On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights—a total solar eclipse. USD 475 has purchased “eclipse glasses” for students to allow them to safely view the solar eclipse. The district asks that parents reinforce to their children the importance of not looking directly at the sun without wearing the safety glasses. Looking directly at the sun is unsafe. The only way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
District staff have surveyed their schoolyards to decide on a viewing area. In doing this they looked for open areas free of trees & viewing obstacles. Every grade level will be participating so if passersby may notice large groups of students outside.
The eclipse will begin at 11:47 AM with a max eclipse at 1:04 PM in the Junction City, Milford, and Fort Riley viewing areas. The final stage will be seen at 2:31 PM.
Students will be provided education and information about the eclipse on or before August 18th and again on August 21st before activities begin. Teachers and staff realize the great teaching opportunity this event brings. Staff will also discuss safety guidelines with students and confirm that all participants have proper safety glasses.
- Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse (“totality”) when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality. Special glasses should be worn.
- The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
- Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
- Always supervise children using solar filters.
- Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
- Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices.
- Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
- It’s ok to be outside without glasses, just make sure not to look at the sun without them.
Parents may choose to keep their children home or go view the eclipse as a family. The absence will count as unexcused, but it will be noted the reason for the absence. Parents may also choose to have their children opt-out. In order to do so, submit your request in writing to the building principal.