Universities in South Dakota are going to see some changes this fall. Mainly that they'll have a Christmas break that will be longer than ever before.

The South Dakota Board of Regents, which oversees the six state universities, announced that the on-campus part of the calendar will conclude at the Thanksgiving break when it begins on November 25.

“The goal is to maintain the academic calendar while being mindful of public health,” said Regents President John W. Bastian in a press release. “Our university presidents recommended this adjustment to reduce student travel to and from campus. Everyone is looking for ways to successfully operate during a global pandemic and avoid the spread of this coronavirus wherever possible.”

Classes for the Fall semester of 2020 will begin three days earlier on Wednesday, August 19. Classes normally would have started until August 24.

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To create more time in the classroom some traditional holidays will now have classes such as Labor Day on September 7, Native American Day on October 12, and Veterans Day on November 11 will all have classes running as normal.

Though there will be programming developed to recognize the importance of those holidays, as well as additional time off given to employees to make up for the loss of those days off.

Students will have November 30 and December 1 as off days from school to prepare for final exams. Those exams will then take place remotely from December 2 through December 8.

During the week between Christmas and New Years Day, all campuses will be closed to allow for thorough cleaning.

No plans were announced for what will happen for the Spring semester.

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