Update: DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is excited to experience the Aug. 21 solar eclipse with its students. As part of its one-hour extended learning day, plans are in place for students to view the solar eclipse and protective glasses have been purchased so students can do so safely. Also, the Fernbank Science Center will host a series of educational activities and safe viewing opportunities.

Classes will be held on Aug. 21. If parents choose to keep students home on that day, the absence will be counted as unexcused. However, students will be allowed to make up any work that was missed that day. Instructional materials, as well as the information to access Fernbank Science Center’s solar eclipse event schedule, are located at the bottom of this page.

DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will extend its school day by one hour on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, to provide safe viewing and instructional opportunities related to the expected solar eclipse that day.

Dismissal will occur one hour later than usual, at the end of the extended learning period. Our three-tier dismissal system starts with elementary schools, followed by high schools, and finally middle schools. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school to determine the exact dismissal time on Monday, August. 21.

“The solar eclipse offers a very special opportunity to experience science and the universe at work. We want our students to have a safe and comprehensive viewing moment, and extending the school day allows for that,” said Superintendent R. Stephen Green. “We will take the appropriate steps to remind our families of this scheduling change, and to minimize its impact.”

According to NASA, the solar eclipse will occur across North America that day when the moon obscures 97.4 percent of the sun. The solar eclipse will be viewable around 1:02 p.m. and end at 4 p.m. DCSD reminds its community that it is not safe to stare directly into the sun without special glasses, and it is providing lessons that will allow students to safely take advantage of the moment.

Those lessons may include the distribution of special viewing glasses, and opportunities to view the eclipse using monitors and safe viewing options. Many teachers will also include information on the eclipse in their lessons that day, as appropriate.

Solar Eclipse Instructional Materials

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America.  The event will begin at 1:05 pm and last until 4:01 pm.  The Atlanta area will be at the 97% level at approximately 2:36 pm.  Totality will be as far south as north Georgia.  There will be a diminished amount of light in the area. Looking directly at the event will potentially cause damage to the eyes; therefore, everyone must be cautious and adhere to the safety guidelines.  

 The solar eclipse is a phenomenon that directly correlates to the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  The DeKalb County School District’s teachers will engage students in the investigation of the solar eclipse phenomenon. These activities may include instructional lessons within all content areas, televised viewing of the eclipse, and actual viewing of the eclipse with the use of special purpose filters known as solar filters.  

 In effort to make this a memorable learning event for all students, the DeKalb County School District is providing solar filters (eclipse glasses and viewers) to all students and staff that are approved by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).  Since the solar filters are compliant with the ISO’s safety standards, students may look at the eclipsed Sun through the filters for any length of time.  The solar filters will be distributed to all schools next week.

View Fernbank Science Center’s Solar Eclipse Event Schedule