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Sarasota County School District plans for Aug. 21 solar eclipse

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SARASOTA COUNTY, Aug. 15, 2017 – The Sarasota County School District has sent information to principals about the solar eclipse that will be visible in the continental U.S. on Monday, Aug. 21. While the total phase of this solar eclipse will not be visible in Sarasota County, it will be observed here as a partial solar eclipse between the hours of 1:15 and 4:15 p.m.

The district will distribute information to parents via an automated phone call, email, website and other communication channels. We have sent our principals the following guidelines:

  • Looking directly at the Sun without approved safety glasses is dangerous, but there are several safe methods that any teacher can employ to ensure the safety of his or her students while observing. No matter which method teachers choose, they must make certain directions are understood and followed. This means constant monitoring of students, with zero tolerance for disregarding the directions.


  • The NASA website emphasizes the importance of carefully following safety procedures. Retinal burns can occur if someone views the eclipse without the recommended eye protection. Click here for more information:
  • Because the eclipse will occur when most children are being dismissed from school, we are cautioning our principals. (Sarasota schools let out from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m., depending on the school.) Whenever possible, students should wait in covered areas for buses during dismissal time.

District permission slips are required for eclipse activities:

  • Some classes are planning projects around this event. Parents will need to sign the required district permission slips before students can participate in eclipse activities. Only schools and classes that have pre-planned activities and the necessary approved safety eyewear for viewing the eclipse may host viewing activities, and only students with a signed district-approved permission slip may participate in these activities.  

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