Thursday, April 18, 2024

Local school districts planning to experience solar eclipse with students

Local school districts are planning to allow for students to be able to experience the solar eclipse on April 8 — as long as the weather cooperates.

On April 8, the path of the total solar eclipse will head northeast from Mexico through the rest of North America, and much of southern Denton County will be in the path of totality. Many events will be held around Denton County, and the rest of North Texas, that afternoon for local residents to gather to watch the eclipse. Students at local school districts will also be allowed to watch the eclipse during the school day.

“AISD students and faculty will use this unique opportunity to study a magnificent celestial phenomenon from their home campuses,” Argyle ISD said in a statement. “Leading up to and following the eclipse event, students will engage in various educational activities to learn about the science and significance of solar eclipses.”

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has donated tens of thousands of eclipse glasses to local districts, including Denton and Lewisville ISDs. Denton ISD said if a parent decides to keep their child home on April 8, it could be considered “verified” by the parent writing a note, but not “excused.” Lewisville ISD said that “it is not recommended that our youngest students view the eclipse outside,” so LISD K-2 students will be able to watch NASA’s live stream. Parents will be able to sign an opt-out form for their child if they want to request an alternate activity.

“The eclipse provides a unique learning experience for Denton ISD students, allowing them to engage with science, astronomy and the natural world,” Denton ISD said in a statement. “Many of our teachers will be incorporating this event into their lesson plans to enhance the educational experience for all students.”

In Flower Mound, the partial eclipse will begin at 12:23 p.m. on April 8. The total eclipse will run from 1:41 to 1:43 p.m., and the partial eclipse will end at 3:02 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Areas east and south of Dallas that are located in the middle of the path of totality will experience totality for more than twice as long as Flower Mound will.

Even when most of the sun is blocked by the moon, it is not safe to look at it without a pair of American Astronomy Society-approved solar glasses. It is only safe to take them off when the sun is totally blocked by the moon.

As of Monday, the National Weather Service is projecting a high chance of clouds and rain on April 8. There is a medium chance that North Texans will still be able to see the eclipse through a veil of high clouds or partial cloud clearing.

Click here for more information about the eclipse.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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