Central Ga. schools take differing approaches on school day during eclipse

Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones on 13WMAZ's Close Up with Randall Savage explaining his decision to extend the school day during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

As the entire country prepares for the best solar eclipse in American history, some central Georgia school districts are taking different approaches to the school day during the event.

Occurring in the afternoon hours Aug. 21, schools here will be in session during the total eclipse.

As of Wednesday - with 12 days until the solar event - some central Georgia school districts have announced they're releasing students early.

Other districts announced they're extending the school day to wait for the eclipse to conclude.

The most recent districts to announce their intentions are Houston and Baldwin counties. They're delaying dismissal.

"Each school will decide if learning activities will take place inside or out," a Houston County schools news release states. "Resources have been provided to schools that allow students to learn about the eclipse whether inside or outdoors. Outdoor activities will require eclipse glasses. Principals will let parents know about their site-based decision."

Baldwin, Bibb, Wilkinson and Putnam school districts have also announced they're delaying dismissal.

"We will have a quality experience where students will be able to understand the eclipse," said Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones. "I do have some parents saying 'I can do that on my own ... I can keep my child home that day. Why are we doing that (delayed dismissal)?'

"This is our opportunity to have experts, teachers share what we think is the best information on the eclipse," Jones said.

"Safety is our first priority. No students will be allowed to check out during the peak time of 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m." a Wilkinson schools news release states.

Monroe and Jones county school districts are releasing students early, prior to the eclipse.

"After much deliberation and feedback from school stakeholders, we feel it best to shorten the school day," a Monroe County schools news release states.

One of the main reasons stated in the news release is eye safety concerns - "challenges with securing proper eyewear to view the eclipse in a safe manner."

As of Wednesday, only seven districts announced their intentions. More are likely coming. 

RELATED: Solar eclipse 2017: Here's everything you need to know

 

 

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