The Waterloo Catholic District School Board has chosen to move a PA Day in April to avoid having classes on the same day as a solar eclipse.
A PA Day that was originally scheduled for April 19 will now take place on April 8.
The board is worried that with the solar eclipse being expected to occur in the area at 3:18 p.m., students may look directly into the sun as they are on their way home from school. Without proper eye protection, this poses risks to people’s eyesight.
“This decision was made with the utmost concern for the safety of our students and staff. The eclipse’s timing poses a risk for unsupervised viewing among students, potentially leading to eye injuries,” said Lema Salaymeh, school board spokesperson.
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“By moving the PA Day to this date, we aim to prevent any such risks and ensure all are safe.”
The move follows on the heels of similar decisions by a number of school boards across southern Ontario.
The Waterloo Region District School Board says it is still in discussions with Waterloo Public Health on ways to deal with any risks.
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“They indicated they will follow-up with us on or around Feb. 20. We expect to have further information for the community after we hear back from Public Health,” WRDSB spokesperson Ross Howey told Global News in an email.
“Please be assured that we commit to providing information to students, staff, families and caregivers as soon as possible prior to April 8.”
This will be the first time in decades that a total solar eclipse will take place in central and eastern Canada.
Several cities and towns are expected to go into darkness for several minutes although according to Queen’s University, Waterloo Region will not be in the path of totality.
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