Several area school districts are making adjustments or special announcements with regards to Monday’s solar eclipse.
Shippensburg Area School District has announced it is closing on Monday, Aug. 21, due to the solar eclipse. A post on the district website said the district will be closed out of concern for the safety of its students after consulting various professionals and reading news accounts of potential damage to the eyes that can result from looking at the eclipse.
The district’s elementary and middle schools return to classes Thursday. The high school’s opening day had already been delayed until Aug. 23 due to a lightning strike that hit the building.
Information on a makeup day will be announced later.
The partial eclipse on Aug. 21 will be viewable in central Pennsylvania between approximately 1 and 4 p.m.
Carlisle, Carlisle Christian, Cumberland Valley, East Pennsboro and Mechanicsburg are also scheduled to begin classes Monday.
After consulting with district physician, Carlisle Area School District said Wednesday that it would keep children indoors for physical education classes and afternoon recess.
Cumberland Valley School District had previously announced that children would not be permitted outside for recess due to the eclipse.
In an email to parents, Carlisle’s acting superintendent Christina Spielbauer said principals in each building will advise students of safety precautions during the solar eclipse, and students will be reminded of those precautions as they change classes at the high school and prior to dismissal when students board buses or walk home.
Outdoor science lessons in Carlisle schools that are related to the eclipse will be supervised by a certified teacher, and all district students will be instructed on safety protocols and monitored by faculty and staff.
In an email to parents, Mechanicsburg superintendent Mark Leidy said the district will keep students indoors from 1 p.m. through dismissal. It also will educate students on proper safety protocols for their walk or ride home from school, Leidy said.
NASA says the only safe way to look directly at the partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe.