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August 16, 2017

Fauquier to delay school dismissal for solar eclipse

File photo/Cassandra Brown
Felicity Poe tries on special glasses, which make eclipse viewing safe.
All Fauquier County Public Schools will dismiss students 15 minutes late on Monday, Aug. 21, due to the total solar eclipse.

High school students will get dismissed at 2:50 p.m. and middle schoolers at 2:40 p.m.

Elementary students and those at Marshall Middle School will get dismissed at 3:35 p.m.

Superintendent David Jeck made the decision to delay school dismissal due to the maximum visibility of the eclipse in Fauquier County, which should occur locally around 2:30 to 2:45 p.m.

This falls during the normal dismissal time for Fauquier’s three high schools and four middle schools.

“We are excited about the unique educational opportunity the solar eclipse will present our students and staff,” said Fauquier’s Associate Superintendent for Instruction Major Warner.

“School leadership has worked together with division instructional staff to devise safe and age-appropriate activities to incorporate into classroom lessons,” Mr. Warner said.

“It is important to realize that while this is a very rare and exciting occurrence, student safety is of the utmost importance to us,” he added. “Discussions at every level of divisional leadership led us to a decision that we thought was best for students, and therefore we decided to extend the school day, to enhance student safety through the peak experience.”

Based on standards recommended by NASA, the school system has put together safety guidelines for schools to follow and communicate to parents, Mr. Warner said.

Although the total eclipse will not pass directly over Virginia, approximately 81 percent of the sun’s surface will be eclipsed in the Washington, D.C., area.
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Rover 530 · August 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm
Now we find out the special glasses distributed by the library are defective and are being recalled. What a revolting development this is.
tucktuck7 · August 17, 2017 at 10:15 am
The teachers were never informed of this change. Early dismissal needs to happen. You are going to have high schooler's driving home!
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