More Preparation for Students to Study the Eclipse

Laurens County School Districts 55 and 56 earlier this year altered the 2017-2018 school Calendar to have students back in school before the August 21st total eclipse of the sun. This action was taken to take advantage of the educational opportunities presented by this solar event.

District 56 schools scheduled a late dismissal of schools so that students will be at school during the actual event, shortly after 2:30 pm. The District 56 administration expressed concern that school buses not be transporting students during the actual eclipse, for safety reasons, as well.

This week, School District 55 Administration announced a further schedule adjustment for eclipse day, noting plans to make a special and safe educational day with the viewing of the solar eclipse.

District 55 announced it will be providing solar eclipse viewing glasses for students and staff on August 21, and schools will send home permission slips for parents to sign on the first day of school for 1st-8th grade students. The form will need to be signed and returned to school in order for students to go outside and view the eclipse with their class. Students in 9th thru 12th grades will receive an “Opt-Out” letter that only needs to be returned if a parent requests their child not be outside during the eclipse.

The District 55 release noted a partial phase of the eclipse begins around 1:10 pm with the total eclipse occurring around 2:39pm, lasting approximately 2 ½ minutes. District 55 school dismissal times will be delayed by 20 minutes to ensure a safe transition from the viewing area to dismissal. Parents are permitted to sign their children out of school early on the day of the eclipse, and may do so after 12:00 noon, but no later than 1:30pm so that schools can have adequate time to transition to the eclipse activities.

All 4K and 5K students will be on a modified schedule the first 3 days of school. Parents are asked to contact their child’s individual school for specific questions regarding the solar eclipse and 4K/5K start dates and dismissal times.