Communications‎ > ‎

First Total Solar Eclipse since 1900 on August 21, 2017

posted Aug 7, 2017, 6:23 AM by The School District of Oconee County, SC   [ updated Sep 18, 2017, 10:53 AM by Deborah Wickliffe ]
The 2017-18 school year will start off with an amazing natural event.  On August 21, 2017, the area will experience the first total solar eclipse since 1900, an event that will not happen again until 2054.  SDOC has planned to make this day a special educational event for students by organizing a safe and engaging viewing experience.

"We are looking forward to providing rich learning experiences at the schools during this once in a lifetime experience of a full solar eclipse," said Dr. Michael Thorsland, Superintendent.

The total eclipse is expected to begin around 2:38 pm in Oconee County and will last approximately three minutes.  In order to ensue a safe dismissal and to provide our students with a unique learning experience, all schools will dismiss 15 minutes later than the regular dismissal time.

All students in kindergarten through grade 12 will receive instruction about the solar eclipse.  Students in grades 1 through 12 will go outside to experience the eclipse, weather permitting.  Teachers will provide instruction to students about safety practices that must be followed, will provide students with eclipse glasses, and will monitor students during this event.  Because the event will occur so early in the school year, kindergarten students will not participate in the outside experience.  Instead, schools will stream a video of the eclipse for these students to view.  Any preschool students attending school that day will be dismissed early and will not be at school in the afternoon.

There are many opportunities throughout the county for parents to experience the eclipse with their families.  To participate in these other opportunities, parents may sign their children out of school early on the day of the eclipse, but must do so no later than 1:00 pm to provide schools adequate time to transition to the eclipse activities.

"We know that some parents will want to spend that afternoon with their children," said Dr. Thorsland.  "We will accommodate those requests and count them as educational events."

The district has provided eclipse information and activities for parents and the community.  These resources can be viewed on the district webpage under the "Parents" tab.  Parents can also log into Canvas to review the instructional activities planned for their children.  The School District of Oconee County looks forward to a wonderful 2017-18 school year and is excited to begin the year with such an amazing event.