Solar eclipse leads to extended school day

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Solar eclipse leads to extended school day

Image: Doinkster/Pixabay

Image: Doinkster/Pixabay

Image: Doinkster/Pixabay

Image: Doinkster/Pixabay

by Andrew Okwuosah, Digital Editor

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North Georgia is in for an astronomical treat. A sliver of northeast Georgia will be able to see a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, with the rest of metro Atlanta getting a near-total partial eclipse.

In response to this, Cobb County Schools and several other Metro Atlanta districts will be extending their school days to keep students and staff safe.

“The peak time to experience the solar eclipse falls during our regularly scheduled elementary school dismissal time,” the Cobb County School District said in a statement announcing the delay. “Since student safety is always our first priority we will start the day on time and delay dismissal to ensure that neither students nor employees are on the roadways during the time of the eclipse. Subsequently, high schools and middle schools will delay dismissal as well.”

Cobb County is expected to experience a 96 percent total solar eclipse depending on cloud cover. Beginning shortly after lunch, skies will gradually darken as the moon moves into the sun’s path. Between 2:35 and 2:40 p.m., the partial eclipse will begin and last just over two minutes. Then, the skies will gradually lighten as the moon moves out of the sun’s path.

In an email to teachers read to this reporter, McEachern principal Regina Montgomery announced that students will not be allowed to checkout after 1:30 p.m. on eclipse day. The school announced in a tweet posted on Aug. 20 that all checkouts after 11:30 a.m. will be excused if it’s done properly through the Attendance Office. Fourth block will also be extended to begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at 4.15 p.m. in line with the 45 minute delay.

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