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Update Regarding the Solar Eclipse on April 8th

Dear Wildcat Community,



We hope that everyone had a wonderful spring break and we’re excited to welcome our students back to school! As we enter the month of April, we know that many of our students and families are looking forward to the unique opportunity to experience a solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. We also know that you may have questions about how we plan to proceed with school district operations on that day.


As the eclipse draws closer, our administration and school leaders want to ensure our families stay informed with useful resources to help ensure our students can safely enjoy this milestone occurrence.


We want to share how much we appreciate the widespread interest this “once-in-a-lifetime” astronomical occurrence has generated in our community. We believe this event presents an excellent opportunity for us to tap into our students’ interest in science and connect our classroom instruction with real-world events. 


On the day of the eclipse, Monday, April 8th, it is anticipated that our region will experience partially darkened skies from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the eclipse peaking at around 3:15 p.m. 


Please know that our schools will remain open during the eclipse and plan to maintain their regular schedule - including our normal afternoon dismissal times.  However, any family of a student who wishes to pick up their child(ren) from school prior to dismissal on April 8th, can do so with the understanding that the absence will be considered an excused absence. In addition, all after school outdoor activities hosted by Owen J. Roberts will not begin until 4:30 p.m. on April 8th, in alignment with other school districts in Chester County.  


To coincide with this exciting and rare wonder of the natural world, many of our students will have the benefit of learning about space and the science behind eclipses. While activities and lessons will depend on grade level, and vary by classroom, students may start to ask questions about what they’re learning in class and share their excitement with you. 


In addition, we will be providing viewing glasses, free of charge, to all students in grades K through 6 so that they can safely observe the eclipse. This includes our Wildcats enrolled in morning kindergarten classes, and students who will dismiss prior to the eclipse. However, it does not include students at the middle or high school, as their normal dismissal time occurs prior to the eclipse’s peak. Please note that families can have their child opt-out of receiving glasses by filling out a Google Form available by clicking here or by visiting


We know that some of our students, especially our younger Wildcats, may not understand the importance of following safe viewing practices while the eclipse is occurring. This is especially true during dismissal, which will coincide and overlap with the peak eclipse time period. We strongly encourage parents to talk to their children about eye safety and emphasize the dangers of staring at the sun without the proper eye protection. 


To ensure the safety and enhance the educational value of this event, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has developed a comprehensive resource guide for K-12 schools - including information on eye safety, viewing methods, educational activities and more. The guide is available on PDE’s website by clicking here, or by visiting


In addition, NASA has compiled helpful information about safety during a total solar eclipse, particularly as it relates to eye protection. NASA’s guide can be found on their website by clicking here, or by visiting


We appreciate your partnership during this exciting and unique event as we work together to help our students enjoy this amazing educational opportunity. Thank you for your support and remember to stay safe by protecting your eyes. We hope everyone enjoys the solar eclipse!


With warm regards,



Owen J. Roberts School District