In preparation for the 2017 eclipse, which will happen on Monday, August 21, Fulton County teachers and students will have the opportunity to experience an extremely rare and awe-inspiring event -- a near total solar eclipse.
This is a real-time “teachable moment” to increase the science literacy of our students. We will be utilizing a variety of instructional resources to provide an unforgettable learning experience for our students.
Fulton County, which is in the path of the eclipse, will experience a 98% total solar eclipse. The eclipse will begin after lunch and last about three hours from start to finish. The skies will gradually begin to darken as the moon moves into the path of the sun. Over time the sky it will become increasingly dark. The near total eclipse is expected to occur between 2:35 and 2:40, and will last just over two minutes. Then the skies will gradually become filled with more light as the moon moves out of the path of the sun.
Classroom Learning Opportunities
Fulton County Schools is excited to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. We want you and your family to be well informed and safe as you consider your participation in this event. Schools are busy preparing their lessons for that day, with some opting to conduct controlled, adult-supervised outdoor viewing activities while others may elect to use the indoor technology resources available to them, such as the NASA website or other STEM-related materials, to watch the moon pass by the sun.
Our students will also have strong curriculum connections at each grade level:
Schools that are having activities where students go outdoors to view the eclipse will be sending home forms requesting parent permission. The level of participation will vary by campus. Options for participation include:
- Taking students outside to view the eclipse using approved eclipse glasses that were purchased through a reputable manufacturer (Lunt Solar Systems). Consent forms are required.
- Having students watch live NASA broadcast of the eclipse in the classroom.
- Participating in integrated instructional learning opportunities.
Regardless of how your school participates, it is essential that all Fulton County students, parents, and staff understand the safety concerns. We recognize the excitement surrounding this event and have put in place some safety protocols as well as special attendance/check-out procedures and dismissal times for that day.
Consent Form for Outdoor Activities
For schools conducting outdoor experiences, parents/guardians will receive a special consent form to sign and acknowledge the safety risk with viewing a near-total solar eclipse. Your school will have safeguards in place, which may include eclipse viewing glasses for students, but your consent is still required. Students who do not have a signed consent form on file for this activity will be provided a different indoor instructional activity related to the eclipse.
Student Absence/Early Check-out
All student absences and/or early check-outs on this day will be counted as excused. Parents who wish to pick up their students are requested to do so before 12:30 p.m. so that there is ample time to get safely home or to an eclipse viewing location. From start to finish, the event is expected to last approximately three hours, with the actual eclipse occurring around 2:35 p.m., which is why we have established the 12:30 p.m. check-out time.
Delayed Dismissal for Elementary Schools
Although Atlanta will not experience a total eclipse, the darkest part of the event is scheduled to occur during the dismissal process of elementary school students. As a result, Fulton County Schools is delaying release of elementary school students until 3:05 p.m. For the majority of our elementary schools, this is a 45-minute delay. Middle and high school buses also will experience delays due to the delay in elementary dismissal. Middle and high school walkers, car riders, and drivers will dismiss according to their normal schedules.