School districts figure out plan for solar eclipse

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — More school districts are changing their schedules ahead of Monday’s solar eclipse.

This comes after increased warnings about looking at the eclipse without special sunglasses.

Cumberland Valley School District is not allowing its elementary kids outside for the eclipse, which is upsetting some parents as other districts are turning the rare event into a learning opportunity.

“They heard me talk about this eclipse when they were in ninth grade and they’re like, ‘I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait’,” York Suburban High School teacher Steve Whiteley said.

On Monday, Americans are set to witness an astronomical event that hasn’t happened since 1918. A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. From the west to east coast, the sun will go black for two minutes.

“This one is just cutting a swath across the United States, hitting near major population centers,” Whiteley said.

With school starting this week, York Suburban says it’s taking advantage of the educational opportunity.

“We thought under our supervision, with some education and the fact that we’re getting everyone solar eclipse glasses, it’d be better for them to be here and be in this kind of environment to see it,” said Whiteley.

The district is teaching kids about the eclipse Friday before allowing them to see it Monday, but not all Midstate school districts are letting their students look up to the sky.

“I’m very disappointed as most parents may be,” Cumberland Valley mother Yolanda Farley said. “It is an educational opportunity. They’re going to school the first day and they’re not really doing anything. This is more important, I think.”

Cumberland Valley starts school on Monday. They have decided to have indoor recess during the eclipse. Many parents are planning to keep their kids home from school.

“Quite frankly, I would hate for a first grader to be asked years down the road, ‘Do you remember that solar eclipse when you were in first grade?’ And their response is, ‘They didn’t let us out at recess.’ I think that’s a real shame,” Whiteley said.

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