Inclement Weather Policy


    Main Campus

    The practice of Lees-McRae College is to continue operations, both instructional and otherwise, even when facing snow, ice, or other harsh weather.

    When Operations Continue

    In the event that the Banner Elk area experiences inclement weather conditions, and that classes or other operations are not delayed or cancelled, students and employees should exercise all due care, caution, and prudent judgment in their determination of whether travel to campus is safe and warranted. The same applies to students and employees whose responsibilities lie at extended campus sites. (See Inclement Weather Policy for extended campus sites.)

    The College appreciates the efforts of both students and employees to meet their obligations when operations continue uninterrupted. However, unnecessary risk of life, limb, and property is to be avoided. If students decide not to attempt travel, they should make every effort to inform their instructors by email. If employees decide not to attempt travel, they should make every effort to inform the appropriate supervisor of that decision. If contact with the immediate supervisor is not possible, College employees should relay their decision through the office of the appropriate Cabinet member. Note that when the College is open and employees make the decision not to attempt travel, employees must claim their missed work time as a personal day or vacation time; however, sick leave may not be used.

    When Operations Are Delayed or Cancelled

    If extraordinarily severe conditions warrant, the President, in consultation with pertinent President’s Cabinet members and Campus Security, may delay classes, cancel classes, delay opening of the College, or close the College. These distinctions being important, the following definitions become significant:

    • Classes Will Begin At …: Classes begin at the stated time; other College operations begin as usual.
    • Classes Are Cancelled: Classes throughout the day are cancelled; other College operations continue as usual. (Administrators, administrative staff, professional staff, custodial staff, and other non-instructional staff are expected to continue operations within the parameters of the above remarks.)
    • The College Will Open At …: Both classes and administrative operations begin at the stated time.
    • The College Is Closed: Both classes and administrative operations are cancelled for the day. Only essential staff members (e.g., food services, physical plant, security, and Cabinet members) are expected to report to campus. Additional staff members may be required on campus at the discretion of the supervising Cabinet member.

    These decisions will be communicated through the following channels. Note that the official decision for delay or cancellation is the one broadcast through campus communications.

    • Lees-McRae College switchboard (828.898.5241)
    • Campus-wide email
    • Lees-McRae College website
    • Social media sites (@leesmcrae,,
    • Campus-wide text message, email and/or voice mail through the opt-in AMG Alerts system.
    • Various media outlets, including:
      • Boone: MTN – 24
      • Charlotte: WBTV – 3 (CBS)
      • Asheville: WLOS – 13 (ABC)
      • Johnson City: WJHL – 11 (CBS)
      • Bristol: WCYB – 5 (NBC)

    Please note: We will be alerting these stations in the event of a delay or full-day closure. We will not be alerting these stations in the event of an early closure.


    Extended Campus and Online Learning

    In the event of ice, snow, or other harsh weather it may be necessary to cancel extended campus classes. The first factor is to always consider the safety of faculty and students and you are asked to exercise all due care, caution and judgment to determine if travel to the extended campus site is safe. Beyond personal safety, the weather conditions at the extended campus sites will be the major factor determining whether or not Lees-McRae College’s classes are held. If the classes are on a community college campus, and that school has cancelled classes, Lees-McRae College’s classes will not be held until the community college resumes operations.

    Each faculty member will be responsible for checking with the extended campus program coordinator when making a determination about holding classes during inclement weather. Program coordinators should contact community colleges to determine the status of their operations. Students are responsible for checking their respective extended site to determine the status of operations.Students are also responsible for checking their Lees-McRae email and Brightspace site(s) for messages from their instructors indicating class cancellations. Faculty reserve the right to hold classes online, so please refer to Brightspace for updates and announcements.

    In the event of severe weather in the Banner Elk area that prevents Lees-McRae faculty from traveling, but does not affect extended campus sites, program coordinators and/or faculty can contact the switchboard operators at community college sites notifying them of cancellations. Community college contact personnel can also be notified to post signs on classroom doors. Faculty members should make every effort to contact students via email, telephone or Brightspace when cancellations are due to inclement weather in the Banner Elk area.

    Program coordinators, faculty, and students should be aware that community colleges may make separate announcements concerning the cancellations of day and evening classes. Therefore, it is best to call the college switchboards for the most detailed information since radio and television announcements may not differentiate between day and evening closings. Most community colleges will also post closings on their website. Listed below are contact numbers for the community colleges:

    • Mayland Community College | 828.765.7351
    • Surry Community College | 336.386.8121
    • Western Piedmont Community College | 828.438.6000