Inclement Weather Procedure

Below are the college's policies and procedures related to inclement weather and the announcement of class delays or cancellations. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to review the policies and procedures before the onset of inclement weather in order to be familiar with how the college operates in the event of severe weather and where to go for announcements concerning class delays or cancellations.

If you have any questions, please contact the BC Office of Public Relations by e-mail at

General Policy for Students Attending Classes on the Main Campus in Bluefield

The decision to delay or cancel classes is based on two primary factors: 1) current weather/road conditions, and 2) anticipated changes in weather/road conditions. When classes are cancelled or delayed, the decision is based on what seems best for the majority of students. Weather and road conditions can vary from county to county and even within counties. In the event of inclement weather, one of two options may be invoked: 1) Inclement Weather Schedule (Two-Hour Delay), or 2) Classes Cancelled/Closed.

1. Inclement Weather Schedule (Two-Hour Delay)

The inclement weather schedule (reported in the media as "Inclement Weather" or "Two-hour delay") defers the start of classes until 10:00 am.

MWF Classes

Scheduled Time

Delay Time

8:00

10:00 

9:00

11:00 

11:00 

12:00

12:00

1:00 

1:00 

2:00

2:00

3:00

3:00

4:00

evening classes 

regular time

TT Classes

Scheduled Time

Delay Time

8:00

10:00

9:30

11:00

11:00

12:00

afternoon

regular time

evening classes

regular time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inclement weather schedule defers the College's opening time to 10:00 a.m.  When the College is affected in such instances, non-emergency College personnel are not required to report to work until the delayed opening time of 10:00 a.m.  For delayed openings (reported in the media as “Inclement Weather” schedule or “Two-Hour Delay”), staff are expected to arrive by 10:00 a.m., take only a 30-minute lunch, and work until 5:00 p.m., thereby achieving a 6.5-hour workday, losing only one hour to inclement weather.  For purposes of payroll records, such periods of leave should be reported as inclement weather leave.  Staff members are encouraged to use their best judgment when assessing their ability to travel safely to work in order to arrive by 10:00 a.m. A staff member who believes road conditions are too hazardous to come to work should inform his or her supervisor and will use vacation leave if unable to work on that day.  Emergency personnel (those in campus security, residence life, and others so designated in the College's emergency response plans) are required to work their normal hours during a delayed opening.  The College also requires employees of the outsourced vendors for maintenance and food service to work their normal hours during a delayed opening. 

Full-time non-emergency employees reporting on the delayed schedule because of an authorized delay will be paid for such delay, reported as inclement weather leave.  To qualify for such payment, employees must work or be on paid leave for the scheduled work day of the delay.  Full-time emergency employees will be credited with compensatory leave for the hours worked during such delays, and part-time emergency employees will be paid for the hours worked during such delays.  Non-emergency part-time hourly employees and part-time emergency employees who do not work on such days will not be paid for hours when the College is delayed.  Full-time emergency employees who do not work during such delays will not be credited with compensatory time but will be paid for such time if their absence is excused.  With supervisory approval and if work load is sufficient, non-emergency part-time hourly employees may make up inclement weather time missed for a delayed schedule; they will be paid for this make-up time.

2. Classes Cancelled/College Closed

Because the College is a residential student campus, the College very rarely closes because of inclement weather.  In certain rare circumstances when the College is affected by inclement weather, a natural disaster or other emergency, classes may be cancelled.  The classes cancelled or college closed status (reported in the media as “Classes Cancelled” or “College Closed”) means that all classes for students and faculty are cancelled, including night classes. In such rare cases, administrative operations of the College are also suspended.  Such closings may be for an entire or partial day.  When the College is closed in such instances, non-emergency College personnel are not required to work.  For purposes of payroll records, such periods of leave should be reported as inclement weather leave.  Emergency personnel (those in campus security, residence life, and others so designated in the College's emergency response plans) are required to work.  The College also requires employees of the outsourced vendors for maintenance and food service to work their normal hours during a delayed opening. 

Full-time non-emergency employees absent because of an authorized closing for an entire or partial shift will be paid for such absence.  To qualify for such payment, employees must work or be on paid leave the scheduled work day before and the scheduled work day after the closing. Full-time emergency employees will be credited with compensatory leave for the hours worked during such closings.  Non-emergency part-time hourly employees and part-time emergency employees who do not work on such days will not be paid for days when the College is closed.  Full-time emergency employees who do not work on such days will not be credited with compensatory time but will be paid for such time if their absence is excused.  With supervisory approval and if work load is sufficient, non-emergency part-time hourly employees may make up inclement weather time missed for a weather closing; they will be paid for this make-up time.

Administrative Procedure Regarding Inclement Weather for Classes on the Main Campus

1.   By 5:45 am each day, if not the evening before, road and weather conditions are assessed by the Director of Maintenance and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

2.  If a delay or cancellation decision is to be made, it will be determined by 6:00 am by the Director of Maintenance and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will notify the Vice President for Student Development and the Director of Public Relations.

3.  The Vice President for Student Development will then immediately notify appropriate residential personnel who will inform on-campus students about the status of classes.

4.  By 6:30 am, the Director of Public Relations will disseminate e-mails through the College list-serves (i.e. BCemployees, BCstudents) to notify faculty, staff, and students about the status of classes.

5.  By 6:30 am, the Director of Public Relations will distribute a similar notice by e-mail and text message to faculty, staff and students who have subscribed to the College’s RamAlert emergency notification system.

6.  By 6:30 am, the Director of Public Relations will post a RamAlert notice on the Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu and www.bluefield.edu/classdelays concerning the status of classes.

7.  By 6:30 am, the Director of Public Relations will notify local media outlets about the status of classes. Please see the following list of media outlets that will be notified.

8.  Also, by 6:30 am, the Director of Public Relations will place an automated message on the College’s main telephone voice mail greeting (276) 326-3682 and its 800 number greetings (800-872-0175 and 800-872-0176).

9.  When the “Inclement Weather Schedule” is announced, students should continue to monitor the situation for updates in the event deteriorating conditions require a “Classes Cancelled/College Closed” notice. Subsequent “Classes Cancelled” notices will be distributed in the same manner as previous announcements.

10.  While the College does its best to utilize technology and the news media, from time to time malfunctions and/or miscommunication with media may occur. It would be prudent to check several sources, counting on the College’s web site, email, phone system, or RamAlert notifications as the official message and not solely the media.

11.  In addition, commuter students are expected to use good judgment when deciding if conditions in their particular location are too severe.  The College cannot know the conditions present at each commuter’s home, nor can the College be responsible for each commuter’s decision or safety. Faculty will work with commuters who miss class due to dangerous road conditions; however, it is the student’s responsibility to keep up with lectures, turn in all assignments, take exams/tests, etc.

12.  Regardless of delay or cancellation, students are responsible for class work and assignments. In the case of cancellation, students should expect assignments, tests, presentations, etc. to be due on the next class period, unless the instructor has informed the student differently on the course syllabus.

13.  Given the unique circumstances involving evening classes and the possibility for changes in weather that may occur during the day, decisions regarding cancelling on-campus evening classes reside with the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the course instructors.

Sources to Rely on for Communication about the Status of Classes on the Main Campus

Primary Source

• Bluefield College RamAlert e-mail and text messaging emergency notification system
• Bluefield College e-mail list-serves for students, faculty and staff ("BCstudents" and "BCemployees")
• BC web site at bluefield.edu. If a notice is not posted on the home page, use bluefield.edu/classdelays

Secondary Sources

• Bluefield College main telephone number: 276.326.3682
• Bluefield College main telephone number: 800.872.0175
• Bluefield College main telephone number: 800.872.0176
• On-campus residence hall directors or resident advisors

Other Sources

• WVVA-TV 6
• WDBJ-TV 7
• WVNS-CBS TV 59
• J-104 Radio: FM 104.5
• Kicks Country Radio: FM 106.3 and 107.7
• The Eagle Radio: FM 100.9 and 100.1
• WHIS Talk Radio: AM 1440 and 1470
• Spirit FM Radio: FM 91.1
• Star 95 Radio: FM 95.9

General Policy for Classes and/or Employees NOT on the Main Campus in Bluefield

The decision to delay or cancel classes or revise administrative office hours is based on two primary factors: 1) current weather/road conditions, and 2) anticipated changes in weather/road conditions. The decision to delay or cancel classes or alter office hours is based on what seems best for the majority of students or best for the safety of employees staffing the particular office location. If class is cancelled, then that class period must be made up. Professors and students are encouraged to choose the make-up time carefully as the entire class is expected to attend.

Inclement Weather Procedure for Classes and/or Offices NOT on the Main Campus

1.  The decision to cancel classes or revise office hours at hub locations not on the main campus in Bluefield is the responsibility of the designated lead employee for that Bluefield College office location. Decisions to cancel classes held at remote locations will be made by the designated lead Bluefield College employee whose hub office covers the remote location, in consultation with the course instructors and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

2.  Consultation and a decision regarding the cancellation of classes or a revision in hours for classes or offices not on the main campus should, ideally, take place within at least two hours of the start of class or office hours or at the earliest possible time to avoid students or employees beginning to travel to the site.

3.  Communication to students regarding the status of classes not on the main campus should be made via e-mail or by telephone by the professor teaching the course or by the designated lead employee of that office location. Communication to employees regarding a delay or revision in office hours or the closing of an office for an entire or partial shift in locations not on the main campus should be made via e-mail or by telephone by the lead employee of that office location or by the Office of Academic Affairs.

4.  The designated lead employee in each office location will notify the course instructors involved, the division chair, the dean of the school or college, the director of online programs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Director of Public Relations. The Director of Public Relations will post an announcement on the BC web site. Further, the designated lead employee will make appropriate contact with the facility administration where the class was to be held.

5.  Full-time employees staffing offices not on the main campus in Bluefield who are absent because of a delay or revision in office hours or an authorized closing for an entire or partial shift will be paid for such absence. To qualify for such payment, employees must work or be on paid leave the scheduled work day before and the scheduled work day after the closing. Part-time hourly employees who do not work during such delays or closings will not be paid for days when the College is closed nor will they be credited with compensatory time. With supervisory approval and if work load is sufficient, non-emergency part-time hourly employees may make up inclement weather time missed for a weather closing; they will be paid for this make-up time.

Sources for Communication about the Status of Classes and Offices NOT on Main Campus

Primary Sources

• E-mail or telephone call from professor teaching the course or from the lead employee of the office location

• Bluefield College web site at www.bluefield.edu or www.bluefield.edu/classdelays 

Secondary Sources

• Bluefield College RamAlert e-mail and text messaging emergency notification system
• WDBJ-TV 7 or other television station in the area of the class or office location