Snow Day Grader: February 13th
February 13, 2017
Filed under Opinions
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On Monday, February 13, Westford Public Schools were cancelled due to a snowstorm that lasted Sunday into early Monday. Superintendent Bill Olsen cancelled school the previous evening, as weather forecasts stated that snow would continue into the late morning. However, contrary to prediction, the snow stopped by 8:00 AM the next day.
Olsen followed the same routine he did for the snowstorm on February 9th by cancelling school the previous night, but that snowstorm was 100% predicted to last throughout the day. In the different circumstances surrounding yesterday and today, where the snow was expected to taper off before the school day ended, it may have been wiser for Olsen to wait until the next morning to make a decision regarding cancellation.
Having cancelled school the previous night, Olsen could not retract his decision even though the storm ended much earlier than anticipated. As it was, 8-12 inches of snow fell on Sunday night and 1-3 inches fell on Monday.
Overall, the decision appeared to have made sense since forecasts at the time of his cancellation would have required a snow day, especially since more cleanup time would be necessary. However, if Olsen had waited until the following morning to make his decision, the results would have likely been different.
Additionally, had the snowstorm lasted even an hour longer, the time taken to clear the roads would likely still cause a snow day, especially because there was over a foot in accumulation. This snowstorm just happened to hit a time frame where a two-hour delay would be enough to create safe driving conditions for students and parents.
The Ghostwriter would give Olsen a B+ for his call, because although the cancellation was ultimately unnecessary, a snow day seemed like the obvious option all the way until Monday morning.