Local schools prepare for Monday’s solar eclipse, some alter schedules
By Tanna Friday
For the Tribune
A total solar eclipse will pass coast-to-coast across the United States for the first time in 99 years this Monday, which is being referred to by NASA as “the most spectacular astronomical event that most people will experience in their lives.” While Alabama schools are using this event as an exciting and unique learning opportunity for students, some have banned outdoor activities due to safety concerns.
A note from St. Clair district’s Superintendent Jenny Seals says, “The decision to ban the outdoor event is due to the recent concerns with eclipse glasses being sold without the proper ISO rating and the fact that glasses are designed to fit adults. In addition, the inability of teachers to carefully monitor students during this event has led to the ban.”
Superintendent Seals and other district concerns arise from the potential risks of viewing the eclipse outdoors. Both scientist and doctors have issued warnings that it is unsafe to look at the the sun during the solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Even dark sunglasses are not appropriate eye wear.
Although Alabama won’t see a total eclipse on Monday, unlike many states in the center of the country, between noon and 3 p.m., the Birmingham area will be in the path of a partial solar eclipse. During this time, 80 percent of the sun will be covered at the peak, which will occur at 1:31 p.m. It is important to remember even looking at a partial eclipse can cause injury to the naked eye.
Jefferson County Schools and Trussville
For more information on Eclipse schedules, please contact your local school.
Jefferson County Schools: www.jefcoed.com
St. Clair County School District: 205-594-7131
Trussville City Schools: 205-228-3000