District extends school day for solar eclipse

Published 7:36 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017


Lincoln County students will have a longer Monday than usual on Aug. 21 in order to experience the upcoming solar eclipse in a safe environment, according to the school district.

“We will always make decisions that best address the safety of our students,” said Superintendent Michael Rowe Tuesday this week.

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The district announced the decision Aug. 4 and aims to use the extra time at school to provide a safe environment and unique learning experience for students to view the solar eclipse.

The eclipse is expected to last between 1:02 to 3:55 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 when the moon obscures 96.5 percent of the sun.

All Lincoln County students will remain at school until 4 p.m.

“Since prolonged viewing of a solar eclipse with the unaided eye could cause serious eye injuries, our goal is to ensure students are not on the school buses during the eclipse,” the release states.

As usual, buses will leave from Lincoln County Middle School first, according to the school district, and students will arrive home about an hour later than the normal time.

“Certified solar eclipse viewing glasses will be provided at no cost for all students and will be distributed the day of the eclipse,” the release states.

Parent permission slips, which will be sent home the week before the eclipse, must be turned in for students to participate in the eclipse viewing experience.

Parents who would like their children to participate in an educational activity related to the eclipse outside of school can fill out an Education Enhancement Opportunity Request Form and submit it to the principal of the child’s school at least five days prior to the absence.

If the Enhance Opportunity Request Form is approved, the absence will be excused, according to the district.

The form can be found online at: http://www.lincoln.kyschools.us/docs/userfiles/401/my%20files/eeo%20form.pdf?id=10480

If parents choose to check their children out prior to the extended 4 p.m. time, the school is required to document it as a tardy.

“When the district extends a school day, we are required to extend it for all students in attendance that day,” the release states. “We appreciate your understanding of these attendance requirements.”

Students will also be provided with an afternoon snack.

For more information on the solar eclipse and related safety information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/content/eye-safety-during-a-total-solar-eclipse.