Inclement Weather Information

Campus 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 advanced 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., whenever possible. The campus will make its announcement through Penn State’s PSUAlert* as well as on the campus website, the on-campus blue screens, Facebook, and 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.
  • Early dismissal (if conditions worsen through the day). As of the time of dismissal, all classes, activities, and special events (day and evening) are cancelled, and offices will not be staffed. Only essential personnel are on duty at this time.

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.

Cancelled Classes and Delivery Modes

In the event of a class cancellation, the faculty member has the discretion (based on a course’s mode of delivery), to take the following actions:

  • In-person: The instructor can choose to cancel class altogether or offer content asynchronously (such as recording a lecture for students to watch at another time or asking students to complete a reading or other self-directed learning activity). However, the class may not meet remote synchronously (e.g., using Zoom) per Faculty Senate Policy 45-00, except for when extenuating circumstances exist.
  • Hybrid: If the class is scheduled to meet in-person, then the content can be offered asynchronously or the class can be canceled. Hybrid classes previously scheduled to be delivered remote synchronously may be held as scheduled if the faculty member wishes and is safely able to do so. Any planned asynchronous activities can continue.
  • Remote synchronous (Zoom): The instructor can choose to cancel class or to hold class as planned.
  • Remote asynchronous (Web): The class will continue as planned with no changes.

Individual Class Cancellations

At times, an individual faculty member may unexpectedly need to cancel a class due to illness or other unanticipated life event. Individual class cancellations are posted on the campus Message Board, which you can view on our campus website or on 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 are 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 delayed start on a second day, the 8:00 a.m. finals on that day will be held on Friday at 10:00 a.m.
  • If the campus has a delayed start on a third day, the 8:00 a.m. finals on that day will be held on Friday at 12:00 p.m.
  • If the campus has a delayed start on a fourth day, 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.


*As stated above, the University’s primary source for information on inclement weather is PSUAlert. Although signup for the PSUAlert system is reserved for students, faculty and staff, members of the public are encouraged to follow alerts via Facebook and Twitter. Specific links for those who wish to follow PSUAlert messages on Facebook and Twitter, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at psualert.psu.edu.