The Woolwich Observer

„ School board needs to act ahead of eclipse

- Pauline Duench Miller ST JACOBS

To the Editor, I was horrified to read the Waterloo Region District School Board letter that was sent home to parents regarding the solar eclipse on April 8. The board does not indicate how children are going to be protected.

Why is the WRDSB so stubborn that they won’t change the date of the April 10 PD Day to April 8 in order to keep children safe?

The eclipse begins at 2:03 p.m., is at its maximum at 3:18 p.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. School dismissal time is occurring at the height of the solar eclipse. How will bus drivers protect their eyes? How will teachers who are on bus duty be protected? How will the students be protected, especially the youngest children who may not understand what could happen if they look at the eclipse?

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board wisely changed their PA Day, as did many other boards in Ontario – Thames Valley, Niagara, Toronto, Bluewater, Middlesex, Upper Grand, Halton, to name a few.

When I was teaching during a partial eclipse on Feb. 26, 1979, we covered all the windows with garbage bags and the children stayed inside until it was over. The partial eclipse occurred in the morning at 10:49 a.m., was at its maximum at 12:06 p.m. and ended at 1:24 p.m. Students were kept indoors until the eclipse was over.

Maybe the WRDSB should provide glasses with specialize­d filters (ISO 12312-2 internatio­nal standard) for every student, teacher, principal, bus driver and all employees of the board.

You can choose to keep your children at home on April 8 or pick up your children at noon. Keeping the children in school until 4:30 p.m. when the eclipse is over could be another solution.

Better still, write to the Waterloo Region District School Board and plead with them to change their PD Day to April 8.

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