For the first time in 148 years (Aug. 7, 1869) a total solar eclipse will come to Missouri.
For the first time in 148 years (Aug. 7, 1869) a total solar eclipse will come to Missouri. Depending upon where you are in the state, the eclipse will begin between 11:30 a.m. and noon, and will continue until between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Chillicothe R-2 School District will be in session and has taken steps to provide a safe setting for students of all grades to observe the eclipse. Classes for the 2017-18 school year begin on Thursday. When the calendar was set in December 2016, the eclipse was not discussed, said district Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes. The district’s Administrative Team discussed the event before school let out for summer and, again, at the beginning of August. Since the eclipse is to be observed at approximately 1 p.m. it was decided to keep school scheduled as planned and have each building develop related activities for the day/event, Barnes stated. All students, faculty and staff will be provided with special glasses to be used during the eclipse. Here’s a look at how the various schools within the district will be handling events on Monday. (Information is a provided by each building administrators). Chillicothe High School – Chillicothe High School will provide enough NASA approved glasses for all of its students, faculty and staff, thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Nancy Thorne and the CHS Science Club. All students must have a signed parent permission form before being allowed to go outside and view the eclipse. Students will be provided training by the school’s faculty utilizing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration website’s, “How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely” page. Students will be escorted outside with their 6th period classes. They will stay in these small groups to ensure they are properly supervised and that all students can enjoy this event in a safe educational environment. Grand River Technical School – GRTS has purchased extra NASA-approved glasses for area students, faculty and staff. GRTS will follow the same protocol as the high school. Middle School – Science Teacher Shaylee Rademacher used her Education Foundation Mini-Grant to get enough glasses for all of the middle school and provided them to Central Elementary School as well. The teachers are receiving instructions during their opening faculty meeting. The school’s science teachers will be teaching about the eclipse in their classes starting Day 1. Permission slips are required to be signed by both the student and the parent. The day of, the school administration is encouraging the students to bring a towel or a blanket to sit on when they go outside. Glasses will be distributed prior to the students going outside and the students will be outside a total of 30 minutes with the glasses on. The students will be allowed to have snacks. The administration stated that steps are being taken to make the eclipse a positive, memorable event for the students. Central Elementary School – Central Elementary School has enough solar eclipse glasses for all students and staff due to the generosity of Mrs. Rademacher for including Central in her Education Foundation grant. Parent permission forms will be required for all students viewing the eclipse. Protocol and expectations for the event will be discussed with teachers at inservice time. Pam Clingerman from the Historical Society Museum has volunteered to organize a Space Day for Central Students on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. There will be five rotations in the gymnasium conducted by community members. The rotations will include: Station 1 - The Universe; Station 2 - Gravity (with short video and hands-on activity with different toys); Station 3 - Your weight on other planets with scale and simple arithmetic; Station 4 - The constellations (using a Pringle can for a telescope and construction paper to make and see six star constellations); Station 5 - The Solar Eclipse (a short video explaining how and why eclipses happen and a hands-on eclipse activity). The activity will begin as soon as school starts and the stations will be completed before lunch. On Monday, Aug. 21, the school administration plans for the students to have lunch outside prior to the eclipse. School officials expressed appreciation to the Education Foundation for helping with this great solar eclipse experience. The school’s goal is for the event to be “a fun, memorable learning experience with safety at the forefront.” Field Elementary School – Field Elementary School has enough eclipse glasses for every student and staff member to enjoy the eclipse. The teachers will be educating students through video, class lessons and demonstrations on the proper use and care of eyewear for Aug. 21. Throughout the day, facts about the eclipse and safety reminders will be broadcast over the intercom. The school will also have give-aways such as Starbursts, Milky Ways, eclipse T-shirts, etc. Many great resources have been made available to the school’s teachers. Parent permission forms will be required for all students viewing the eclipse. Dewey Elementary – Dewey Elementary School has purchased glasses for all students and staff. Throughout the course of the day students will be doing various space/eclipse activities. The school is asking for parent volunteers to come assist students with their glasses during the eclipse.