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Date change for schools’ April PA Day due to solar eclipse

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board has changed the date of the professional activity (PA) day in April  to Monday, April 8, from Friday, April 12.

The total solar eclipse will occur on April 8 and parts of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board will be in the path of totality, which means that these areas, including Belleville, Picton and Trenton, will experience darkness at approximately 3:20 p.m.

Maintaining a regular school day on the day of the eclipse will present several challenges to students and staff with respect to transportation and safety. For example, many students would either be leaving school or on the bus at the time the eclipse happens, making it difficult to ensure students do not look directly at the eclipse.

Prior to making this decision the board consulted neighbouring school boards, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, and Limestone District School Board, as well as Tri-Board Transportation. All are in agreement, meaning a consistent approach will be taken. It is felt that combining the PA Day with the date of the eclipse will likely provide the least amount of disruption to families.

The change does not add another PA Day to the school year, it is only a change to the date.

Schools will provide learning for students in advance of the eclipse to explain the significance of this solar event and how to safely watch it.

Visit the following links to find out more:

Solar Eclipse Safety | The Canadian Association of Optometrists (https://opto.ca/eye-health-library/solar-eclipse-safety)
Solar eclipses guide: when is the next solar eclipse? | Canadian Space Agency (asc-csa.gc.ca)
A solar eclipse is coming. Here’s how to watch it safely | Article | Kids News (cbc.ca)

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