Due to the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, Douglas County Schools will delay dismissal of elementary, middle and high school students, the school system announced Wednesday.
The peak time to experience the solar eclipse falls during regularly scheduled elementary school afternoon transportation times. Elementary schools will dismiss at 3:30 p.m. with middle and high school dismissing at 4:30 p.m.
Since safety is the school system’s first priority, this delayed dismissal will ensure that neither students nor employees are on the roadways during the time of the eclipse, according to the announcement. All schools will follow normally scheduled start times on Aug. 21.
Four schools confirmed they have ordered special glasses for students to safely view the eclipse — Holly Springs Elementary, Fairplay Middle, Mason Creek Middle and Douglas County High. Other schools may also get the special glasses, according to the school system. The glasses are needed because looking directly at the sun, even during the partial eclipse Douglas County will experience, can cause serious damage to your eyes, according to NASA.
Parents also have the option of checking their children out of school to view the eclipse at home.
Elementary students can be checked out after 11 a.m. and they will still be counted present for the day, and middle and high school students can be checked out after 11:30 a.m. and still counted present.
For more information about what your child’s specific school plans for the eclipse, the school system recommends checking with individual schools. Schools are also expected to send home information about their plans soon.
In Douglasville, the eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse, according to Vox.com. The eclipse will peak over Douglasville at 2:36:07 p.m. EDT, when the moon obscures 96.3 percent of the sun.
The partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun, can be seen anywhere in North America, according to NASA. To see a total eclipse, where the moon fully covers the sun for a short few minutes, you must be in the path of totality.
The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East, according to NASA, and will cover only the northeast corner of Georgia. The first point of contact will be at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality begins there at 10:16 a.m. PDT. Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.
The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT. From there the lunar shadow leaves the United States at 4:09 EDT. Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.
The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the U.S. occurred in 1918, according to the Douglas County School System.
Community solar eclipse resources include:
• An interactive eclipse map that allows to select your location and see the calculated eclipse times and duration of annularity for that location. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html
• The American Astronomical Society has created How to Safety Watch a Solar Eclipse at https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety and has posted eclipse glasses and social viewer information at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety
• For more information and resources visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/