Is Your Child’s School Cancelling for Eclipse Reasons?

Is your child’s school being cancelled for moon-in-front-of-sun reasons? If so, let’s hear all about it. And where are you? And what’s the buzz?

Thanks. Say sighted! — L


It’s just like a snow day, only hotter!

89 Responses to Is Your Child’s School Cancelling for Eclipse Reasons?

  1. Sarah F August 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    My kid’s school district will be in session and is planning a special event for the kids. They’ll have eclipse glasses on hand so they’ll be able to view it themselves. We’re very excited. In southwest Missouri.

  2. EBlack August 18, 2017 at 6:10 pm #

    Yep. Nashville Tennessee. Liability reasons I assume.

  3. Lisa August 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

    My friend;s kids’ school is closing early. IMO, this is not a free-range issue… it is a once in a lifetime experience, and they want to give families the option of taking their kids to see it without worrying about missing school.
    My kid’s first day is Monday; they won’t close, which is also fine.

  4. Another Katie August 18, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    Our school district is still on summer vacation, but I think parents would riot if our daycare center with school age summer program closed for the eclipse! We’re in an area of around 70% totality and daycare will keep the kids inside for the ~45 minutes where they might be tempted to look at the sun.

  5. hineata August 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    Wish we were seeing it down here. I hope schools aren’t actually closing up there; that would be total madness. What an amazing learning opportunities arise from events like this.

  6. Dawn August 18, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

    No – in Boulder, CO they’re giving all kids free eclipse glasses and making it a learning experience. I wish they’d invite parents 🙂

  7. pentamom August 18, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

    School doesn’t start here until the 28th.

  8. Dafna August 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

    Nope. Our school district received a donation of glasses and the kids will be participating in special events at school. I’ve had messages about this from the elementary, middle, and high schools that my kids attend.

  9. Marianna August 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

    Where I live (Chattanooga, TN), the entire school district will be closed on Monday. I think the reasoning was that the eclipse will be happening right about the same time that dismissal typically happens for some schools, and they thought it might create a lot of chaos to have all that going on at once. Plus, we’re supposed to be at about 99% totality here, so closing schools gives parents a chance to drive their kids about an hour (or less!) up the highway to be within the path of totality. My son’s kindergarten class learned all about eclipses today, though. I’m excited that we’ll get to go see it together!

  10. Pamela August 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    I just got the following email from our school (Los Angeles area so we’re only a partial eclipse). I’m surprised (and a little annoyed) that they aren’t providing safe viewing glasses and an outdoor experience. It’s a rare opportunity to experience a scientific phenomenon which I think is highly educational.They’re probably acting for liability reasons as they can’t properly police all the kids to look at the sun correctly.

    “XXXXXX Elementary will be keeping the majority of our students indoors on Monday morning from 9:00 am-12:00 pm as a safety measure during the solar eclipse. Any student who needs to leave the classroom during that time will be supervised by an adult. Please remind your student of all precautions needed to ensure their safety, including the serious risk of looking directly at the sun during the eclipse. Teachers will be providing safe alternatives to experience and learn from this event such as watching a live stream of the eclipse on NASA’s website. School hours remain the same.”

  11. lollipoplover August 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

    We are not in school until after Labor Day. We will do something like this:

  12. Donna August 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    Our schools aren’t closing, but some of the nearby school districts are. One of the reasons is just the sheer number of kids being pulled out of school that day. We are just outside totality. MANY area parents are pulling their kids out of school to go a little north to see the full eclipse. If I didn’t have court that morning, I would. I may still if I get done court early enough.

    The second reason is that totality is occurring locally simultaneously with school dismissal for many schools. Kicking a bunch of kids outside at the same time something really cool is happening and then telling them not to look at the really cool thing seems like it is just begging for problems. I wouldn’t be able to resist staring.

    In contrast to cancelling school, our schools are releasing late. A couple science professors at UGA started a Go Fund Me campaign in the spring to buy solar glasses for every kid in the school district (and some of the surrounding districts) so all our schools are making a day of it. They will be outside doing activities and watching the eclipse all afternoon. It sounds like fun. Mini-me can’t decide if she wants to go see totality with me (if I get done work early enough) or hang out in school for the festivities.

  13. Tom August 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    Not back in school yet, but a soccer camp decided *today* that they would cancel both camp and after care Monday afternoon. No warning for parents who work all day.

  14. M. August 18, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    I’m in the orlando area, my kid’s school is cancelling all outdoor activities past 1 o’clock, but I think they have eclipse glasses for some of the classes (I’m guessing the older grades) and those kids will have eclipse related activities outside. However, it is an excused absence if you want to take your kid out for eclipse purposes, which is what I’m doing with my 1st grader (we’re going to a local planetarium for a viewing), so I was at least glad for that.

  15. C.T. August 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Even worse, my kids’ (public) elementary school is closing LATE to make sure the kids don’t go outside and see the eclipse. They are staying inside to watch the eclipse on a TV in the cafeteria, and don’t want to have any kids actually seeing it due to fear of lawsuits. We’re in an area that has 98% coverage by the moon, by the way.

  16. Topher Kersting August 18, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    I have known for two years that there was no way my daughter would be going to school that day, so I was relieved when they cancelled. I have literally been waiting 38 years for this. (I’m also in Chattanooga, like Marianna, and will head up the road to watch it with my daughter.)

  17. Kimberly August 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    I wish more science teachers had spoken up when districts were voting* on the 2017 – 2018 schedule. Most schools are opening next Monday – which means they probably won’t be taking the kids outside to see the eclipse because the first day of school is chaotic without an eclipse.

    *Around here the schedule is sent out to staff and there is a vote. It isn’t binding but the District site based committee reps do take the info back to the DSBC and that group takes the info to the Board.

  18. Suzanne August 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

    Agree with Dienne. I said as much on Reason’s comment section, but not quite as eloquently. Excellent points and way more common sense than the commentator who uses it for her or his handle.

  19. Backroads August 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    My oldest is 4 and her preschool doesn’t start for another week, so…

    But I happen to be a teacher. Our school was supposed to start Monday. Last month, the principal sent out a notice saying she and the board had received a whole lot of complaints from both student families and staff about missing the solstice.

    So… the day has now been marked in the snow day category and school, for all practical purposes, starts Tuesday. Cool.

    We’re in northern Utah with a respectable 90%, but it seems half the school population will be heading up into Idaho.

  20. Backroads August 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

    And if school were in session… well, the eclipse would happen to occur during my science block, so guess what I would be doing?

  21. Backroads August 18, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    Back in the 90s, my area had a respectable partial eclipse that was something of a big deal. I distinctly remember my teacher herding us out (maybe we were 2nd/3rd graders?) with pinholed card stock so we could watch.

  22. elizabeth August 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    A rare scientific event, and schools act like its the apocalypse. Nice.

  23. elizabeth August 18, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

    All joking aside, i think schools should make this a learning experience. Its a very rare event that most people will only ever see once, if they see it at all.

  24. Emily August 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

    I’m Canadian, so the schools here don’t start until after Labour Day anyway, but as for day camps and whatnot, I don’t know if they’ll still be in session. I assume so, because my friends who have children haven’t said otherwise, but it’s fairly easy to keep children inside for the 45 minutes of the eclipse. Put on a movie, or if it’s at a place like the YMCA, take them to play in the (windowless) gymnasium, or swim in the indoor pool. Not hard.

  25. Emily August 18, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

    >>Even worse, my kids’ (public) elementary school is closing LATE to make sure the kids don’t go outside and see the eclipse. They are staying inside to watch the eclipse on a TV in the cafeteria, and don’t want to have any kids actually seeing it due to fear of lawsuits. We’re in an area that has 98% coverage by the moon, by the way.<<

    C.T., how would it be the school's fault if kids damaged their eyes viewing a solar eclipse outside of school hours? Yes, a solar eclipse is a one-off event, but following that logic, it'd also be the school's fault if a child got injured over the weekend. I actually know a guy who has a scar on his face to this day, right near his eye, that was inflicted (accidentally) by the blade of a hockey skate during a pick-up game of hockey at the park one winter weekend afternoon when we were in grade five. I don't remember if I was there when it happened, but I do remember him not coming to school the following Monday, and returning on Tuesday with stitches. It didn't occur to his parents to blame the school. This would have been late 1994 or early 1995. If it had happened during school hours, or on a school trip (like when we went on a three-day outdoor education trip to Dorset in grade seven), then yeah, the school would have been responsible (and they probably would have done some first aid, and then had the principal or the VP take him to get stitches if they couldn't reach his parents), but since it was outside of school hours, it wasn't the school's fault. Likewise, if a child is stupid enough to look at the sun during a solar eclipse (although, I'd imagine that 98% coverage would make that a moot point), and it's AFTER school, then I don't see how anyone could blame the school.

  26. Leah Barido August 18, 2017 at 10:36 pm #

    The daycare around the corner from me is keeping the kids inside “for their safety.” I’m in NE Ohio.

  27. Rachel August 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm #

    All our schools (or the PTOs) bought eclipse glasses for the kids so they could go out to see it. I would have been fine with the kids making pinhole viewers like I did!
    Staff is stressing the importance of being safe and not looking at the sun directly without the glasses, even at the peak of the eclipse. Even kindergartners are going out!
    PM recess is being curtailed, though, I think to pacify some worried parents, and all parents are given the opportunity to opt their kid out. I think our educators know that this isn’t more dangerous than any other science activity, and we should trust our kids to follow directions.

  28. Nicole August 18, 2017 at 11:01 pm #

    I wish they were. They’re keeping them in the school with the windows covered.

    I understand why- they don’t have the ability to supervise all of the kids and provide eye protection. But I also would totally drive down to the path of totality if it wasn’t the fist day of school (for everyone in my house- not just the kids!)

  29. Robert August 19, 2017 at 12:13 am #

    Considering that compulsory education was the beginning of helicopter parenting, I’m all for school being cancelled.

  30. Kimberly Albertson August 19, 2017 at 1:53 am #

    My local high school and middle school (in the Campbell/West San Jose area of California) are not closing since they both started this week. However, we’re taking those days off and driving up to my dad’s farm in Idaho.

  31. kazriko August 19, 2017 at 2:06 am #

    They’re doing a viewing event here at the kid’s school too. I think they’re going to make Pinhole Box viewers. When I was in elementary school, that’s what they did at my school for an eclipse.

    But we’re taking him out of class to head for the totality line. I’m making a lens based projector for him to use, and we have the glasses to use when it gets close.

  32. Evan August 19, 2017 at 2:52 am #

    I wish. My kid’s missing the first couple of days of school this year, because going to see a total eclipse is what “education” looks like. IMHO they were idiots for scheduling the first day of school for this Monday.

  33. Paul August 19, 2017 at 8:30 am #

    Wow. Looking at some of these replies I’m really glad the only time a school kept us in during a once in a lifetime event was when they closed all the shades and went turtle mode during 9/11, and that because we were worried the next phase might be a blitz and later so the parents knew their kids were in a safe place and wouldn’t go anywhere dangerous until they came for them. Keeping kids in during the eclipse sounds pretty wrong to me. Shell out for glasses – or at least organize so the kids can buy their own – and then go out and see it. Sounds like class size remains a big issue. If class sizes were ~10, then the teachers could make sure all the students kept the glasses on, but with 30-40 kids in a class I can see how they wouldn’t be able to.

    Really, though, they could just have the parents sign a release saying the kids have glasses and were told to wear them and so it’s their own problem if they don’t teach their kids not to stare at the sun.

  34. Donna August 19, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    @Emily – Here, totality (or near totality since we are at 99%) happens just as schools are releasing for the day. I suspect that is why C.T. schools are releasing late. Schools are not to blame for things that happen at home after school but may be for things that happen on school grounds right after school or on school buses.

  35. D. Johnson August 19, 2017 at 9:12 am #

    School is in session, but all outdoor activities are cancelled—including recess. The elementary kids will be watching the eclipse on TV. They will still need to board buses during part of it, but the district assures us that they will remind the students of eclipse safety before doing so.

    My son came home from school on Friday, insisting we close all the blinds during the eclipse to avoid permanent blindness. I guess “eclipse sun” is far more dangerous than “regular sun.”

    I’m taking my kids out of school on Monday. Let’s make eclipses fun, again!

    (We’re in SW Ohio).

  36. Sarah August 19, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    Our school district, in Northern California, purchased viewing classes for the entire student body. Each class will be working it into their curriculum for the day, and viewing it at several points throughout the morning. However we did receive an email yesterday that recess will be inside since they fear that 3 or 4 yard duties can’t safely keep close to 100 kids at a time from looking at the sun. I feel that’s an ok compromise.

  37. HotInLa. August 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    One child in public high school, they’re excusing students if they bring a note from home. One child in private elementary school, they aren’t closing or doing anything special.

  38. Anna August 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Schools are in session here (98% totality, only about an hour’s drive to get to totality); a few are taking a particular class (say, 6th-graders) on a field trip to see it. Co-worker’s kids, high school age, each have *one* teacher who has said he/she will give a zero for the day to any student missing class. P.E. class being way more important than the eclipse, I guess.

  39. Eyes Rolling August 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    My son’s school (in North Carolina) was going to allow children with parent’s permission to view & experience the eclipse with supplied eye protection, however the glasses received by the school failed quality standards and the school cancelled the live outdoor learning opportunity.

    Instead, they are inviting parents to come to the school and take their child outside during the school day to experience it if parents so wished, while indoors they will be live streaming it in the classrooms. Thumbs up, I think.

  40. Kenny Felder August 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    This is one of those times when I am super-proud of my school. (Raleigh Charter High School) We are in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is a pretty good spot for eclipse viewing. On Monday we are having a half-day of school ending at 12:05, after which all students are welcome to leave if they so choose. Or, they are invited to join us in the parking lot for an eclipse viewing party. The school is providing approved safety glasses for all students.

    How cool is that?

  41. Amanda August 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    We’re in the metro Atlanta area. All the counties near us are keeping the kids an hour extra, “so that no parents or children have to be on the road during the eclipse”. I guess the sun is going to shoot laser beams at us. Our elementary school did send home a permission slip to allow children to go outside and view the eclipse. I and some other friends are taking our kids out at lunchtime anyway, so that we can drive to the totality zone, which is just about an hour away.

  42. Jen August 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Atlanta Public Schools are quite the opposite!! They’re holding all kids 30 extra minutes and giving out 50,000 eclipse glasses so all the kids get to experience it.

  43. Gina August 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Scotttsdale Unified School District, Arizona. ALL students will be kept inside from 9 AM to Noon. All absences will be excused.
    My boss is a Science teacher who had planned her lesson around viewing the eclipse. She has Juniors/Seniors in HIGH SCHOOL. Why would they look at the sun when they’ve been told it could blind them?
    My guess: it’s all about liability.
    It’s once in a lifetime….

  44. Dean August 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

    No. But it wouldn’t have been a surprise if they did. Unlike back when I was in school and they obtained “dark smoked glass” so that we could see a partial eclipse, teachers in districts in which I have lived as an adult, in California and in México, tend to find any excuse for a day off.

  45. JHo August 19, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    Our county is actually keeping the kids 40 minutes later than usual and providing glasses, we signed a permission form. However, if you chose to keep your child home or check them out early it’s excused.
    I couldn’t care less about the eclipse, I’m glad my kids will enjoy it with someone who can muster enthusiasm.

  46. Jessica August 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    That’s amazing! Good planning, for them to have obtained that many glasses.

  47. SarahMom August 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    My kids’ school won’t be in session, yet. But my former student teacher’s school will be in their first day, and the principal bought glasses for the whole school! So proud of them.

  48. SKL August 19, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    Our school doesn’t start until the 23rd, and I don’t believe it has anything to do with the sun.

    BUT, the school I graduated from has closed on Monday for the eclipse. They say they don’t want to risk kids looking up at the sun from the bus stop or recess or whatever. (By bus stop, I assume they mean the kindergarten kids who are bused to/from school at lunchtime.)

    I think it’s fine – school starts too early in the summer IMO and it will be cool for families that are traveling to see the total eclipse.

  49. SKL August 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    I have to admit I’m the bad parent who didn’t bother to buy glasses to view the eclipse. I thought I could make some or something. I will probably sneak an actual peek and also do the cereal box viewer thingy for the kids. 😛

  50. SKL August 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    PS it will only be 80% here so a sneak peek probably isn’t going to blind me.

  51. Stephanie August 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    My kids’ school sent home a notice that the day will be a rainy day schedule to make supervision of children easier. They also said that parents can print a permission slip for eclipse viewing from the district website, and that activities are up to teachers. My kids are going in with eclipse glasses and signed permission slips. I’m hoping they’ll get a chance to use them. We’re in southern California, so it’s only about 66% eclipse here. If I had gotten a note like that in an area with a total eclipse, I would keep the kids home rather than risk them missing it.

  52. Librarymomma August 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    We homeschool, but two local library branches have special programs that day and have special eclipse glasses they will pass out so everyone can view the eclipse safely. I have to work, but I’m hoping my husband will take our son to the library to see the sun.

  53. amy August 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    My teenager’s HIGH SCHOOL (private school) is keeping all students indoors (for “safety reasons”) where they will view the eclipse via live stream television. Outrageous, and a crying shame. I’d keep mine home for this one time experience, but it is their second day of school and one has some academics at stake…

  54. pentamom August 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    “PS it will only be 80% here so a sneak peek probably isn’t going to blind me.”

    No, no, NOOO!!!!!! That’s not how it works!!!

    The ONLY safe time to look at the sun is when it’s 100%, during the time it’s 100%.

    Otherwise, it’s just as bad as looking at the sun on a bright, sunny day. Even sneak peeks are dangerous. Seriously. Please don’t do that or let your kids do that.

  55. Chris Dotson August 19, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

    Yep, Lexington, KY did for “safety reasons” but I’m glad they did so that we can enjoy it together as a family. Finally the “excessive safety” nuts did something I like!

  56. SKL August 19, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    If it was really that dangerous to look at the sun, there would be a lot of blind people right now.

    But don’t take my word for it. 😛

  57. Beanie August 19, 2017 at 11:16 pm #

    The district we live in is not canceling, but at the middle school they are keeping them inside for three hours so they don’t burn their eyes. We’ve already received two emails about it, and we’re not even in the direct path. Fortunately, my middle schooler will be starting at a charter school on Monday and we heard they’re planning to view the eclipse. My homeschooled kid and I will be checking it out at home–just like we did during the last one, a few years ago. We were having a party and the adults and kids gathered round the shadow and exclaimed over it, then went back to socializing. Thank goodness no one burned their eyes and sued us!

  58. Crazy Cat Lady August 20, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    Nope. They are not “in” school yet, but the school districts are having things like “late register for classes” and “Pick up your schedule” events for high schoolers. My kids will get theirs the first day of school….we are going to see the eclipse!

    Washington State University has the first day of classes across the state, on the 21st. I predict few students and some awol professors.

    Totality is only 3 hours away from where I live….not going to miss my second opportunity for totality for anything. My first was when I was about 7, and I didn’t realize just how special it was until years later when I experienced a partial. My husband was not sold on this at first….I had to threaten to take the kids without him…since then he has watched a number of videos by people (Smarter Every Day) and decided to buck his work load for the day too.

  59. Crazy Cat Lady August 20, 2017 at 12:05 am #

    Amy, I would claim a doctor appointment and pick up and then bring back after….

  60. Susie August 20, 2017 at 12:20 am #

    School was cancelled. We have an open campus and there is no eye protection for students walking outdoors to the bathroom, to the office, etc. We also get the eclipse during our release time so it would be complete havoc. We have an 85% solar eclipse so I imagine seeing the solar ring would be a popular thing to dare a friend to do…

  61. pentamom August 20, 2017 at 8:39 am #

    Well, your choice of course, SKL. As long as you understand that a percentage under 100% makes it LESS safe, not more.

  62. Kathy August 20, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    Daughter teaches high school Pysics. Monday is the first day of school (should be the next week but her district got a waiver to start early).

    She set up the day’s lesson plan around the eclipse including making pin hole viewers. District announced this week no one can leave the building during the eclipse “due to liability issues”.

  63. ang August 20, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    My kids are 3 and 7. Their daycare/summer program is keeping all the kids inside during the eclipse. This seems like such a wasted opportunity. With a little thought and preparation, I think all of the kids could safely experience the eclipse even if they just stand outside with their backs to the sun and make little circles with their fingers to project it on the ground or a sheet of paper. This might be a moot point on our area since it’s supposed to be cloudy and rainy, but if there is a break in the clouds, I plan to pick up my kids during my lunch break and take them outside for a few minutes to experience the eclipse.

  64. JennaK August 20, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Nope. It’s the first day of school. Some of the schools in the district have plans for viewing the eclipse with the students. Other schools had plans that got wiped out because the glasses they ordered weren’t the right kind (or the manufacturer made a mistake and put the wrong kind out) and they can’t replace them in time. I, for one, don’t really care. See it, don’t see it. I realize it’s once-in-a-lifetime, but it’s not going to change my life whether my kids are able to view it or not. As for myself, I do not have the glasses and don’t have plans to view it with my 4-year-old and husband, who will be home tomorrow. I’ve been way too stressed out and worried about other major things going on in my life to care much about the eclipse.

  65. Mary August 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    My son is in kindergarten and his elementary school is open (K through 5th). They’re providing glasses for all the kids and have already had a dry run to practice using them. They made commemorative T-shirts as a PTO fundraiser and are allowing parents to come watch with their kids. They are planning on making a fun day out of it while learning. We’re in MO and are supposed to have 2 min and 9 seconds of totality at his school. I’ll be at work (20 miles away) with 1 min 5 seconds of totality.

  66. Ann August 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    Our schools are staying open. The middle school and high school dismiss before it starts. For the Elementary school, my daughter’s class has been doing reading, writing, math, and special projects related to the eclipse. The teacher has eclipse glasses for them, but I had to sign quite a lengthy permission form releasing the school from any liability for her to be allowed to go outside. Any students who did not get the form signed will watch the live stream from NASA. I know some parents are taking their kids out to drive to 100% totality… only about 3 hours from here. We are in NC.

  67. TraceyMartel August 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Ours cancelled but we are in line of totality. They are expecting thousands to descend on the city so traffic for buses might be a nightmare and dangerous. Plus half the parents were pulling their kids out for the day anyway. So it made sense to cancel

  68. hineata August 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    I wear glasses now, so I’m probably not the best candidate for saying this, but I just can’t see how you can get blinded glimpsing the sun quickly during an eclipse. When I was at primary school decades ago we had one and were all outside, with instructions just to look at cardboard, but kids sneaked peaks and were fine. I didn’t, only because I was geeky enough to be one of the kids by the telescope we were using to focus the rays, and even I had sense enough not to look at the sun through a scope :-).

    SKL, were you one of those naughty kids who looked directly at the sun under normal circumstances to get that wonderful ‘negative’ effect on the back of your eyelids when you closed them? We always did that back in the 70s, before we learnt about the hole in the ozone layer and minor things like skin cancer. While we spend a lot of time stumbling around and blindly crashing into desks etc these days, it was worth it, LOL .

  69. Dan Weisz August 20, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    I heard second hand from a teacher that in our school district in Tucson that they were told that schools should be on “rainy day schedule”, keeping children in all day. Kids are not to go outside unsupervised. And any outside activity has to be planned with appropriate glasses and parental permission forms signed. Teachers are told to keep their blinds drawn for the day.

    Very silly. You would think that, if eye injury was a real problem, all of the PSA’s around would have first person testimonials by the thousands of ‘adults’ who were blinded by the sun during past eclipses.

    Second hand and please do not use my name. Thanks.

  70. Cindy August 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

    +My brother/s graduate school programs will be cancelled, for both students and staff – but its a traffic issue rather than a safety problem. They’re in a total eclipse location and the city which already has traffic congestion at the best of times, is filled to the brim with people who want to take in the eclipse.

  71. Archimedes August 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    Spartanburg SC has invited the parents to join or kids to leave early. There’s more concern about the traffic. They’re expecting over a million visitors since we’re in the line of totality.

    We’re just going to go to an island in Hartwell. No traffic on the lake.

  72. Andrea August 20, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    My kids will all be at school watching the eclipse with glasses provided by the school as well as doing eclipse activities all day. They’re so excited and I’m excited for them!

  73. Wren August 21, 2017 at 7:16 am #

    Our schools arent’t in session yet, but I’m excited that the local university is holding a free family event.

  74. brian August 21, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    Well I just hope the schools are offering alternatives to the theory that the moon is passing in front of the sun. Like basic evolution, this is after all a scientific theory. Maybe a serpent is eating the sun or the sun is sick as Native Americans used to believe. I hope that any school that is backward enough to teach creationism is also offering alternative explanations for the eclipse as well.

    Schools are still out in the NE so we are DIY at home.

  75. James August 21, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    @Lisa: “My friend;s kids’ school is closing early. IMO, this is not a free-range issue… it is a once in a lifetime experience, and they want to give families the option of taking their kids to see it without worrying about missing school.”

    My wife’s school is letting out early as well. I think it’s partly a liability issue (if the parents let their kids’ eyes get fried they can’t sue the school), but mostly it’s an opportunity to view this as a family. My kids are a bit young to appreciate it (2 and 3, with a 7 month old), but for older kids, I can see the schools wanting the parents to share the event with their kids.

  76. Joe August 21, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    Got an automated call from our kids’ school (junior high) last night that no one would be allowed outside to view the eclipse. They spent all last week working on viewing boxes and learning the science behind what’s happening. Our kids are very disappointed. They put in all of that work for nothing.

    I’m going to check them out for a couple of hours so we can view the eclipse. We live in north Louisiana.

  77. Beth August 21, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    “how would it be the school’s fault if kids damaged their eyes viewing a solar eclipse outside of school hours?”

    A little off topic, but as long as I live I will never understand how the school is responsible for things that happen outside of school hours, and thus tries to control behavior outside of school hours. A kid getting hurt on the playground? OK. A kid getting hurt on the way home from school, long after the dismissal bell has rung? No.

  78. Rebecca August 21, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    Joe, when we had a partial eclipse in 1993 or 1994, I was in 5th grade. My school also banned students from going outside to see it. I remember one of the other 5th grade teachers had spent a whole weekend making viewing boxes for all is students to no avail.

  79. Stacey August 21, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    What will the schools do about students looking at the sun on other days?

  80. Miriam Drukker August 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    It’s still summer vacation here (Canada), but my daughter is in camp.
    I called to ask, and they said (not surprisingly): “for safety reasons, all kids will be kept indoors during the eclipse”.
    This is the policy for all camps run by the city of Oshawa.
    This specific camp that she goes to, is called “Science Adventures” and is run by Mad Science (

    The irony is that it’s a science camp. Great learning opportunity, but ‘safety first’. When I called “Mad Science”, they said that they don’t have safety glasses to give to the kids (impossible to get ones now, but they could have planned in advance). And besides (I was told), it’s a set program for the 5 days of a camp, so they don’t have a special program for today. What a “wonderful” way to teach kids to explore and investigate the world. Repeat the same program that is offered every week each year, do not change the program when there are special natural phenomenon. Don’t confuse the kids with the facts. If it was up to them – they would still teach that the sun orbits around the earth.

    Other things that are closing that I noticed:
    City to close outdoor pools for 30 minutes during peak of partial eclipse on Monday:

    Other things in Canada:

    Windsor, Ont., is also closing its six outdoor pools because of the eclipse. The city’s aquatics manager says it’s a precautionary move due to the fact swimmers would be unlikely to resist looking up at the sky, even without protective eyewear.

    I guess they think that people can’t take responsibility and resist on their own, the city has to protect them. Even adults.

    Maybe they should close it year round, because looking at the sun, on any day, is dangerous, and maybe people won’t resist checking the sunspots.

    Driving is still a lot more dangerous for your health, including your eye sight (you can’t see very well when you’re dead), but they allow kids to be driven to schools. Shame.

    Oh well…

  81. Andrew Jones August 21, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    Judging from some of the feedback, people, as usual, are going overboard. The *only* risk in a solar eclipse is staring directly at the sun – when it’s not totality, because the low light levels will cause the pupils to dilate so when the sun starts being exposed, the portion of the retina exposed is seeing *directly* the sun without even the normally contracted pupils to reduce the light intensity. The way some places are reacting, you’d think they believe that even looking around *normally* at the environment when not totality was going to damage the eyes…which, of course, it will not – any more that looking around at dusk will.

  82. John B. August 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    Yep, they’re letting them off early here in Huntsville, Alabama too. It is MY guess that the reason they’re letting the kids go home to watch the eclipse is a school liability issue. Despite of being warned probably hundreds of times by the school NOT to look directly at the sun during the eclipse or risk blindness, if some dumb and defiant kid does stare directly at the sun, perhaps out of rebellion against the school warning, and his eyes are damaged because of it, GUESS who will be held liable? That’s right folks, the school. In other words, because the person is not legally an adult (under 18) he or she can never be held responsible for decisions they make that hurt them or damage their health. So in that case, it’s the nearest adult’s fault (the school). This is the era we live in now.

    The only other option would be for the school to keep the kids within the building during the moment of the eclipse so they don’t risk damaging their eyes. But then they’d be guilty of denying them a chance to witness a rare, scientific celestial event.

    The schools are basically between a rock and a hard spot on this one so it’s just easier to dismiss them early and allow them to watch it on their own time and under their parent’s or guardian’s supervision.

    Now, this is just MY guess as to why the schools are dismissing the students early to watch the eclipse but I could be “worst-first” thinking here. 😉

  83. Emily August 21, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    My kids (3rd grade and 1st grade) saw the eclipse at school today with the special glasses. They had a great time! My 4 year old’s class decided to stay in a watch the NASA stream, but only because one of the teachers had an emergency come up and the other teacher didn’t feel comfortable handling all the 4 year olds in glasses alone (which I understand!).

  84. JulieH August 22, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    Here’s a good one. Our school was dismissing just past the peak (we were in an 85-90% area). They made the kids put on the solar eclipse glasses to go from the school to bus/walking home. If you haven’t looked through those things, you can’t see ANYTHING unless you are actually looking at the sun. My kid, who was leaving the grounds on foot yesterday, was smart enough to take them off as soon as she was off school property so that she could see where she was walking.

    She said they were specifically told to keep them on and NOT look at the sun until they were home and their parents said it was ok. I don’t think that they completely thought that one through.

  85. Peter August 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    I just can’t see how you can get blinded glimpsing the sun quickly during an eclipse.

    For appropriate definitions of glimpsing and quickly, you probably can’t. What those definitions are is an issue.

    The problem, as I understand it, is that staring at the sun is not good for your eyes but that has nothing to do with how bright it is. Fortunately, we have various reflexes that make us not want to stare at bright lights (eg, squinting), so it’s usually not an issue.

    The issue is that, during an eclipse, the sun isn’t so bright so we can stare at it without those reflexes kicking in. So all of the things that are bad for eyesight can deliver a full dose (because, for example, you won’t squint).

  86. SKL August 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    Just thought I’d check back in and let y’all know that looking at the eclipse – without glasses – did not blind or kill me. Nor my kids. 😛

  87. Jeannie M Hunter August 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Metro Nashville schools were out. They cited traffic because of all the visitors in town for the event (we were in the path of totality).

  88. AmyP August 23, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    My daughter told me they wouldn’t have recess and that they would have to be accompanied to the bathroom. Made no difference to us as I pulled them out of school to go see the eclipse in its totality. They had to miss several days as it was a ten hour drive to our totality destination so we made a vacation of it. I believe they will count as I excused absences but totally worth it. There are just some experiences that are more important than school. I do feel sad for the kids at school, though. Not everybody has the same opportunities, so the schools really had an opportunity here to show the kids something special they may not have been able to see with their families.

  89. Richard August 23, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    In Townsend, TN, which saw 1 minute of totality and a LOT of tourists in part because it’s very close to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, decided to close their schools for the day because they thought traffic would be too bad in town to get kids home after school. They had planned to have school events, but scuttled them and decided to close down instead. I don’t live there, but I visited for the eclipse. It wasn’t traffic apocalypse, but I can’t blame them for planning ahead.