Solar Eclipse Day Reminders

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow is our Solar Eclipse Viewing Party! 

Thanks to a ton of planning by the sixth grade staff at Salem Middle School, every child that has returned the WCPSS Liability Waiver form will be outside with their own pair of NASA approved eclipse glasses watching a celestial event that is pretty darn amazing.

(Needless to say, I’m geeked!)

A few reminders:

If your child hasn’t returned their liability waiver, please make sure it is signed by both you and a witness and that it is in their backpacks right now!  You can see a list of students without signed waiver forms here.

It will be hot outside tomorrow — so send your child dressed and ready to be comfortable in the heat.  Tomorrow is not a day for hoodies and blue jeans!

Slather your kid in sunscreen.  The current weather forecast has us completely sunny for our viewing period tomorrow.  That’s perfect for two things:  Watching solar eclipses AND getting wicked bad sunburn.  PLEASE either send your kid in with sunscreen OR force them to bathe in it on Monday morning before sending them to school.

Send your kid with other items to help them be comfortable for two hours in the sun:  We’ve told kids to bring a beach towel to sit on, a water bottle (even though we will have plenty of iced down Capri Suns on hand), an umbrella to create shade if they want it, and a hat to keep the sun off their heads.  Watching an eclipse will be cool — but the weather sure won’t be.  Let’s prepare for that.

Speak to your kids about eye safety:  If your kids follow the rules tomorrow (read: keep their eclipse glasses on when looking directly at the sun), they will be completely and totally safe.  So remind them again and again about eye safety.  We did a lesson together in class on Friday — so I THINK they understand what the consequences are of failing to protect their eyes.  But a nudge from mom and dad is never a bad thing, too.

If you can, make a plan to watch the REST of the eclipse with your kid:  Our viewing party ends at 2:50 for dismissal time.  That will be JUST after maximum coverage — which happens at 2:46.  If you can, make a plan for watching the REST of the eclipse, where the moon moves away from the sun.  That will take until 3:45.

If you carpool, think about parking your car and hanging with your kid at the Salem Pond Park.  Bring a cooler with some cold sodas and make an afternoon of it.  If your kid rides the bus, see if you can be home when they are and watch it in the backyard together.  Why not have a great memory to share with your son or daughter!

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow is simply amazing!

Bill Ferriter

[category Science]