Local School Districts Plan to Safely View Monday’s Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

 Wentzville School District

“Every school has something different planned, but every student (unless their parent opts them out) will have an opportunity to view the eclipse,” Communications Director Mary LaPak told 70 West Sentinel. “We had a committee that met and came up with suggestions for schools.” 

Each classroom has a viewing location and teachers will go over instructions on safely viewing the eclipse.

The district will provide each student viewing the eclipse with custom-made eclipse eyewear with decorative designs created by Wentzville School District students.

READ MORE: Wentzville School District Students to View Eclipse with Student-Designed Eyewear

Fort Zumwalt School District

On August 21, 2017, (our first Monday of the school year), the Fort Zumwalt School District will be in the path of a solar eclipse. This event is being called “The Great American Solar Eclipse,” because it is the first time since 1442 a total solar eclipse has cut across the continental US.  St. Charles is one of the few counties in the region that is in the path of totality.

Planning has been underway to ensure that our students can experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. The district has purchased eclipse-safe viewing glasses for all students and staff. Safety is our number one priority. We will take precautionary measures to make this experience safe and enjoyable.  All students and staff will view an eclipse safety video and receive direct instruction from classroom teachers on proper use of the safety glasses.  

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. Students will only be allowed to use district provided ISO safety approved glasses. For more information regarding the safety certification of the special viewing glasses, please visit www.eclipseglasses.com/pages/safety.

Students will receive the following instructions:  

  • Because students will not be able to walk safely wearing the eclipse glasses, they will be instructed to walk to their viewing location without looking at the sky.
  • Students will be instructed to turn their back to the sun, bend over, and then put on their glasses.
  • Students will turn around to view the eclipse.
  • When students finish viewing, they will turn around with their glasses on.   
  • Students will bend over with their backs to the sky and take off their glasses
  • Students will walk back into the building without looking at the sky.

Students will also be required to sign a Student Safety Contract prior to August 21, 2017.  Because of these safety concerns, parents are able to opt their student out of this activity. Parents should contact their student’s school to opt out. 

Francis Howell School District

The total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, provides a once in a lifetime viewing and learning opportunity for the students of the Francis Howell School District. The District is taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of students as they have the opportunity to observe this historic celestial event. Every FHSD school has special lessons specifically designed for the eclipse, and you can view that list by clicking here.

The District’s preschool students at Central School Road, Hackmann Road, and Meadows Parkway early childhood centers will not go outside to view the eclipse. Our youngest students will be staying inside during the eclipse and will watch a live stream of the event on classroom SmartBoards.

The District has purchased approved eclipse glasses for all students and staff from American Paper Optics, one of the vendors approved by the American Astronomical Society. These eclipse glasses have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12312-2 international safety standards. All FHSD students will have the opportunity to review and practice safe viewing procedures before the event.

Student and staff safety is always a top priority in FHSD, and some District schools have taken the additional step of asking parents and/or students to sign a safety contract or permission form. If you do not want your child to participate in eclipse viewing activities, please contact the school office. All FHSD schools will have an area inside for students who are not viewing the eclipse event. As always, it is a parental decision whether to send your child to school on any given day. More information, including a link to the NASA safe viewing guidelines, can be found on the District website.

Due to the unique nature of the eclipse event, we are anticipating the possibility of increased traffic congestion. We plan to run all school bus routes on their normal schedules, but please be aware that some significant delays could occur depending on traffic. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.