Citing safety concerns, Cobb County announces early release day on date of solar eclipse

July 29, 2023
1 min read

The Gist: Parents of Cobb County students, mark your calendars. An early dismissal is scheduled for April 8 as part of the recently announced school calendar. This isn’t just any other day; it’s the date of a partial solar eclipse and the school district is taking no chances when it comes to student safety.

What’s Happened?: The Cobb County School District announced Thursday its decision for an early release on April 8, the Monday students return from spring break.

While early releases aren’t unheard of, what makes this unique is the reason: a partial solar eclipse. These celestial events occur when the moon crosses between Earth and the sun, partially obscuring it. They’re fascinating, for sure, but they also come with a safety warning.

Why It Matters: NASA cautions against looking directly at the sun during an eclipse without specialized eye protection, emphasizing the potential risk of severe eye injury. By allowing for early dismissal, the district is trying to ensure students are safely off the bus and indoors during the event. This move reflects the school district’s prioritization of student safety, even when the risk comes from an event as rare as a solar eclipse.

What’s Next?: Post-eclipse, the school district reassures that all after-school programs will resume as normal, with students staying indoors. While the eclipse will only be partial in metro Atlanta, other parts of the U.S. will witness a total eclipse. As the school district navigates the balancing act of maintaining routine while ensuring safety, parents and observers might find themselves with a new appreciation for the impact of celestial events on our day-to-day lives.

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