NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Fulton County students will participate in the nation’s biggest science spectacle when the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 makes its way across Georgia.
Last month Fulton School leaders joined the growing list of local systems to adjust dismissal schedules to accommodate both student safety as well as the desire to give students a front seat at the once-a-century event.
The skies will begin to darken after noon, but the time of greatest darkness, 2:35 p.m., is smack in the middle of elementary dismissal. Fulton Schools will delay dismissal for all grades – K-12 - and allow school leaders to determine how it will participate in the eclipse event.
“We are very excited about this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Susan Hale, spokesperson for Fulton Schools. “Instructionally, there are some very exciting opportunities that we can utilize as a school community and we are looking forward to sharing them with our students.”
As a charter system, Hale said individual schools have flexibility on how they will conduct eclipse activities, but there are standards in place for safety and accountability.
If students are outside, the event is considered a field trip so the proper adult-student ratios must be in place, and all participants must use safety equipment.
If parents wish to keep their children home that day, or check them out early, the absence will be excused, she added. Each school should have their eclipse plans on their website for reference, and information will be emailed/sent home with students as well.
For the first time in 99 years, a solar eclipse will chart a path across the entire United States giving every inhabitant a view of the event. While most parts of the country will see a partial eclipse, those in a 60-mile wide “path of totality” stretching from Oregon to Georgia will see a full eclipse.
Fulton County is expected to see about a 98 percent eclipse; head to Lake Hartwell or southern Tennessee for the full show. Full darkness will last about three minutes.