Safety Tips for the Eclipse on April 8, 2024

Dear William Penn School District Families,

This Monday, April 8, 2024, a “partial totality” solar eclipse will be visible in our area. During this remarkable occurrence, the moon will cover approximately 90% of the sun in our area, creating a breathtaking display in the sky. The eclipse will be observable from approximately 2:08 p.m. to 4:35 p.m., with its peak expected at approximately 3:23 p.m.

In anticipation of this rare event, we want to encourage the safety of all our students. Here are some important safety guidelines to follow as your child experiences this phenomenon:

Eye Protection: It’s crucial that students use appropriate eye protection when observing the eclipse. This includes solar eclipse glasses or solar eclipse filters. Looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection can cause serious damage to their eyesight. Some locations that are giving out solar eclipse glasses, while supplies last, include Upper Darby Library (Municipal and Primos Branches), Darby Free Library, Warby Parker locations, and Scrappy Cat in Lansdowne.

Supervision: Students should be supervised while viewing the eclipse to ensure they follow safety precautions. Emphasize to them the importance of never looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection.

Safe Viewing Methods: There are several safe ways to observe the eclipse:

  • Pinhole Projector Method: Students can create pinhole projectors using materials like cereal boxes or sheets of paper. Instructions for making these projectors can be found here and here. Remember, never look at the sun through the pinhole.
  • Solar Eclipse Glasses or Filters: Direct viewing of the sun during an eclipse is safe with solar filters that meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. Ensure your child wears these glasses or filters properly, keeping them on before and after looking at the sun.
  • NASA Live Stream: If going outside isn’t feasible, students can watch the eclipse via NASA’s live stream available at NASA’s website.

We encourage you to discuss these safety measures with your child and ensure they understand the importance of protecting their eyes during this event. If you have any concerns about your child’s vision, please don’t hesitate to contact their primary care provider.

Thank you for your cooperation as we prepare for this extraordinary event together. Let’s make this solar eclipse a memorable and safe experience for all our students.