Solar Eclipse – Monday, August 21, 2017

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s) of CCPS Students:

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918. Millions of Americans in 12 states will be able to watch this solar spectacle that will turn day into night for a few brief minutes. Virginia is among the 12 states that have been declared to be a “best place” to experience this rare phenomenon. Because prime visibility will occur in the Richmond area between the school hours of 1:00-4:00 p.m., Caroline County Public Schools will implement the following schedule modifications and educational opportunities to ensure the safety of our students and staff:

On Monday, August 21:

  • All students will report to school/class at their normally scheduled time.
  • Outdoor recess for elementary students will occur prior to 1:00 p.m.
  • Elementary students will dismiss at 4:10 p.m. to ensure safe travel after the completion of the solar eclipse.
  • Middle and high school students will dismiss at their normal times. Safety tips related to the solar eclipse will be provided to all secondary students prior to departure.
  • Should a parent be concerned about his/her teenage driver being distracted by the eclipse while behind the wheel, a written excuse to depart at 12:00 p.m. must be submitted to the CHS office.
  • All after school activities will remain inside until 4:10 p.m. Please note, the evening activity bus may be delayed by 10-15 minutes due to the altered elementary departure time.
  • While CCPS has instituted appropriate precautionary measures, should a parent elect to keep his/her child home for the day an excused absence will be granted with a parent note. DOWNLOAD: CCPS Solar Eclipse Opt-Out of Viewing Form (PDF)

Schools have planned activities surrounding this “once-in-a-lifetime” educational opportunity. The level of participation will vary by campus. Classroom activities may include integrated instructional activities, watching the live NASA broadcast, and/or viewing the eclipse using school provided official eyewear. Solar eclipse glasses brought from home will not be permitted. Schools selecting to view the eclipse will be sending home a parent permission form.

NASA and The American Astronomical Society have outlined safety measures for viewing the 2017 solar eclipse. Please go to the link provided for additional information: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

As always the safety of our students is in the forefront of every decision. Thank you for helping us make the 2017 solar eclipse a safe and memorable educational opportunity for Caroline County Public Schools’ students.

Thank you,

CCPS Instructional Department