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County school district cancels classes for solar eclipse on Aug. 21st

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 (CORRECTED Saturday, Aug. 12) — Nelson County Schools will be closed on Monday, Aug. 21, due to possible hazards posed the solar eclipse here in Kentucky.

Nelson County will not experience a total eclipse on Aug. 21, which means that anyone who looks directly at the sun without protective lenses is at significant risk of eye damage throughout the entire period of the eclipse.

According to a district press release, it is the potential for eye injury that has prompted the district leadership to close schools Aug. 21.

Nelson County Childcare Facilities will remain open that day and will be running on normal schedules. According to the press release, children in the district childcare will remain indoors with blinds pulled for safety during the eclipse event.

Parents are asked to pick up their child from district childcare before 1 p.m. or after 4 p.m. on Aug. 21 for the safety of their children, school staff and themselves.

All other school related activities — including sports events, club meetings and other activities involving Nelson County Schools students, faculty, and staff — are postponed until after 6 p.m. on Aug. 21. No one is allowed to be on school campus until after 5 p.m. that day.

The board will consider a make-up day plan at its next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Details of the make-up day will be released after receiving board approval.

MORE SCHOOLS TO CLOSE FOR ECLIPSE. Nelson County Schools joins a growing list of school districts across the country that have decided to close on Aug. 21 due to safety concerns.

In Central Kentucky, the eclipse event will begin at about 1 p.m. on Aug. 21st, with the shadow of the moon covering more than 90 percent of the sun at about 2:27 p.m. The eclipse event will end at about 3:51 p.m.

Most school districts that have announced they will not have class that day have expressed concerns about the threat of severe eye damage that can occur by looking at the partial eclipse. The fact that the eclipse takes place during the time when classes dismiss has raised concerns about student safety and how to keep students safe and avoid eye damage. Other school districts have decided to extend their school day by one hour and provide all of their students with eclipse glasses so students will be able to view the eclipse safely while under adult supervision.

The last time a total solar eclipse covered the full width of the United States was 1918.

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