Those who have lived in western South Dakota for any amount of time can attest to the variability of the weather -- both from one area of the Hills to another and from one hour to the next. Whereas faculty members who teach evening classes live both inside Rapid City and outside Rapid City, it is not uncommon for some classes to be held while others are cancelled. The weather could be nonthreatening in Rapid City, but beyond Rapid City, the roads could be too dangerous to travel.
Weather-related Rapid City class cancellations are reported on the BHSU-RC Weather Line and the BHSU-RC website. The Weather Line number is 605.718.4118 and is updated as soon as the administrative offices are notified of the cancellation. This number should be kept close at hand, especially during the months prone to inclement weather. Ideally it is programmed into your cell phone to make it readily accessible when needed! Cancellations will also be listed under a flashing alert button on the homepage.
When inclement weather is approaching, weather radar maps are watched very closely. Initially the weather line recording relates the current date and the message that all Rapid City classes will be held as scheduled. Hearing the current date serves as a signal that weather conditions are being monitored.
The decision to cancel classes begins around 2:30 p.m. Instructors coming from Spearfish and other out-lying areas are contacted to find out whether they will be traveling to Rapid City to teach. As information is received from various instructors, the message changes to "all classes will be held as scheduled with the exception of those taught by 'instructor x' and 'instructor y.'" As more information is received, the message will continue to change to "all classes will be held as scheduled with the exception of those taught by 'instructor x', 'instructor y' and 'instructor z'" -- and so on. The recording is updated as soon as the instructor notifies the BHSU-RC offices.