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'Out of an abundance of caution,' some Virginia schools to let out early due to solar eclipse

Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 28, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some school systems in Central Virginia have adjusted their schedules for Monday, April 8 due to the solar eclipse.

Chesterfield County

"Chesterfield County Schools will dismiss students three hours and 15 minutes early," a Chesterfield Schools spokesperson wrote in an email about that county's change of plans. "Families and employees should make arrangements for this change, which is being made out of an abundance of caution in connection to the April 8 solar eclipse and our traditional release times."

Chesterfield said it made the decision to release students early "for the safe delivery of students and safe travel of staff members. All after-school activities are canceled for the afternoon of April 8."

Henrico County

"In Henrico, we will have a partial solar eclipse from 2-4:30 p.m., with peak coverage expected at 3:19 p.m. During the eclipse, schools will move physical education classes and other activities indoors," a Henrico Schools spokesperson informed families via email. "This will limit the potential for students to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. Doing so is dangerous and can result in permanent eye damage. Regular sunglasses, swimming goggles, and most camera filters are NOT safe for looking directly at the sun. As an added precaution, HCPS will delay afternoon dismissal for all middle schools by 10 minutes to avoid students being out at the peak of the eclipse without proper protective eyewear."

Richmond

"Although mesmerizing to watch, it is not safe to look directly at an eclipse unless you have special eye protection. To avoid having students outside right when it's most tempting to look up, we've decided to join our colleagues in Henrico by delaying dismissal by 10 minutes for all RPS middle and high schools," a Richmond Schools spokesperson shared. "In addition, any class which does not have proper eye protection will remain indoors after 2 p.m."

Petersburg

"Due to the rare solar eclipse on April 8th, we will be releasing early from school," a Petersburg Schools spokesperson advised. "Please plan accordingly for pick-up times. 11 a.m. PHS and Pittman 11:30 A.M. Vernon Johns and Blandford 12 p.m. All Elementary Schools 12:30 P.M. Westview."

What do you think about the decision to adjust school schedules for the eclipse? Share your voice with the CBS 6 Newsroom here.

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