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Posted August 16, 2017

Safely Viewing the Solar Eclipse

We are requiring students to use solar filter glasses or pinhole cameras to view the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.

While eclipse viewing is an exciting and engaging activity for students, it is important to remember that serious eye damage can happen by looking directly at the sun at any time, even during a total eclipse.Teachers and school staff need to be aware of the dangers that surround viewing an eclipse and follow safety guidelines.

The eclipse will begin in Albuquerque on Monday, Aug. 21, at 10:21 a.m. It will peak at 11:45 a.m. and finish at 1:13 p.m. Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., about 74 percent of the sun's surface will be obscured by the moon’s shadow.

The only acceptable eye protection for students are eclipse viewing glasses or a pinhole camera. No other form of eyewear is acceptable. 

We've asked our staff to adhere to the following instructions:

  • Anyone who is going to be outside to view the eclipse during the time listed above is required to have eye protection. Those who do not have either of these forms of eye protection will NOT be allowed outside to view the eclipse. 
  • Elementary principals have been asked to inform parents about their school’s viewing plan. The plan must include information for parents to opt their child out of viewing the eclipse. 
  • Students should be instructed not to look at the sun when they are outside for recess during the time of the eclipse. This announcement may be made by classroom teachers and/or over the PA system. Staff is encouraged to monitor students and remind them to keep their eyes forward as they move about campus.
  • Middle and high school students must be instructed at the end of all classes during this time not to look at the sun as they move from class to class. The announcement also should be made by a school administrator over the PA system to ensure that the same message is given to everyone on campus. Staff is encouraged to step outside to monitor students and remind them to keep their eyes forward as they move about campus.

The following links provide information regarding the eclipse, safety, path of totality, and alternate viewing methods.

Native American Students

Parents teach their children about this great phenomenon relative to traditional teachings and customs about the significance of the eclipse.

One of the ways Native Americans respect the eclipse is not by viewing it, but instead by coming inside and sitting quietly without eating or drinking until the eclipse passes, then resuming their daily routines and activities.

Parents, please notify your child's teacher if they would like him/her to come indoors and go to a designated area in the school during this time or if for you prefer your child to participate in the school’s activities.

A resource for describing the Navajo perspective on a solar eclipse is a book written and illustrated by Baje Whitethorne titled, "Sunpainters: Eclipse of the Navajo Sun."

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