Campus Emergency & Inclement Weather Policy

Office of Administration and Finance

Campus Emergency and Inclement Weather Policy

The decision to cancel or delay classes and activities will be based upon the best information available regarding the operational status of the college. This includes heat, power, snow removal, and accessibility to the campus to include the availability of public transportation and street conditions in our service area.

Conditions may vary greatly within the college’s service areas; therefore, when classes and activities are being held, students and employees must ultimately determine if they are able to attend. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the policies of their instructors regarding missed assignments.

This policy is designed to establish clear direction regarding the charging of time and coverage responsibilities for Bristol Community College employees during inclement weather or other emergencies. The college will attempt to communicate by several means the status of operations.  It is the employee’s responsibility to verify if they are to report to work.

When the college is closed, only essential employees should report to work or remain at work. If non-essential employees need to be on campus, Public Safety or Facilities personnel will direct them to safe parking in Lot 6. If you need to remain on campus after the college has closed, you must move your vehicle to Lot 6 and notify Campus Police so they know which buildings are secure.

When we are closed, please do not come on campus. Our Facilities and Public Safety staff, considered essential personnel, are hard at work trying to make the campus safe to open. Additional cars, traffic, and requests to open buildings deter our ability to prepare the college campus for a safe opening.

College Closing Decisions and Announcements

If weather conditions or other emergencies dictate that the college should be closed, an announcement will be made on the college’s website and the media outlets listed below as soon as possible. Every attempt will be made to make this announcement before 6 a.m. An announcement will also be placed on the college’s automated answering system at 508-678-2811. The college’s website is the official notice used to communicate this information (see below Local Media Outlets for College Announcements).When the college is closed, designated essential employees must report for work. Non-essential personnel are respectfully requested to not come on campus. 

BCCalert (formerly BeNotified)

As members of the Bristol community, students, faculty and staff have access to BCCalert, Bristols notification system. BCCalert quickly distributes information about emergencies and weather-related closings to your electronic devices via text message.

Students who provide their mobile number to the college through Banner are opted in automatically. All others, including faculty and staff, may opt-in to the system by texting keyword BCCalert to 67283.

Anyone who previously enrolled in BeNotified has been automatically enrolled to receive messages through BCCalert. If you have successfully received BeNotified messages in the past, no further action is required.

To change your mobile number, please log on to accessBCC.

Delayed Opening Decisions and Announcements

Weather conditions or other emergencies may lead to a decision to begin classes later than usual.  An announcement of delayed opening will be made on local radio and television stations as listed below and will be placed on the college’s automated answering system. The college’s website is the official notice used to communicate the information.

Classes will follow the normal schedule after the delayed opening. Essential personnel are expected to report as scheduled. Those not designated as essential should report at the established delayed opening. For example, if opening of the college was delayed until 10 a.m., faculty is expected to meet with classes that start at 10 a.m. All other employees, who are not designated as essential, should report at 10 a.m. or whenever normally scheduled to report in after the opening.

Early Release Decisions and Announcements

During inclement weather or another emergency, the college may close early during regular working hours if the college president, in consultation with the Vice President for Administration and Finance, believes that the closing is necessary to protect the health, safety, and security of the students, faculty, and staff.

Unless otherwise indicated by the early release, the switchboard must remain open for normally scheduled hours. Other essential employees who are scheduled for work that day are expected to work their normal hours. The college’s website, email system, monitors, and the electronic sign that is located at the front of the campus, will also be used to communicate the information.

Activities Cancelled

There may be times when classes or activities are cancelled, but the college will remain open.  Please check accessBCC, the college’s website,or call the college at 508-678-2811 if there are any questions concerning the status of activities.

Essential Employees

During inclement weather, certain employees are considered “essential employees” whom must report for work during their scheduled shifts. These employees are notified each year and typically include:

A. Campus Police Officers                           

B. Institution Security Officers                    

C. Maintainers           

D. Grounds Crew

E. Switchboard Operators

Compensation Policies

1. If the college closes before the end or beginning of a shift, or opens later than scheduled and essential employees are expected to work, they will receive compensatory time for hours worked. Full-time benefited employees that are scheduled to work on the day of the closure will be paid for hours scheduled for that day.

For example:  If an early release is declared for 2 p.m., all essential employees scheduled to work the day shift until 3:30 p.m. will receive 1.5 hours of compensatory time, since the first shift is scheduled to end at 3:30 p.m., and essential employees are expected to remain on duty.

2. Full-time benefited employees scheduled to work second or third shift, who are not designated as essential employees, will also be paid for the day, and essential employees will receive compensatory time for the number of hours worked.

3. Non-benefited employees will be paid only for the number of hours worked before the early release or after the delayed opening.

4. Employees who have elected to be absent from their regular schedule before the announcement of a cancellation, early release or delayed opening, whether on vacation, personal time, sick leave, or compensatory time, are not entitled to compensatory time.

5. If there are inclement traveling conditions, but the college is open, faculty and staff must use their own judgment about the safety of traveling conditions in their own geographic locations. Those who determine that travel conditions are unsafe must use vacation, personal, or compensatory time (if applicable) to charge their absences.

6. Essential employees who call in sick when the college closes, is in a delayed opening, or an early release will be charged for sick time and not awarded compensatory time. A doctor’s note may be required.

Local Media Outlets for College Announcements

All announcements about college closing and delayed openings will be made on the following radio and television stations:



WBZ 1030 AM


Fall River       

WSAR 1480 AM 

New Bedford 

WBSM 1420 AM




WHJY 94.1 FM


WPRO 92.3 FM

WSNE 93.3 FM


WWLI 105.1 FM                       


WLNE Channel 6






An announcement will also be put on the college’s switchboard at the Elsbree Street Campus, which can be reached by calling 508-678-2811. An announcement will also be placed on the Attleboro voice mail system which can be reached by calling 774.357.3527. Radio and television station information can sometimes be inaccurate. The college recommends that more than one means of notification should be checked.

Updated: 10/24/17