SDOC prepared for Eclipse

The 2017-18 school year will start off with an amazing natural event. On Aug. 21, 2017, the area will experience the first total solar eclipse since 1900, an event that will not happen again until 2054. The School District of Oconee County (SDOC) has planned to make this day a special educational event for students by organizing a safe and engaging viewing experience, tells SDOC Public Information Officer Dr. Sharon Sanders. “We look forward to providing rich learning experiences at the schools during this once in a lifetime experience of a full solar eclipse. The total eclipse is expected to begin around 2:38pm in Oconee County and will last approximately three minutes. In order to ensure 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. Parents are encouraged to use this extra time to view the eclipse at home and then proceed to the schools to pick up children. Parents should also remember to follow eclipse safety precautions at home to avoid permanent eye damage for themselves or for younger children. All students in kindergarten through grade 12 will receive instruction about the solar eclipse. Students in grades 1-12 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 1pm 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. Students who are out of school will be counted as absent but it will be excused as attending an educational event.” The SDOC offers eclipse information and activities for parents and the community on its website at under the “Parent” tab. Parents can also log in to Canvas to review the instructional activities planned for their children.