The Houston County School System will delay school dismissal on Aug. 21, 2017, due to the solar eclipse. The delayed dismissal is for the safety of students. Teachers will use the eclipse as a teaching and learning opportunity.
The eclipse’s peak exposure time in Houston County of 2:40 p.m. is close to the usual dismissal time of 2:45 p.m. for secondary schools. Dismissal on Aug. 21 will be delayed by one-half hour for elementary, middle and high schools as follows:
- elementary schools: 4:00 p.m.
- middle and high schools: 3:15 p.m.
Dismissal times for special programs follow.
- Houston County Career Academy: 2:00 p.m., with students bussed to their home schools
- Houston County Crossroads Center: 2:00 to 2:15 p.m., based on distance to home school
- Transition Academy: 3:00 p.m.
- Elam (John Burke and Northeast in Macon): 3:15 p.m.
- Elberta Center: 3:15 p.m.
The NASA website states the following regarding eye safety: “It is never safe to look directly at the sun's rays – even if the sun is partly obscured. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses.’ Do not use sunglasses: they don't offer your eyes sufficient protection. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. Refer to the American Astronomical Society Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewerspage for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.”
Each school will decide if learning activities will take place inside or out. Resources have been provided to schools that allow students to learn about the eclipse whether inside or outdoors. Outdoor activities will require eclipse glasses. Principals will let parents know about their site-based decision.
The last coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the U.S. occurred 99 years ago, in 1918. Links to resources and additional information follow.