Inclement Weather Information

Delays and Cancellations

During the winter months, severe weather conditions may disrupt normal campus operations. Weather conditions may necessitate a delayed opening, early dismissal, or all-day cancellation of Wilkes-Barre classes, activities, and work.

When the chancellor makes the decision to close the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus or delay the start of classes, it will be announced with as much advance notice as possible before the standard 8:00 a.m. reporting time for staff and before the start of the earliest scheduled classes. Decisions about evening classes will be made by 3:00 p.m. The campus will make its announcement through Penn State’s PSUAlert system, on the campus website, on the campus blue screens, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on local television station WNEP 16.

Circumstances may call for:

  • Delayed Start (if conditions seem to be improving but additional time is needed for travel to campus). Classes and activities that begin before the announced delay time are canceled; classes or activities beginning at or after the announced delay time will be held as originally scheduled. For example, when it is announced that the campus will open at 10 a.m. due to inclement weather, classes that begin before 10 a.m. are canceled and will not be held and classes beginning at 10 a.m. or later will continue on their regular schedule.  (Please note: Penn State Wilkes-Barre no longer uses a compressed schedule.) Decisions about day classes will be made by 6:00 a.m. whenever possible, and public announcements will follow.
  • Classes and Activities Cancelled  (if poor conditions are predicted to continue all day and into the evening). This means that neither day nor evening classes will meet, all activities are cancelled, and offices will not be staffed. Only essential personnel are on duty at this time.
  • Evening Classes and Activities Cancelled  (if conditions are predicted to worsen into the evening). All evening classes, activities, and special events (those scheduled for 5 p.m. or later) are cancelled. Only essential personnel are on duty at this time. However, daytime classes are not cancelled.
  • Daytime Classes and Activities Cancelled (if conditions are predicted to improve later, enabling evening classes to meet). There are no daytime classes or activities, and only essential personnel are on duty during the day. However, evening classes, activities, and special events (those scheduled for 5 p.m. or later) are not cancelled.

Initial decisions by the campus administration are subject to revision based on changing weather conditions, so employees and students should check for updates if conditions seem to be deteriorating. For example, although daytime classes may run, evening classes could be cancelled later on.

All employees and students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety. Faculty, staff and students should use their own best judgment when considering traveling to campus or the need to leave early during times of inclement weather.

The campus community is reminded that during inclement weather, the Maintenance and Operations staff will be working diligently to clear sidewalks, parking lots and roadways as quickly as possible. In the event that normal operations are disrupted due to snow or other weather or emergency conditions, individuals are urged to avoid coming to campus. Those who must visit campus should remain alert and avoid sections of campus that may be covered in snow or ice.

Campus Police and Public Safety services remain operational during normal hours, regardless of the weather.

Class Delivery

If normal campus operations are disrupted because of inclement weather or an emergency, a course’s usual delivery mode will determine the manner of delivery until return to normal operation. In-person classes may be canceled, or content may be offered asynchronously; hybrid courses may be canceled or offered asynchronously; remote synchronous courses may continue as planned or be canceled or offered asynchronously; and web classes may continue with no changes. (Synchronous = students and instructors attending class together at the same time. Asynchronous = students accessing class materials on their own time.)

Individual Class Cancellations

At times, an individual faculty member may unexpectedly need to cancel a class. This may be because they live far away and the weather is too poor for their commute (although not bad enough to close down the campus); they are ill; or some other unanticipated event prevents them from holding class.

Individual class cancellations are posted on the campus website and on the campus Message Boards (the blue television screens around campus). This information will be updated promptly whenever a class is cancelled. You are encouraged to check for class cancellations before coming to campus.

Note: Please be aware that in the event of a cancelled class, your instructor may have special instructions or assign work to be done before the next class, so be sure to check your Penn State email and/or log into Canvas to check.

Final Exams in Bad Weather

In the event of a delayed opening or campus classes and activities are cancelled during final exam week, an alternate final exam schedule will take effect.

Classes and Activities Cancelled. If campus classes and activities are cancelled during final exam week any day Monday–Thursday, Friday will be the exam make-up day. Your finals will be at the same time in the same rooms but held on Friday instead of the original day.

Delayed Start. When the campus has a delayed start, the 8:00 a.m. exams that day will need to be rescheduled; the finals scheduled for the rest of the day will remain unchanged.

  • If the campus has a delayed start, the 8:00 a.m. finals on that day will be held on Friday at 8:00 a.m. 
  • If the campus has a second delayed start, the 8:00 a.m. finals on that day will be held on Friday at 10:00 a.m.
  • If the campus has a third delayed start, the 8:00 a.m. finals on that day will be held on Friday at 12:00 p.m.
  • If the campus has a fourth delayed start, the 8:00 a.m. finals on that day will be held on Friday at 2:00 p.m.

Early Dismissal. If campus classes and activities are cancelled after the start of the day, those finals that have to be rescheduled will move to the same time on Friday.

Continuing Education Inclement Weather Policy

If all Wilkes-Barre campus classes are cancelled, all on-campus daytime or evening CE classes are also cancelled.

If cancellations of Continuing Education (CE) programs (credit courses, workshops, seminars, or contracted programs) at any location are necessary due to inclement weather, CE will post a listing of individual class cancellations. If a class is cancelled, it will be posted at least one hour prior to the start of the class. If you do not see the cancellation listed on the cancellations web page, the class will be held. In addition to checking the individual class cancellations web page, students may call the Continuing Education office at (570) 675-9253 during regular business hours, 8:00 a.m.⁠–⁠5:00 p.m., Monday–⁠Friday. If a class is cancelled, you will be notified as to how it will be made up.