District 54 is aware that the first day of school for most of our students, Monday – August 21, is the day of the solar eclipse. During a total solar eclipse the moon lines up with the sun, blocking the sun from view. Our community is not on the path of totality (the closest area is Carbondale, Illinois), which means those in the District 54 community would only see a partial eclipse (the moon will not fully cover the sun). The partial eclipse will be viewable in our area from 11:53 a.m. to 2:41 p.m.
Looking directly at the sun is never safe and it would be impossible for staff to ensure that children are not watching the changes in the sky that occur with even a partial eclipse. Therefore, we will be keeping students inside for recess and lunch on August 21. Students will have the opportunity to view the eclipse through NASA’s website at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive. Some parents have expressed a desire to keep their students home and travel to see the eclipse. Parents have the right to make this decision for their children and we will be happy to welcome their students on August 22.