Ohio will experience a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Many parts of the state will be in total darkness for a few minutes during the midafternoon. For those of us living in the Fairfield County area, we will see about 98%-99% of the sun blocked by the moon during the maximum obscuration at 3:13 p.m. This also happens to be at the same time our elementary students are dismissing. The partial eclipse begins at 1:55 p.m. and ends at 4:27 p.m.
There are several factors that schools must consider in our plans for this event, and the safety of our students is our highest priority. Providing proper supervision and ensuring all students adhere to solar eclipse safety viewing guidelines during dismissal, or while riding a school bus, poses a challenge for our staff. As a result, all schools will operate on a two-hour early dismissal schedule, for students only, on Monday, April 8, 2024.
Being in the path of this eclipse provides a unique learning experience for students. Our staff will take advantage of this learning opportunity to teach students about this scientific phenomenon and incorporate the eclipse into as many content area lessons as possible. Students and staff will be provided with CE and ISO certified solar eclipse glasses to view the event safely.
Students may be excused from school on April 8th if they are planning to travel to areas where there is total obscuration. A parent/legal guardian must notify the appropriate attendance office prior to April 8th. We also realize not all parents’ schedules allow for such travel, or absence from work, and we understand the hardship a closure or early dismissal can be on each family. This unique event, and its timing, poses a considerable challenge for our staff and our students’ safety. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we attempt to take advantage of this teachable moment while also keeping our students safe.
Please visit the links below to learn more about the eclipse and viewing safety guidelines. Please contact a building administrator with any questions.