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College Cancellation Information

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Administrative Regulation EA-R (LOCAL)

Campus Closure Policy

September 2020 (last updated September 2021)

PURPOSE

This policy establishes the process for delays and closings of Lee College in the event of severe weather, power outages, chemical spills, etc. This policy applies to the main campus, McNair Center and Liberty Center. This document does not replace Lee College's Emergency Response Plan.

DECISION TO CLOSE CAMPUS OR SPECIFIC BUILDINGS

The president is responsible for campus or building closure decisions and is the official designated to authorize and post notification of college, campus, or building closings. Notice of college, campus, and building closings will occur through the emergency alert system and will be placed on area radio and television stations, the Lee College website, and the college phone system. Specific information is listed at the end of this memo. If no cancellations are announced, it should be assumed that the college is open and classes are being held.

DECISION TO CANCEL ONE OR MORE CLASSES

Department chairs are responsible for individual class cancellations. Faculty members must notify their chair if they are unable to teach, and the department chair will attempt to find a substitute instructor before deciding to cancel the class. Course cancellation decisions must be made at least two hours prior to the start of class unless advance notification is impossible because of the nature of the emergency. Students will be notified of course cancellations by their instructors using email and notifications placed on Blackboard when applicable, and the dual-enrollment department will be notified if dual-credit students are enrolled.

DECISION TO GIVE STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF THE OPTION TO MISS CLASS/WORK

The president is responsible for deciding to give students, faculty members, and staff members the option to miss class or work. This option is generally used when an event has a disproportionate affect on a minority of residents in the college's service area. Notification to students, faculty members, and staff members will follow the same process as for a campus closure.

TIMING OF ANNOUNCEMENTS

When possible, notification of the college, campus, or building closure will be made by the following times:

  • Morning cancellation or closing — announcement out by 5 a.m.
  • Afternoon cancellation or closing — announcement out by 9 a.m.
  • Evening cancellation or closing — announcement out 2 p.m.

Weekend Classes

  • Weekend cancellation or closing — announcement out by Friday close of business

WHEN COLLEGE, CAMPUS OR BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED

A message will be sent out to all students, faculty members, and staff members, notifying them of the closure. This communication will also be posted on the Lee College website and all social media channels. A notification via Rebel Alerts will also be disseminated. All media outlets and education partners will be notified of the campus closure. A follow-up message notifying affected parties of the college's reopening will be sent and posted on the Lee College website and social media.

If a building is closed because of a power outage, gas leak, etc. this does not explicitly mean a class is canceled. Students should check the Lee College website, myLC email, and Blackboard to determine if their classes have been affected.

WHEN STUDENTS, FACULTY MEMBERS, AND STAFF MEMBERS ARE GIVEN THE OPTION TO MISS CLASS/WORK

Providing the highest quality education experience to Lee College's student population makes it imperative that the campus be closed only in the most severe circumstances. There are occasions when an event may have a disproportionate affect on a minority of residents in the college's service area, such as localized flooding or a hurricane that misses the college's service area but damages a nearby area where many of our students, faculty members, and staff members have friends and relatives who need assistance. In this case, the college will remain open to serve those who are not affected, but it will give others the option to miss class or work.

  • Student attendance when classes are not canceled

Students should make their own decisions about whether to risk driving in heavy rain, flooding, or other severe weather conditions. All work in such cases can be made up, as long as faculty members are promptly notified and the work is completed in a timely fashion.

  • Faculty members canceling specific classes
    In those rare instances when classes are held college-wide, but a faculty member cannot get to class, that faculty member should contact the chair of the department. The chair will determine if the class will be canceled. If it is determined that the class will be canceled, instructors must give at least two hours' notice to students that a class is being canceled. If the notification of cancellation of a course comes within two hours of instruction, the class CANNOT be canceled, a substitute must be identified. If a class is canceled, instructors and/or the division needs to contact students to notify them of the cancellation. This communication should be in the form of email, Blackboard, and phone. The chair needs to notify deans and director of dual-enrollment immediately upon cancellation, if applicable. The director of dual enrollment will contact the education center manager(s) to notify them of classes canceled on their specific campuses. College-wide announcements will not be made for class cancellations by individual professors or programs.

  • Staff members who cannot report to work
    Staff members who cannot reach campus, or those who feel they must leave before an official closing, should work with their supervisors to ensure that required work is accomplished. This may mean making up time at a later date. Staff members will be required to take personal leave or vacation time for the days they miss.

DUAL CREDIT STUDENTS: WHEN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS CLOSED BUT THE COLLEGE IS NOT

Students are responsible for abiding by both college and school district calendars when participating in dual credit and concurrent enrollment; however, when a school district cancels classes because of inclement weather or other events, students are excused from class.

  • When there are differences in calendar schedules and college classes are being offered off the high school campus when the school district is not in session, the student is responsible for attending the college course.
  • When there are differences in calendar schedules and the college is not in session, the school district is responsible for providing personnel to supervise dual credit students.
  • When the school district is closed because of inclement weather or issues, students will be excused from attending college courses without penalty.

WHEN CLASSES ARE CANCELED OR THE COLLEGE IS CLOSED

When announcements state, "Lee College is closed," the following will apply:

  • All classes are canceled
  • Administrative offices are closed
  • Only staff members required to maintain essential functions remain at work
  • Hourly and non-exempt employees (i.e., classified staff) are not to work from home
  • Student support, library & computer labs are closed
  • All activities and events are canceled
  • All public safety services continue

When announcements state, "Lee College classes are canceled," the following will apply:

  • Classes are canceled
  • Administrative offices remain open
  • Student support, library & computer labs remain open
  • Activities and events will continue unless otherwise specified
  • All public safety services continue

When announcements state, "Lee College face-to-face classes canceled," the following will apply:

  • Face-to-face classes canceled
  • Computer labs are closed. Face-to-face student services and library services are closed
  • All activities and events are canceled
  • Online classes, LeeStreams, and the online portion of hybrid classes will take place as scheduled
  • Only staff members required to maintain essential functions shall report to campus
  • All public safety services continue
  • Administrative offices will be open but will operate remotely
  • Depending on power outages or other circumstances, communication with some offices may be unreliable

When announcements state, "Lee College face-to-face classes on (specific campus) canceled," the following will apply:

  • Face-to-face classes on the designated campus canceled
  • At the designated campus, computer labs are closed, and face-to-face student services and library services are closed
  • Activities and events will continue unless otherwise specified
  • Only staff members required to maintain essential functions shall report to the designated campus
  • All public safety services continue
  • Administrative offices at the designated campus will be open but will operate remotely
  • Depending on power outages or other circumstances, communication with some offices may be unreliable
  • All other campuses will continue standard operations

LATE OPENING OR EARLY CLOSING

When a delayed opening is announced, classes that begin before the delayed-opening time will not meet. Exceptions must be approved by the president's office and announced to students well in advance. Classes that start at or after the delayed opening time will meet as usual.

When an early closing is announced, classes that begin at or after the early closing time will not meet. Classes that begin before that time will meet but will end at the designated early closing time.

MEDIA AND CAMPUS ANNOUNCEMENTS

Emergency Alert System — Students, faculty, and staff must sign up to this text-based notification through the website prior to inclement weather or campus emergencies. A text message will go to your mobile phone and email.

Website — Go to www.lee.edu/alerts to see the campus closure announcement. 

Media — Local media outlets, including radio, television, and newspapers, will be notified.

ISD partners — Communication to ISD partners will be emailed out no later than 5 a.m. Follow-up communication will be sent to designated ISD personnel via phone, text, or email by 6 a.m. to confirm receipt of closure notification.

RESCHEDULING COURSEWORK IN THE EVENT OF A CAMPUS CLOSURE

In the event of a campus closure causing faculty to miss contact hours, faculty members have several options:

  1. Faculty members may hold class during a scheduled make-up time that is identified with the closure notice or at another mutually defined time through consultation with the deans/directors. Faculty members should follow their standard attendance policy.
  2. Faculty members may reorganize their syllabus to absorb content and classroom work through regularly scheduled classes.
  3. Faculty members may use digital means to hold class, either synchronously through teleconferencing, chatting, or discussion boards; or asynchronously through the Blackboard course management system, web pages, or some other means. Faculty members should follow their standard attendance policy and make allowances to complete work later if students do not have access to the internet.
  4. Faculty members may offer an assignment in replacement of the contact hours. These assignments could include quizzes, papers, podcasts, research assignments, etc.

RESCHEDULING EXAMS IN THE EVENT OF A CAMPUS CLOSURE DURING FINALS WEEK

In the event of a campus closure during the week of finals, faculty members have several options:

  1. Faculty members may offer the students the option to take the final either on the date for make-up that appears in the closure notice or within another mutually defined time through consultation with the chair to be no later than the add/drop period of the following semester. The college will follow the schedule as outlined for the day it closed. Faculty members will have to coordinate with their department to find exam locations for returning students who wish to take the exam at the beginning of the term.
  2. Faculty members may offer the exam as a take-home exam or use distance-learning to have the students submit their final work (e.g., online exams through Blackboard, podcasts of performance or presentations, web page creations, PowerPoint presentations, etc.).
  3. Faculty members may change the final exam assignment to something that can be done through digital means, such as a paper or a podcast.

COLLEGE CLOSURE REPORTING STRUCTURE

College Closure

  • President decides to close college
    • Marketing and Public Affairs sends out communication to all affected parties
  • Email
  • Website Update
  • Faculty members email students
  • Campus closure posted in Blackboard
  • Website homepage banner
  • Campus designees (directors, managers, security, non-credit) make secondary contact to confirm notification received

Specific Campus Closure

  • President decides to close campus
    • Marketing and Public Affairs sends out communication to all affected parties
  • Email
  • Website update
  • Faculty members email students
  • Campus closure posted in Blackboard
  • Website homepage banner
  • Campus designees (directors, managers, security, non-credit) make secondary contact to confirm notification received

ISD Closure

  • Superintendent of ISD or ISD designee
    • Director of dual enrollment
      • President's Office and Marketing and Public Affairs
        • Marketing and Public Affairs sends out communication to all affected parties
          • Email
          • Website Update
          • Faculty members email students
          • Campus closure posted in Blackboard
          • Website homepage banner
            • Campus designees (directors, managers, security, non-credit) make secondary contact to confirm notification received

COMMUNICATIONS MESSAGES NEEDED

  1. General college closure message
  2. Specific campus closure message
  3. Message about course cancellation for specific instructors
  4. Dual-credit students message stipulating high school campus closure doesn't determine Lee College course cancellation (on Lee College campuses) for distribution to school dual credit students.