Approaching winter wonderland makes school closing a possilbilty

by Suzanne Barrett

Darkness is arriving earlier, the air is growing colder, andsnow has entered the forecast. These signs mean only onething-winter is coming.

Bad weather conditions can cause many inconveniences, andsometimes become so harsh that traveling to school is almostimpossible.

Simpson has always had a direct policy concerning thecancellation of school related activities due to hazardousweather.

“Classes or examinations are cancelled when the weather becomessevere enough to pose a danger to students, faculty, and staff,”said Kevin LaGree, president of Simpson.

“Since I’ve been at Simpson, I’ve made the decision inconsultation with Bruce Haddox, Jim Thorius, and Bart Lane.”

A decision will be made before 6:30 a.m. to cancel daytimeclasses and by 4 p.m. for evening classes.

Walter Pearson, associate dean and director of adult learning,is in charge of the evening and weekend cancellations.

“I will look to flag [the bad weather] and Kevin LaGree will askme for recommendations on what the school should do. We also talkto different schools like Drake, Grandview and Iowa State to seewhat their plans are,” said Pearson.

After a decision is made, Pearson makes sure instructors andstudents are notified.

“There are around 100 students during the weekend that takeclass during the school year. I contact the instructors, who inturn will have a calling tree to contact the students about theclosings,” Pearson said.

Simpson has five ways of notifying students and faculty aboutschool closings.

As soon as cancellations occur a notice is placed on the frontpage of the school website and a voice mail is sent to all campustelephones notifying students of school closings. An e-mailnotification is also sent to all faculty, staff, and students attheir Simpson e-mail addresses.

Simpson uses the media to alert students as well.

“A notice is sent to the Des Moines radio and televisionstations,” LaGree said.

Students who are unsure of cancellations can also call theweather line at 961-1414 for information regarding Simpson.

According to Pearson, individuals who are still wondering aboutclass cancellations should use their better judgement and gaugewhether or not traveling is a wise decision.