A lot! Probably 8 inches.
A parent emailed us to describe the carnage:
I know the first snow of the year is difficult but I wanted to express my extreme concern with the bus situation this morning. The elementary school children stood (at least 4 small children) at the bus stop, in the cold and snow, for 1 hour today. I am not exaggerating.It was not our finest hour.
But in our defense the weather service predicted only light snow - no more than 3-4 inches. We live in Michigan, I rationalized. This will be no big deal.
I was wrong.
Fast forward to yesterday, February 25, 2020. At 2:00 PM, approximately 20 Oakland County Superintendents were on the phone with our weather person. The report was that tomorrow (today if you are keeping track) we would receive 6-8 inches of snow - most of it coming between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
So it was agreed - snow day. We would be putting our students at risk if we brought them to school, had to release early, and were then late getting everyone home. Roads would be slick. Buses might slide. Parents could not get home in time.
So, by 10:00 PM on February 25th most schools in Oakland County had called off school for February 26th. An eminently responsible position.
I went to bed and slept well. I knew that the decision was reasonable.
On February 26th, Oakland County did not receive the anticipated snow. We received 3-4 inches. Clearly, we could of had school. This is Michigan. This was no big deal.
So why am I so stupid?
I prefer to think of myself as human, not stupid.
People make mistakes, bad calls, decisions that, looking back, should not be made. Even though we operate in a world that has more data than we have ever had, many decisions still rest upon people like me to gather, sort, and interpret the data.
My guess is that a computer, given the data that we had, would have made the same decision about today.
The benefit of a human making the decision is that, hopefully, people consider the impact of the decision on the people who will be affected. I erred on the side of caution because people - school children - were involved.
If I'm called stupid - so be it.
I'll continue to try and refine my decision making skills. I will be perceived as stupid at times. But, I'll keep at it. I'll keep trying to make good decisions for the students and the families in my district knowing that together we can keep learning, keep growing, and keep building a positive place for all of us.