On August 21, 2017, for the first time since 1918, a solar eclipse will be visible on a path across the United States. Our school will be in the path for the solar eclipse. The school has been busy planning to make this once in a lifetime event a unique learning experience for our students.
On August 21, 2017, all Southwestern Middle School students (with parent/guardian permission) will be allowed to go outside and participate in activities and view the Solar Eclipse.
As always, student safety is our top concern. Looking directly at the sun is unsafe. The only safe way to look at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses”. Per NASA, homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. The school has purchased and will provide all students and participants who attend the outdoor activities eclipse glasses to wear during this event. Although there is no way to fully guarantee student safety during such a rare event, we will take precautionary measures including pre-education (August 18th) to make students aware of the risks involved in directly looking at the sun. At no time should students or participants remove their eclipse glasses and look directly at the sun as it could cause permanent eye damage or other unknown effects. There is no way for the school to guarantee that your child will not remove their eclipse glasses, so please speak with your child about the importance of keeping their eclipse glasses on at all times during this event.
*If you want your child to participate in outdoor viewing activities planned on August 21st for the eclipse, please review, sign and return the permission form as soon as possible. If you do not wish for your child to be outside during this event or if you do not return this form, alternative activities will be held inside during this period.
Eclipse Safety Resource: Eclipse 101