Simpson College announces its plans for Fall 2020


Alex Kirkpatrick/The Simpsonian

File photo of College Hall

by Alyssa Craven, Editor-in-Chief

On June 3 Simpson College announced its proposed working safety plan for on-campus classes for Fall 2020.

The College’s Crisis Management Team has been working to establish a framework and guidelines for the reopening of campus,” Marsha Kelliher, President of Simpson College, said in an email. Recognizing the fluidity of the situation, the college has adopted the following guidelines.”

According to the email, Simpson has four colors that correlate to each part of the plan.

Currently, Simpson is operating in red where there are solely online classes.

For the first two weeks after all major breaks Simpson will move into the orange plan.

According to the email, everyone must, “Practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet or more from others. No group gatherings of 10 or more outside the classroom. Classroom size needs to operate at 50% of capacity if space restrictions do not allow for 6 feet social distancing.”

Masks or face shields will be required in nonresidential buildings, and outside buildings, if social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks will also be recommended for campus housing and public spaces.

“Request for exceptions should be forwarded to CMT,” the email said. “We are requiring all faculty, staff, and students (while present on campus) to be checking and monitoring COVID symptoms daily. We are in the process of building a site in Moodle (online education platform) for community members to check-in daily.”

Once the two weeks are over Simpson will make a decision about whether or not Simpson will transition to yellow or stay on orange based on parameters that will be published on the Simpson College COVID-19 website.

On the yellow plan people will still be expected to maintain social distancing of keeping 6 feet or more from others. Group gathering sizes will fluctuate according to current guidelines.

“Classroom size operates at 100% while trying to maintain as much social distancing as possible,” the email said. “Masks (or appropriately sized face shields) are required when inside all nonresidential buildings.”

Once a vaccine is available or reliable resting is more accessible Simpson will move to the green plan.

“We anticipate lifting all physical distancing measures and group gathering restrictions,” the email said. “Continue respiratory and hand hygiene.  Mask use at the discretion of students, staff, and faculty.”

On July 6 Simpson will have 50% or people returning campus, on July 20 Simpson will have 75% returning capacity on campus and on August 3 a 100% will be returning to campus.

This phased approach for a return to campus will ensure we keep the safety of all as our first consideration,” the email said. “Individual departments and divisions will work to determine [the] implementation of this phased return to work from campus.”

Anyone that experiences COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed will be expected to quarantine.

Simpson is hosting a Parent’s Town Hall on June 4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for anyone that has questions. Questions can also be sent to [email protected].

Story corrected on June 3 at 2:22 p.m. to say that after two weeks on the orange plan Simpson would look into transitioning to yellow plan.