WRDSB classes to stay in session during solar eclipse

The Waterloo Region District School Board has announced that its schools will stay open during the April 8 total solar eclipse.

The decision goes against the grain, as the Waterloo District Catholic School Board, Avon Maitland District School Board and other local boards have changed their PA days to keep students home on that day.

Looking at the sun during a solar eclipse without appropriate eyewear is dangerous. Region of Waterloo Public Health warns that doing so could result in retinal burns, blurred vision and loss of eyesight.

However, WRDSB has a PD day scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, and the board is choosing to keep it unchanged.

The public board stated that it has considered a number of factors when making the decision, including the measures needed to ensure the safety of students and staff and the impact on families who would require child care support or need to adjust existing arrangements for the day.

Parents who believe its best to keep their children at home are free to do so, but the board believes there are unique learning opportunities by keeping class in session. After all, it will be the first total solar eclipse since 1925, and there won’t be another one visible for another 120 years.

“WRDSB students can have a once in a lifetime education experience,” the eclipse update reads.

If you wish to keep your child home, or take them home earlier in the day, the board is just asking you to report absences per the typical process.

The schools will use learning tools from the University of Waterloo as well as NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.

The eclipse takes place just after 2 p.m. in Waterloo Region and ends at 4:30 that afternoon. The max eclipse is at 3:18 p.m. sharp.

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