Safety Advisory for Parents

Dear Parents:

In the afternoon of Monday, August 21, 2017, we will experience a partial solar eclipse. A partial solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the earth and the sun. The partial solar eclipse will begin at approximately 1:13 p.m. and last until 4:10 p.m., with a maximum coverage being reached at 2:45 p.m. Please note that these times will vary based on your location within the county.

Observing the sun can be dangerous to the eyes if proper precautions are not taken. To minimize the likelihood that students will look directly at the sun and risk damaging their eyes, students will be allowed to view the eclipse on television only, and all outdoor activities between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. (physical education classes, recess, athletic practice, band practice, aftercare program, etc.), at all schools, will be moved indoors. Outdoor activities can resume after 4:10 p.m.

Before Monday, August 21, 2017, we ask that all parents speak to their child about the eclipse and the dangers of looking directly at the sun, as well as the potential damage this can cause to their eyes.

We are also asking parents to use an abundance of caution while driving during the time of the eclipse; and to please be especially careful in the parent pickup area at school to avoid distracted drivers, students, and pedestrians. Regular dismissal times will remain unchanged.

Below is a link to a Scientific American informational article, “Science Says We Can’t Look at the Sun,” by Rachael Rettner (Copyright 2017 Live Science), on the risks when looking directly at the sun.

            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/science-says-why-we-cant-look-at-the-sun/

Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.

Sincerely,

Ted L. Roush 

Superintendent of Schools

TLR/BB/kl

A Spanish version of the Safety Advisory statement for Parents is avaiable at the bottom of this page.

Safety Advisory for All Employees

Dear Suwannee County School District Employees:

In the afternoon of Monday, August 21, 2017, we will experience a partial solar eclipse. A partial solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the earth and the sun. The partial solar eclipse will begin at approximately 1:13 p.m. and last until 4:10 p.m., with a maximum coverage being reached at 2:45 p.m. Please note that these times will vary based on your location with the county.

Observing the sun can be dangerous to the eyes if proper precautions are not taken. To minimize the likelihood that students will look directly at the sun and risk damaging their eyes, all outdoor activities between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. (physical education classes, recess, athletic practice, band practice, aftercare program, etc.), at all schools, will be moved indoors. Outdoor activities can resume after 4:10 p.m.

Even though devices recognized by NASA and AAS, with a solar filter meeting ISO 12312-2 International Safety Standard, such as “eclipse glasses”, can be used to safely watch the eclipse, we are not  recommending the use of eclipse glasses or any other methods for viewing the eclipse while at school.

To keep our students and employees safe, we are asking everyone to remain indoors and observe the eclipse on television only. Please do not provide students with eye wear or allow them to use their own glasses to view the eclipse. Teachers and bus drivers should inform students not to look directly at the partially obscured sun, which can cause blindness. Even looking directly at a small part of the eclipse is too dangerous, as the normal squint response will not occur, and the eye will be exposed to dangerous amounts of UV light.

Also, please be aware of the potential for distracted drivers and pedestrians on this day. All District employees are asked to use extreme caution while on the roads and around our schools that afternoon. As always, DEFENSIVE DRIVING is the key to protecting your students and yourself.

Following is a link for a Scientific American informational article, “Science Says Why We Can’t Look at the Sun,” by Rachael Rettner (Copyright 2017 Live Science), on the risks when looking directly at the sun: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/science-says-why-we-cant-look-at-the-sun/

Thank you in advance for your support. If you have any additional questions, please call me at (386) 647-4605.

Sincerely,

Ted L. Roush

Superintendent of Schools

TLR/BB/kl