Students should celebrate the Solar Eclipse

Why students should spend eclipse day out the classroom
This upcoming Eclipse is a once in a lifetime opportunity. AI Image generated with Microsoft Copilot – Designer
This upcoming Eclipse is a once in a lifetime opportunity. AI Image generated with Microsoft Copilot – Designer

For a few minutes during the afternoon on Monday, April 8, it will seem like it’s the middle of the night. Don’t worry, it’s not something to be scared of. This scientific phenomenon, better known as a solar eclipse, should be highly acknowledged. The eclipse will be taking place in the N.H. sky from 3:28 to 3:31 p.m., the same time many students are getting home from school.

In this day and age where STEM is a big focus, why aren’t we celebrating this historic event? The school district should either cancel school or have an early release day.

Having school could be dangerous because kids coming home from school will have the urge to look at the eclipse, and watching this event with no protective gear can burn their retina and cause vision problems.

It’s very dangerous, because [elementary kids] aren’t going to know not to look at the sky. Outdoor sports, too, are a big factor. How are you supposed to do anything, if you are going to catch a ball, you can’t look at the sky.

— Freshman Gabby Wrisley

Despite warnings from any adult they talk to, there still remains a high chance of students attempting to view this natural phenomenon without the proper protective gear. To avoid injuries resulting from this, students should have the day off or an early release, to allow families to plan their viewing activities and ensure everyone is prepared with the correct protective gear and information. 

This is a once in a lifetime event that should not be interrupted by trying to get home from school. Seeing as the next eclipse will be in August of 2044, twenty years from now, this could be the last eclipse for our older relatives. If schools give people the opportunity to enjoy the event now, they won’t have to travel a day to North or South Dakota to see the next eclipse in twenty years.

This event only happens every once in a while, we should at least have an early release at the minimum so students get the chance to see it. The next time it’s going to happen is years away.

— Senior Colby Slater

In the course of this story, we reached out to the superintendent and the school board via email about this issue.

“I think everyone understands the Superintendent makes adjustments to the school calendar for weather to provide a safe school day,” wrote superintendent Dan Black in an email. “We are handling the safety concerns for anyone that might be on campus in terms of eyewear – outside of that – I do not know of any safety concerns the eclipse will cause that would force us to adjust the school day.”

The expected time of the eclipse inconveniently is the time that most elementary students are getting off the bus. Some kids will miss the eclipse as they will still be on buses during the time that it occurs. The eclipse will also cause lots of traffic from people stopping to watch it, which would cause issues for students coming home from school and will delay their bus ride. For student drivers, this could be a stressful and dangerous situation for them.

[Driving during the eclipse] is not good for student drivers because it can distract them. They are all pretty new drivers, so they aren’t the best, if the sky is distracting them, they could get into a car crash.

— Sophomore Lyndi McKinnon

Instead of sending kids to school on the 8th, the school could use the day as an opportunity to host a community event on the high school track like they do during the Fourth of July, or for the town to host one in the Town Commons. The Science National Honors Society is already selling glasses, so why not have a community viewing? Families and students could gather with their glasses to watch the eclipse together. How much closer could we get as a community than to watch a scientific phenomenon that won’t be seen in N.H. again in any of our lifetimes? Students can participate in an important historical event and gain a unique educational opportunity that would not be present during a typical school day.

[The eclipse] will get people to go outside and enjoy nature.

— Freshman Anna Arnott

Even with the day off, there would still be plenty of learning opportunities for students. Science classes can take advantage of this educational event and learn about eclipses. Kids can learn about the mechanics of our solar system and the history behind solar eclipses and how they occur while being able to witness one for themselves. Just because we don’t have school, it doesn’t mean we can’t take this event to learn about the natural world around us.

Giving kids and teachers the chance to see the solar eclipse on April 8 will only be one day, a day administration could even make use of one of the four unused snow days that are already built into the school calendar. Why not use one of those days to allow students to engage in a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience? The excitement and anticipation of the eclipse will serve as a distraction to the students during the school day, but if we have either a day off or an early release, students won’t miss out on important lessons due to the disruption or any distraction this event may cause.

“Parents are always welcome to come dismiss their children from school early if they feel they have a reason to do so,” Black wrote.

Most students go to school and attend it every day, putting aside interesting activities or events to attend school. It’s such a shame to miss such a rare event to go to school, something most people do daily.

— Sophomore Daisy Cogan

But if a lot of students get dismissed, then why not just make it an early release day, so that kids don’t need to miss important school lessons? This will also prevent teachers from having to reteach what those students have missed.

According to the email sent by Superintendent Dan Black, “Adjusting the calendar so close to the day – especially when there is no clear safety concern – would cause a hardship on them in terms of finding childcare when that wasn’t already planned well in advance.” 

It’s understandable to be cautious about changing the schedule with such short notice for families with young children, but it would be no different than what families would have to do for a snow day. If we cancel school in advance, it would be way better than what families have to normally deal with on those cold winter days.


It’s understandable to not want to have a whole day off of school for an event that will only last a couple minutes, but this event is a big deal, something people won’t experience again for decades. If a whole day off is too much to ask, we should at least get an early release. Why not give all students a day to remember?

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