Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is prepared for the first day of school on Monday, August 21, 2017, and for the first solar eclipse to be visible across the United States since 1918. A solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun. Broward County will experience a partial solar eclipse beginning at 1:26 p.m. on August 21 and last until 4:20 p.m., with maximum coverage reached at 2:57 p.m.
The eclipse provides a great learning opportunity for students at the start of a new and exciting school year, but many may be unaware of the dangers. During the eclipse, observing the sun can be dangerous to the eyes if proper precautions are not taken. Even looking directly at a small part of the eclipse can be harmful.
In an abundance of caution, BCPS offers the following information and precautions to schools, parents and the community for the solar eclipse:
- All BCPS schools will observe regular opening and dismissal hours on the first day of school, Monday, August 21, 2017.
- As a precautionary measure, ALL outdoor activities at ALL District schools between the hours of 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. will be moved indoors (physical education classes, recess, athletic practice, band practice, aftercare program, etc.). Outdoor activities can resume after 4:30 p.m.
- Only devices recognized by NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) with a solar filter, such as “eclipse glasses,” can be used to safely watch the eclipse. Homemade devices cannot be used to view the eclipse.
- Distracted drivers and pedestrians are a likelihood during the time of the eclipse. Use additional precautions during parent pick-up and dismissal of student walkers and bus riders.
- Parents are encouraged to speak with their children about the eclipse and dangers of looking directly at the sun and the potential damage this can cause to their eyes.
- While students are encouraged to attend school each day, the District understands some parents may prefer to share the solar eclipse experience with their child at home. The absence will be excused with proper school notification in accordance with the District’s attendance policy.
The District’s Office of Academics has provided teachers with sample lesson plans, and guidance and information regarding the 2017 eclipse for instructional activities. For additional information and instructions on safety during the eclipse, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety
or contact the Environmental Health & Safety Department, at 754-321-4200.
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 271,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 236 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 208 different countries and 181 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.