Date: October 26, 2012
From: Kelly M. Austin, Chancellor KMA
Cheryl A. Holland, Director of Business Services CAH
To: Faculty and Staff at Penn State Schuylkill
Re: Campus Closings & Cancellations
During the winter months, severe weather conditions may require the cancellation of classes or the closing of the campus on either a partial or full-day basis. Circumstances may call for:
Two Hour Delay – Classes begin at 10:00 AM. We will follow the normal class schedule for the remainder of the day. When a two-hour delay is announced, the first two hours of class time are eliminated. Instructors of those classes will announce make-up dates and times. Students are to report to their class at 10:00 AM, even though in some cases, it would already be in progress. All faculty and staff are to report at their regularly scheduled times.
Campus Will Open at [time will be indicated] – This statement applies to all but essential employees. Classes scheduled to begin prior to opening time will be rescheduled. Staff should report at time indicated.
Campus Will Close at [time will be indicated] – All operations after the closing time will be terminated. All but essential staff will be authorized to leave at the time indicated.
Campus is Closed. Only essential staff should report.
General Guidelines: When the Chancellor makes the decision to close Penn State Schuylkill or delay the start of classes, the regional media will be notified at one-and-one-half hours prior to the standard 8:00 a.m. reporting time for staff and before the start of the earliest scheduled class. The announcement will apply to all classes for the period affected, that is, morning, afternoon, or evening according to the specific scripts as shown above.
The Campus will make its announcement in the following ways:
1. An announcement will be placed on the Penn State Schuylkill Weather Delay & Emergency Information Line. All employees and students can access the system by calling (570) 385-6220.
2. Local media stations will be notified and given the appropriate message to broadcast.
3. The campus web page will carry a message regarding the status of classes.
4. A Message will be sent via the PSU Text-Messaging System, PSUTXT
Principles Governing Faculty Practices: If faculty make personal decisions to cancel classes during inclement weather, each instructor must discuss any weather-related arrangements in advance with the students preferably at the beginning of the semester.
If a faculty member cancels a class, he/she must notify students through telephone trees, email lists, instant messaging, or any other appropriate means. These arrangements should appear in the course syllabus.
Faculty must also notify the Academic Affairs Office. Such information is essential should students call the campus.
The best notification strategy is for faculty to access the Campus’s voice mail system and leave a message at their office number. Students should be instructed to call the faculty member’s office phone, which can be programmed with a message for students. Those programming instructions are available from the campus Business Office.
To assist students who travel a significant distance for classes, any such cancellation notices should be programmed, if possible, no later than one-and-one-half hours prior to the beginning of the class period.
Principles Governing Student Practices: If students notify the Academic Affairs office that they are unable to travel to class because of weather conditions, faculty members should help students make up the missed work.
Principles Governing Staff Practices: With the exception of essential employees, who have been informed of their status by letter, all other staff should follow the same instructions that apply to students. Staff should know the specific meanings of the scripts shown on the previous page and follow the instructions carefully. If a staff member believes that he/she is in any danger, each employee should exercise her/his own good judgment about reporting to work. However, each staff member should understand the implications of personal decisions and follow the directions provided in Human Resources Guideline 10 “Handling ‘Weather Day’ Absences or Official University Closedowns Due to Weather Conditions.”
Interpreting the Various Scripts Used by Media Outlets: Penn State Schuylkill will do everything it can to deliver clear and concise messages to the media. The messages will appear as follows: Classes are delayed 2 hours, the campus is open, is closed, or will open/close at a specific time. All faculty, staff, and students are expected to familiarize themselves with the specific phrases and their meanings. The common phrases are indicated below.
Please note that some media outlets release only minimal information and may use terminology different from Penn State’s. The official Penn State information will be found on the various electronic systems [web and Weather Delay & Emergency Information Line] noted below. Most media operators use computer systems with limited memory and often remove critical weather information after a few hours. Please pay careful attention to the broadcast media and check different outlets if you have any questions about the weather situation at Penn State Schuylkill.
If classes are cancelled due to inclement weather, please call:
Weather Delay & Emergency Information Line
MEDIA OUTLETS OFFERING WEATHER ANOUNCEMENTS
RADIO STATION WEB SITE
Pottsville WAVT – 101.9 FM
WPPA – 1360 AM
Lancaster WGAL –TV (8) http://www.wgal.com/closings/index.html
PSU Schuylkill Web Site http://www.sl.psu.edu
- The PSUTXT system is an emergency notification system which sends text messages to your cell phone.
- Registration is via the Web. To sign up, visit http://live.psu.edu/psutxt and follow the instructions.
- To receive only emergency messages about Penn State Schuylkill, select "Schuylkill Alerts" and unselect "University Park alerts."
- PSUTXT service subscriptions are free, but individuals' phone plans may charge for receipt of text messages. Penn State does not send out ads via this service.