April 8th Solar Eclipse Information

On Monday, April 8th a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. This is a historic moment for our students and we have special plans for a viewing. We want you to know that we have two main priorities for experiencing the solar eclipse at Charles River School: safety and academic excellence, in that order.  

Prioritizing Safety
The eclipse is an opportunity for all students at CRS to learn and experience a rare scientific moment in a variety of age-appropriate ways.

An eclipse also presents a rare safety challenge. For children (and adults), it can be tempting to look up at the sun during an eclipse, and while the sun’s light is dimmed, it is easy to let our gazes linger. The sun’s damaging effects remain strong even during the height of an eclipse. That is why people are instructed to use special shielding glasses or indirect viewing methods during an eclipse. 

The timing of the eclipse is also challenging because it will land during our regularly scheduled dismissal and the transition to after-school activities on campus. With that in mind, we are providing a pick-up option for families who want to avoid driving or having their children outdoors between 2-4:30pm. 

All CRS students, faculty, and staff will be supplied with glasses which must be worn for the entire duration of the eclipse whenever we are outdoors and looking at the sun. For more information on safe viewing and the science behind eclipses, you can check out this resource

Learning and Joy
The solar eclipse provides us with a unique opportunity for students to learn and experience joy together. All students are learning about the eclipse in their classrooms.

Below, please see important planning details and two action items for parents and caregivers.

How and when will each grade participate in the eclipse viewing?
Students in PreK – 2 will be escorted safely to Foster Hall to watch a live streaming of the eclipse together indoors only at 2:45pm. 

Students in Grades 3 – 8 only are invited to view the eclipse outdoors in small groups with extra teachers, advisors, and administrators closely supervising.

What happens if my student is in grades 3 – 8 but I do not want them to be outdoors for the eclipse?
If your child is in 3rd-8th grade, and you would prefer your child to be inside, please let us know and we will send them to join the INDOOR Foster Hall viewing group. ACTION ITEM: If you would like to choose this option, please fill out this form by Monday, April 8th at 8:00am. You do not need to fill out the form if your child is planning to attend the eclipse outdoors.

How will dismissal work and what are my options for picking up my child on April 8th?
We recognize that the timing of the eclipse will cause some changes to pick-up and understand that some families may not want their children to participate in the viewing and/or want to stay off the roads during the eclipse. 

Options for dismissal on Monday:

  • Option A – Dismissal at 1:30pm:  We are offering an early dismissal for any family who would like to pick up their child before the solar eclipse begins. ACTION ITEM: If you would like to participate in the 1:30pm dismissal, please email Laura Woodring by Monday, April 8th at 8:00am. We will gather students for early dismissal and they will be ready to be picked up at 1:30pm. 
  • Option B –  Regular dismissal at 3:10pm: Our regularly scheduled dismissal occurs during peak eclipse time. Every student in all grades participating in the 3:10pm pick-up will be dismissed from inside Foster Hall. (Students will not wait outdoors as they usually do.) Students will walk to cars wearing protective glasses. Please anticipate a slower dismissal on Monday. Thank you in advance for your patience!
  • Option C – 4:30pm dismissal: Our 4:30pm dismissal will take place after the eclipse has ended and will not be impacted. 4:30 dismissal will run normally with no changes to our regular procedure. This dismissal is for students staying after school for sports or EDP.

How will after-school activities be impacted?
In order to keep our students safe, ALL after-school activities will be indoors on Monday which includes sports practices, EDP, enrichments, and music lessons. There are no athletics games scheduled for Monday.