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April 8 Eclipse

Dear Families,

We're reaching out to highlight a significant event happening on Monday, April 8th - a partial solar eclipse. This event is both fascinating and a rare educational opportunity, but it is crucial to approach it with caution to ensure the safety of our students.
Solar eclipses occur when the Moon positions itself between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow that can partially or fully cover the Sun from our view. The main concern with a partial eclipse is the potential eye damage from the Sun's powerful rays. Directly observing the Sun during such an event can cause solar retinopathy, a serious condition that results in permanent damage to the retina.

The eclipse in our area is scheduled to start at approximately 11:54 a.m., reach its maximum at 12:46 p.m., and end by 1:39 p.m.
To protect our students during these times, we will observe the following safety protocols:
Staying Indoors: All students will be kept indoors from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
We want to stress that even a brief direct look at the solar eclipse can harm one's eyes, and neither sunglasses nor looking through windows offers adequate protection. 
To ensure safety, we will keep blinds down in all classrooms equipped with them.

Outdoor Activities Assessment: 
We will carefully evaluate all scheduled outdoor activities, including field trips and academy programs, to decide if they should be canceled to prevent any risk during the eclipse.

Communication with Older Students: We encourage parents of students in grades 7-12, particularly those who might be driving, to discuss the importance of staying indoors during the eclipse and/or avoiding the temptation to view the eclipse without proper eye protection. 
We are committed to the safety and well-being of our students and are taking these steps as a precaution. We also recommend that all families follow the eye safety guidelines during the eclipse provided by the Canadian Optometrists of Canada.

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