School system clarifies eclipse plans

Published 6:20 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Students in the Troup County School System will not be going outside to view next week’s solar eclipse.

The Troup County Board of Education discussed the plans for students in the school system Monday night at its work session. The solar eclipse is scheduled to take place Aug. 21 and will start at approximately 1:05 p.m. and end at approximately 4:02 p.m in LaGrange.

The school system sent out a press release last week detailing how students would spend their time during the eclipse, but board members felt there was confusion from both parents and teachers about whether or not students would be going outside.

“We’re going to stay in the classrooms and they will have safety activities before the event and science classes will do some work on solar eclipses,” said Superintendent Cole Pugh.

Board members said there’s been some confusion and some teachers had already bought glasses.

The system clarified its stance in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

“Schools have been provided with educational resources for indoor learning because looking directly at the eclipse as it transpires will cause severe eye damage. It is a system-wide expectation that students and staff remain indoors for safety reasons,” the press release said. “If a student is absent or receives early check-out, an excused absence will be granted with a written consent from the parent or guardian. Parents should follow their child’s school procedures for early check-out times.”

The Troup County School System also previously announced its delayed release times for Aug. 21. Elementary schools and Hope Academy will release at 3 p.m., THINC College & Career Academy at 3:30 p.m., high schools at 4 p.m. and middle schools at 4:15 p.m.