SMU May, June Classes Move Online

As we’re sheltering in place, the news keeps coming, and it may be hard to find time to read the things that could impact your family, friends, and neighbors. Today’s digest gives you some bullet points:

  • SMU Moving May, June Classes Online
  • Gov. Abbott Waives Certain Pharmacy Regulations To Increase Workforce Capabilities
  • Abbott Announces Temporary Closure Of State Parks And Historic Sites
  • Highland Park Wants You To ‘Chalk The Walk’

SMU Moving May, June Classes Online

The university announced this week that it would move May and June term classes online because of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enrollment for May and June classes for current SMU students opens April 13, and the priority enrollment deadline is April 24. 

The university hasn’t decided how classes that are scheduled to start in July will be offered. 

Those with questions about May or June terms can contact SMU Intersessions staff from 2 – 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on Zoom or by scheduling an appointment by emailing [email protected].

Many of the courses previously listed for May term at SMU-in-Taos will be offered online, while others that are site-dependent, such as “Photography in Taos,” will not.  None of the field school classes previously scheduled for June at SMU-in-Taos will be available. Students with questions about SMU-in Taos courses may contact Rumanda Young at [email protected] or Lashanda Phillips at [email protected].

“More than 50% of our SMU students who graduate in four years take advantage of the Intersession courses offered during breaks between semesters and over the summer. We understand that the availability of these courses is key to timely progress toward your degree and hope you will take full advantage of what is being offered online,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim Peter Moore said in a letter to the campus community. 

Gov. Abbott Waives Certain Pharmacy Regulations To Increase Workforce Capabilities

Gov. Greg Abbott April 7 announced he temporarily waived certain regulatory requirements to increase the job capacities of pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns.

Under the waiver, pharmacy technicians can accept prescription drug orders over the phone — a responsibility typically reserved for pharmacists. The waiver also allows pharmacy technicians to transfer or receive a transfer of original prescription information on behalf of patients. 

These two waivers can be utilized at the discretion of pharmacists. Additionally, Abbott waived certain regulations allowing pharmacy interns to assist pharmacists without the designation of preceptor.

“By expanding the duties of pharmacy technicians and the additional availability of interns to all pharmacists, we are ensuring members of the pharmacy workforce can efficiently serve their fellow Texans throughout the COVID-19 response,” said Abbott. “These waivers provide flexibility to our pharmacists and those that assist them to ensure they can continue to perform their important duties.”

Abbott Announces Temporary Closure Of State Parks And Historic Sites

Abbott April 7 directed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to close all state parks and historic sites as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen social distancing practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Historic sites and state parks closed to the public at 5 p.m. April 7 and will reopen at the direction of the governor. 

“Social distancing is our best tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Abbott. “The temporary closure of our state parks and historic sites will help us achieve this goal by preventing the gathering of large groups of people. I urge all Texans to continue to stay at home except for essential services as we respond to COVID-19. By following these social distance practices, we will overcome this challenge together.”

Highland Park Wants You To ‘Chalk The Walk’

Lastly, our bit of good news for today is Highland Park parks employees created the first drawing for “chalk the walk.”

Town officials are asking residents to share sidewalk chalk creations by sending photos of the creations to [email protected] or mentioning @HP_Texas on Twitter.

Images will be selected at random to be posted to the town’s website.

Photo Courtesy: Town of Highland Park

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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