Johnson City Schools Announces Solar Eclipse Plan
Johnson City Schools will be using the eclipse scheduled to occur on Monday, August 21 as a “teachable moment” to increase the science literacy of our students.
We will be utilizing a variety of resources developed by classroom teachers, NASA, and other sources appropriate for grade levels. Each JC school will provide students opportunities to participate in the eclipse phenomena. Teachers across our district are working diligently to align the learning experiences to their grade level science standards. Some important information I would like to share with you:
- Johnson City Schools will be in session the full day.
- Students who observe the eclipse with their family will receive an excused absence or an excused early dismissal.
- Schools will secure permission slips from parents/guardians in grades PreK-8 in order for a student to go outside to watch the eclipse. Parents of students at Science Hill have the option to opt out of the eclipse.
- ALL students and staff members who wish to observe the eclipse will be provided approved eyewear. Schools have secured approved glasses for all students and staff members.
- Because the eclipse will happen around 2:36 p.m. here in Johnson City, our school district has developed a plan with Johnson City Transit to hold buses at Science Hill, Liberty Bell, and Indian Trail until 2:45. This delay is only approximately 5-7 minutes from the time the buses usually start loading students.
- Our schools and central office have received several requests not to dismiss early due to parents not having child care for the afternoon. We feel this plan provides a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the eclipse in a safe and supervised environment and also does not infringe on working parents.
Safety is our first priority. Looking at an eclipse without proper eyewear may cause permanent eye damage. This delayed dismissal will ensure that students are under adult supervision and neither students nor employees are on the roadways during the time of the eclipse.
The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the U.S. occurred in 1918. It is wonderful that our students, educators, and parents can celebrate this history-making event.