First day in G-A schools delayed due to solar eclipse

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The first day of school in the Greencastle-Antrim School District has been postponed from Monday, Aug. 21, to Tuesday, Aug. 22, due to the solar eclipse.

“The beginning of the eclipse is to occur in our area around 1:15 p.m., with maximum coverage of 80 percent occurring around 2:40 p.m., with the end of the eclipse around 4 p.m. Normal dismissal time for our district begins at 2:25 p.m. for our middle and high school students and 3 p.m. for our primary and elementary students. Many primary and elementary students will be on the bus until after 4 p.m., especially on the first day of school. Due to the safety risks associated with viewing the eclipse, it is imperative that students are not outdoors during these hours,” Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent, wrote in a letter to parents Monday.

The make-up day will be on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.

“While the eclipse's occurrence provides an exciting and rare opportunity to observe the movements of the sun and moon, it also poses a serious risk of harm to the eyes,” according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Optometric Association. “The sun emits invisible infrared waves that can cause serious damage to the eyes, including blindness. The sun is so bright that our instincts normally cause us to look away, but during the eclipse, the sun's rays may not seem as intense and we may be tempted to watch the movement of the moon across the face of the sun. Although you may not feel discomfort while watching an eclipse, the risk to your eyes remains the same as when looking at the fully exposed sun. Looking at the eclipse can result in a condition known as solar retinopathy, which is damage to the retina, the portion of the eye responsible for collecting light and transmitting images to the optic nerve. Damage to the retina from the sun could be permanent and could cause blindness”.

The eclipse can be safely viewed with a pinhole projector or solar glasses.