Dear NES Parents,

You have probably heard about the upcoming solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. While we will not see a total eclipse in Okeechobee, we will see the shadow of the moon moving across the sun from approximately 1:20-4:20 p.m. Staring at the sun any time can cause eye damage but there are specialized glasses that can allow students to view this phenomenon and still protect their eyes.

All outdoor activities at NES starting 1 pm (recess and PE for example) will take place indoors. As part of our science instruction, students in grades 2-5 (and selected classrooms in grade 1) will have an opportunity to view the eclipse under a close supervision of their classroom teacher. Please be advised that for the safety of the students, children who cannot follow specific safety instructions given by their teacher will remain indoors during the eclipse viewing activity. If you have purchased safe, ISO certified eclipse viewing glasses for your child that you would like for them to use, please send them with your child on Monday. NES will provide safe eclipse viewing glasses that are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard to the remainder of the students participating in the eclipse viewing activity. If you would like your child to “opt-out” from eclipse viewing, you may do so (informational letters will be sent home with your child on Thursday). Students who will not be participating will be engaged in various informational activities including live viewing of Eclipse in their classrooms so that they can be part of this unique phenomenon.

Since the eclipse will also occur during dismissal, students will be kept under cover during the dismissal period, much like “rainy day dismissal” procedures. The eclipse will also continue after the school day has ended. Therefore, if you have a concern about your child staring at the sun once they have left school, please make arrangements to pick him/her up from the bus stop or school. If you wish to check your child out of school earlier than the normal dismissal time in order to prevent him/her from walking home, the school will consider that an excused check-out. Please refer to the letter from Mr. Kenworthy for details (a copy will be sent home with each child on Thursday). 
Please tell the front office staff that the eclipse is the reason for the early check-out when you pick your child up. To ensure the safety of all students, during this unique event, NES will follow regular procedures related to not allowing check-outs after 2:30 pm.

Thank you for your continuous support!

Mrs. Robinson