Snow Day Decision Grader: Jan 22

By Andy Dunn
Staff Writer

As Ice-T once famously said, don’t hate the player, hate the game. In today’s case, for WA students, the player was Superintendent Bill Olsen and the game was the weather.

After a much anticipated potential snow day, Westford was hit with a mere dusting over Tuesday night and woke up to disappointment. The National Weather Service (NWS) had an active winter storm warning going for the Middlesex County that initially anticipated six to ten inches of snowfall accumulation.

The NWS storm warning was adjusted at approximately 7 PM to expect five to seven inches, still enough to keep the hopes up of many students that midterms may be pushed back as result of a snow day.

Even the Snow Day Calculator, revered by students for its predictive power, pegged Westford at 57% chance of a snow day in the late afternoon, which then jumped seventeen percentage points higher to 74% while many students went to bed.

While the Cape and South Shore got slaughtered with snow totals as high as 18.3 inches in Norwell and 18 inches in Hanover, Middlesex County saw a disappointing dusting.

So, what grade does Olsen deserve for his decision? The best place to start on a day like today where Olsen’s decision was a no-call is with the hypothetical cancellation.

If Olsen did cancel school, or even call a two-hour delay, that would have been a ridiculous overreaction to the weather hype. To give credit where credit is due, Olsen made the right call. The roads were fine, there was minimal shoveling involved, and midterms are now (thankfully) over.

But does that warrant an A? The answer is no. To get an A, Olsen’s call would have to be of exceptional quality. Just being simply correct in hindsight is not sufficient.

If Olsen, for instance, made an announcement last night to the community of Westford that school tomorrow would, in fact, happen, that may warrant an A due to the courage and risky nature of that call. But that isn’t the case here.

At the end of the day, Olsen made the right call but there was nothing special about it. For that, Olsen’s fifth snow day decision grade of the year is a B. Remember for today: don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Check out Westford’s weather forecast for the rest of the week below, from the National Weather Service:

Cumulative Grading Total: B+ (88%)
December 9: C+
December 18: B
January 2: A+
January 3: A 
January 22: B