For those who still may feel “in the dark” about how Bryan County Schools will handle Monday’s solar eclipse, here are the latest details.
Rather than cancel classes for Aug. 21, which some nearby districts have done, Bryan County Schools will hold regular instruction that day. Dismissal will be delayed by 30 minutes as the peak time to view the eclipse falls during regularly scheduled afternoon transportation times. Start times for each school remain unchanged that day.
“This delayed dismissal will ensure that neither students nor employees are on the roadways during the time of the maximum eclipse,” the district said in a press release.
Full details are available at http://www.bryancountyschools.org/2017-solar-eclipse.
Superintendent Paul Brooksher said districts that have cancelled classes that day will have to make up the instructional hours at some other point.
“We feel that extending one day by 30 minutes is a better option than having to cut Christmas break short by a day, for example,” he noted.
Brooksher added that each school will be planning its own activities based on grade level.
“The way you approach this event for high schoolers is obviously different than the way you would for grade schoolers,” he said.
All students participating in outdoor activities during the eclipse will be provided with approved glasses for viewing. The district encourages parents to remind students not to remove the glasses and look directly at the sun during the eclipse or to try and use regular sunglasses. Pembroke Advanced Communications is providing approved glasses for use at all North Bryan schools.
For students who will be attending school that day but whose parents do not want them participating in outdoor activities, this form can be filled out and submitted: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/77727/Solar_Eclipse_Viewing_Opt-Out.pdf.
Students whose parents return the form will remain indoors during the eclipse and watch NASA’s live stream of the event, according to the district.
Brooksher added that since some families will be traveling that day to more fully experience the eclipse, and because some parents simply still do not want their children attending school for the day due to the delayed dismissal, all absences on Monday will be considered excused.
The last two total solar eclipses visible in Georgia were March 1970 and May 1900. The next two will occur in August 2045 and March 2052.
A total eclipse Monday will occur on a path from Lincoln Beach, Ore., to Charleston, S.C. Bryan County will experience a 96 percent eclipse, with the height of the eclipse at 2:46 p.m.
Bryan County Emergency Services Chief Freddy Howell reminds residents that they should never look directly at the sun, but especially not during a solar eclipse. Eclipse glasses recommended by NASA are sold by the following companies: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.
Pembroke Advanced Communications also has a limited supply of approved glasses available for customers. They can be reached at (912) 653-4389.
Experts warn that even a brief glance at the sun without proper eye wear during any part of the eclipse can cause eye damage or even blindness. To ensure that you have a proper pair of eclipse glasses, examine them for scratches and try them out first. If you put them on inside your home, you should not be able to see any household lights. Binoculars, cameras and telescopes are not safe alternatives unless used with an approved solar filter.
Scientists say pets may act strangely during the eclipse, but they will instinctively know not to look at the sun if they are outside.
For more information, visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.