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SOLAR ECLIPSE EVENT August 21, 2017

posted Aug 15, 2017, 9:01 AM by Jude Raffeinner
Dear Parents, Guardians and School Community:

On August 21, 2017, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse. While a solar eclipse is not uncommon, this one is significant because it is not only a total solar eclipse, meaning the moon will completely block the sun from the Earth, but it will also be visible from coast to coast in the continental U.S., calling it the Great American Eclipse. The last time a total eclipse crossed the U.S. was 99 years ago. The total phase of this solar eclipse is not visible in Carroll County, but it will be observed as a partial solar eclipse. Approximately 90% of the sun will be blocked by the moon, the making for a spectacular sight.

An eclipse is a striking phenomenon that we don’t want to miss, but it comes with some safety precautions. No one should look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse because the very bright light can burn the light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye, called your retina. Without notice, permanent eye damage can happen in just a few seconds of looking at the sun during an eclipse. Since the retina does not have any pain fibers you can’t feel the burn; although, irreversible eye damage has occurred.

The eclipse will begin at 1:11 p.m., with the maximum eclipse reached at 2:39 p.m. and completed at 4:01 p.m. The duration of this event is 2 hours and 50 minutes. Due to this time frame and safety of our staff and children, we will extend the school day until 4:05 p.m. Buses will be released one hour later than their regular scheduled departure time. This schedule will include all students except for special transportation that will depart at 11:45 a.m.

This event will provide an excellent opportunity for our students to learn about a solar eclipse while practicing safety procedures. All students will have an opportunity to view the eclipse. Grades Kindergarten through second grade can view through live streaming such as, http://www.wdbj7.com/eclipse/, while third grade through high school will be able to view outside with protective solar eclipse glasses. Since this is a special event, parents or guardians will have the opportunity to “opt out” their child(ren) from outside viewing of the solar eclipse. Please refer to the included opt out form and return the form back to the school your child(ren) attends, if you wish to exclude your child(ren) from viewing this event on August 21, 2017. For additional information on solar eclipses, please refer to NASA at https://www.nasa.gov/.

Sincerely,

Shirley A. Perry, Ph.D.
Division Superintendent

Opt Out Form: https://goo.gl/1NynVD
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