January 22, 2024 - Snow Closings

Dear colleagues,

In recent years, MIT has closed due to snow on several occasions, canceling in-person classes and academic activities on short notice. If this happens again, do communicate clearly and promptly to a class how you plan to handle whatever has been canceled. We encourage faculty and instructors to consider the following possible options in advance:

  1. Change the syllabus to (a) omit the canceled session; or (b) make adjustments to include the snow day material in one or more later classes and, as needed, skip less critical material.
  2. Use Zoom to hold your class or research group meeting at its normally scheduled time. 
  3. Ask that students watch a previously recorded lecture, if available. The lecture/video does not need to be the same instructor or session topic if the syllabus can be adjusted accordingly.

Option 1 is most common and will probably be what students expect unless you have told them otherwise in advance. No policies or regulations either encourage or prohibit the other options. Please let your students know in advance what you would plan to do if class is unexpectedly cancelled (for instance, by adding snow closing plans to the syllabus if you plan anything other than Option 1).

Please Note: Faculty/Instructors may not schedule a mandatory class session to make up for the missed class.

Maybe we’ll be lucky and contingency plans won’t be needed this year, but in Massachusetts, big storms have happened as late as early April so it’s always best to be prepared.

With best regards,

Mary C. Fuller
Professor of Literature and Chair of the MIT Faculty