Sunday, June 16, 2024

Certain Tampa Bay students are required to remain indoors during the eclipse


School District Policies for Solar Eclipse Safety in Tampa Bay Area Schools

School districts across the Tampa Bay area are taking precautions to ensure the safety of their students during the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday afternoon. With the rare celestial event set to occur, schools are implementing various policies to protect students from potential harm.

In Hillsborough County, all schools will be released an hour early on Monday. While many elementary and high school students will already be dismissed by the time of the eclipse, schools are advised to keep students inside unless they are participating in a supervised class activity with the correct eye glasses.

Citrus County has decided to move all outdoor activities, including recess, PE, and athletic practices indoors between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to ensure the safety of students and staff. The district is urging everyone to avoid looking directly at the sun during dismissal.

Manatee County is also taking precautions by moving all outdoor activities for elementary, middle, and K-8 schools indoors between 1:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. High schools will be allowed to continue with outdoor activities as long as they are supervised by a coach or teacher following safety guidelines.

Polk County Public Schools announced that all outdoor activities will be moved indoors from 1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., including athletic practices, band rehearsals, and aftercare programs. Student absences will be excused on Monday due to the potential risk of looking at the sun.

Pasco County has postponed all outdoor activities until at least 4 p.m., while Hernando County will keep students inside during the eclipse and follow normal “rainy day” procedures for class changes and dismissal. After-school activities will be delayed until 4 p.m. or later.

In Pinellas County, students will be allowed to experience the eclipse as a school activity with a teacher present and correct glasses. Parents are encouraged to warn their children about the dangers of looking at the eclipse without proper eyewear, especially during dismissal or sports practices.

As the nation eagerly anticipates the total solar eclipse, Tampa Bay area schools are prioritizing the safety and well-being of their students by implementing these precautionary measures. Stay tuned for updates on Sarasota County and Highlands County’s policies as we await their responses.

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