We continue to work with the Mississippi Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Response Planning Steering Committee and the Mississippi State Department of Health as we develop our plans for the coming weeks and months. Our goal is to mitigate the risks posed by the coronavirus while maintaining the quality and integrity of our instructional programs.”

Faculty, staff, students and their families should monitor their university’s website, official social media accounts and their email daily for updated information.

Mississippi State Athletics announced Wednesday that beginning Thursday, March 12, and proceeding through at least Monday, March 30, attendance at all MSU Athletic events will be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and conference staff, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating student-athletes and coaches.

For more information on COVID-19 novel coronavirus, visit the Mississippi State Department of Health website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Education

Mississippi native elected as Harvard student body president

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(photo courtesy Noah Harris)

A Mississippi high school graduate has been elected as Harvard University’s student body president.

Noah Harris, a 2018 graduate of Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the first African American to serve in the role at prestigious Harvard University in Massachusetts.

“I’m really grateful that the student body is entrusting me with such a historic and unprecedented moment,” Harris told WDAM. “To make the right moves and to really bring their voices to the forefront. I just never expected that I would be in a position to run for this.”

Harris is a junior and a political science major at Harvard. He served as treasurer on the finance committee in his first two years. His vice president and running mate is neuroscience major Jenny Gan. Both plan on making a difference at the university.

Harris and Gan will be sworn in Dec. 6.

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Education

Corey Wilson is Warren Central’s Teacher of the Year

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Warren Central's Principal Eric Green, left, presents teacher and coach Corey Wilson Sr. with a basket of goodies. (photo courtesy WCHS)

Warren Central High School teacher and football coach Corey Wilson Sr. has won the WCHS Teacher of the Year award for the 2020-2021 school year.

Wilson has been teaching at Warren Central for 19 years and has helped educate thousands of students over the years. He teaches introduction to architecture construction mechatronics and engineering.

Wilson is also a football coach for the school and has helped plenty of young athletes gain athletic scholarships. He is well respected by his students, colleagues and the Vicksburg community.

“A well deserved award for a guy that goes beyond the limit. Proud to be mentored and work with him. Great coach,” said fellow teacher and coach Ced Jackson in a text message.

Wilson will help lead the Vikings football team Friday as they travel to face Tupelo High School.

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COVID-19

Vicksburg Warren School Districts reports three new COVID-19 cases

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For the week of Nov. 2 through Nov. 6, the Vicksburg Warren School District reported two new COVID-19 cases and four individuals quarantined due to possible exposure to the virus in the same time period.

Cases were reported at the following schools:

Warren Central High School
Two new positive cases – teachers/staff

Warren Central Intermediate
Four quarantined – teachers/staff

For the prior week, Oct. 26 through Oct. 30, the district reported one new COVID-19 case, a student, at River City Early College High School.

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