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. Faculty should review Handling Weather Day Absences (Human Resources Guideline 10) for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled. Information on class attendance policies is available at undergrad.psu.edu (Policy E-11) and in Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 (Class Attendance).
Cancelled Classes and Delivery Modes
In the event of a change in normal campus operations due to weather or an emergency, such as during a delay or cancellation, in-person courses cannot be moved to a synchronous remote meeting, per Faculty Senate Policy 45-00, due to the fact that all students, faculty and instructors may not have the same access to University facilities and resources (such as Wi-Fi or materials needed for specialized instruction) or they may have other commitments, such as child care.
Based on a course’s mode of delivery, the following actions apply during a change in normal campus operations:
In-person. In-person classes scheduled to begin before the announced restart time will not be held. Instructors may 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). Per current University Faculty Senate policy, these classes may not meet remote synchronously. In-person classes beginning after the announced restart time will be held as scheduled.
Hybrid. Hybrid classes scheduled to meet in-person prior to announced restart time will not be held; however, content may be offered asynchronously. Per current University Faculty Senate policy, these class sessions may not meet remote synchronously. 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. Alternatively, these classes may be canceled or offered asynchronously. Instructors should communicate directly with their students regarding their plans for their classes during the impacted period.
Remote synchronous. Classes already scheduled as remote synchronous may continue to be taught remote synchronously if the faculty member wishes and is safely able to do so. Alternatively, classes may be canceled or offered asynchronously. Instructors should communicate directly with their students regarding their plans for their classes during the impacted period.
Web. Classes will continue to be offered as planned with no changes.
Unless an instructor is designated an “essential employee,” they should not travel to campus during a change in normal campus operations.
If students notify the faculty member that they are unable to travel to class because of weather conditions, faculty members should help those students make up missed work.
Notification of Individual Class Cancellations
Because faculty members may make personal decisions to cancel classes during inclement weather, each instructor must discuss any weather-related arrangements in advance with students, preferably at the beginning of the semester. This discussion should include information about the rescheduling of cancelled classes and/or alternative means of ensuring that students receive a full semester of instruction despite weather-related cancellations.
If a faculty member cancels a class, he/she must notify students through email lists, instant messaging, Canvas, or any other appropriate means. These arrangements should appear in the course syllabus. The faculty member should also notify the registrar, who will post individual class cancellations on the campus blue screens and website. Such information is also essential should students contact the registrar.
To assist students who travel a significant distance for classes, any such cancellation notices should be posted, if possible, no later than two hours prior to the beginning of the class period.