• Solar Eclipse Updates

     

     

  • April 4, 2024

    Dear Parents,

    On Monday, April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will be visible on a path across the United States and will occur during school hours from approximately 12:30 PM-3:30 PM. While this event promises to be an incredible learning experience, we want to take every precaution to protect the safety of our students. Viewing a solar eclipse directly or through a camera lens, telescope, or binoculars without proper eye protection can be harmful to the eyes, and we want to ensure that our students are as safe as possible.

    Given that close to 80% of our schools' dismissal times fall during the middle of the eclipse time frame and as dismissal requires our students to be outside, Jefferson Parish Schools will be dismissing students on a modified half-day schedule. Information about all school dismissal times is available here. Because Jefferson Parish schools transport nearly 40,000 students to and from school every day, this early dismissal is necessary to get all students home safely before the eclipse.

    While at home, we encourage you to spark curiosity and wonder in your child while emphasizing the importance of protecting their eyes. Discussing safety precautions, such as not looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection, will be necessary. The only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special glasses designed for solar eclipse viewing. Parental Guidance for understanding this incredible event and Solar Eclipse Viewing is available here. 

    Parents may choose not to send their child or children to school that Monday because of safety concerns or because they want their child to experience the eclipse with the family at home. If so, this will be an excused absence.

    Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we prioritize the safety and educational experiences of our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

    Warm regards,

    Dr. Gray

    It has been brought to our attention that there may be some confusion related to the dates for the Celebration of Champions following the message sent out to families yesterday in regards to the Solar Eclipse early release schedule for Monday, April 8. To clarify, the Celebration of Champions for Westbank schools is scheduled to be held on Monday, April 8 and the Celebration of Champions for Eastbank schools is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, April 9, as originally planned. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion caused by the earlier message. 

Eclipse Day Schedule
  • SOLAR EClipse parental guidance



    On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will travel across North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely obscuring the Sun's face. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. This natural phenomenon provides a unique learning experience for our students, enabling them to observe and comprehend the interactions between the Earth, Moon, and Sun. The eclipse is expected to begin in the New Orleans area around 12:30 PM and conclude around 3:10 PM. It will peak with approximately 82% coverage of the Sun at about 1:50 PM. We are excited about the opportunity to witness this rare celestial event. However, ensuring everyone's safety while enjoying this event is paramount. Therefore, we have compiled some guidelines for viewing the solar eclipse: 

     


    Safety First:

    • Discuss eclipse safety with your child/children. Looking directly at the sun without appropriate eye protection can cause severe eye damage or even permanent blindness. 
    • Observing the sun during the eclipse can be done if students have certified solar viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard to protect against the Sun’s intense rays. Regular sunglasses are NOT sufficient to protect against the Sun’s intense rays.
    • You should not view the eclipse through binoculars, telescopes, or cameras without proper solar filters. 

    Educational Opportunities:

    • While at home on this day, students can take advantage of this unique opportunity. The following link provides age-appropriate information about the science behind solar eclipses, including why they occur and how they can be safely observed. The National Environmental Education Foundation contains mini-lessons. These are great resources to build background knowledge.
    • If safe and proper viewing glasses are accessible for students, they can keep an observation journal, to record their observations, thoughts, and questions before, during, and after the eclipse. The National Environmental Education Foundation contains observation recording sheets.
    • If your child does not have access to the proper eyewear for eclipse viewing that’s OK! Consider live streaming the eclipse indoors for your child/children who may be unable to view it safely outside.
    • Organize eclipse-related activities, such as creating pinhole projectors or conducting experiments to understand the effects of an eclipse on temperature and animal behavior


    Observing our star, the Sun, during an eclipse can be safe and inspirational. We want our students, parents, and guardians to have a memorable experience while prioritizing safety. This event will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the United States until 2044. Happy Eclipse Hunting! 

  •