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Message From Hopewell Superintendent Dr. Jeff Beltz Regarding Upcoming Solar Eclipse

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On April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will cross the region, and the Hopewell Area SD will operate on a regular school schedule with no changes being made to the school day or transportation.  Some districts have elected to alter schedules due to the timing of the peak eclipse event occurring locally at 3:15PM, but Hopewell will maintain regular dismissal times.  For added precaution, all K-12 students will be provided with ISO certified sunglasses at school on April 8 to safely view any stage of the eclipse.  HS and JHS students may have class-specific events taking place throughout the day on a period-by-period basis.

 

Hopewell High School and Junior High School will have normal dismissals.  Athletic teams practicing indoors may begin practices immediately after school; however, outdoor practices or games will begin after 4:45PM.  The buildings will remain open to students who need to stay onsite for late practices, and students staying late should report to the office at dismissal.  Some students may be walking home from school or bus stops when the eclipse’s “totality” occurs.  School personnel will send sunglasses home with students for viewing purposes, but families are also asked to remind students to wear the issued sunglasses, if attempting to view the eclipse.  Please note, these tinted sunglasses are extremely dark and are only functional while looking at the sun/eclipse in a stationary format.  One should not wear these sunglasses and walk.  

 

All three elementary schools will have regular dismissal times.  Grades 3-4 will observe the eclipse’s “totality” event live outside with supervision while wearing approved sunglasses, and our youngest K-2 learners will observe the eclipse in a structured environment indoors.  K-2 students will view the eclipse on classroom smart boards or TVs.  Individual schools and staff may provide additional details.  The “totality” event will end prior to students loading buses; however, all students will have sunglasses for added precaution.  

 

For any family who decides to keep their student at home or pick their student up early from school on April 8, normal absence or early dismissal procedures apply.  Simply state “eclipse” as the reason for an educational trip for those traveling or similar for those who have concerns about the timing of the eclipse events that day.  Both reasons will be approved absences.

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Last, it is our hope that families understand that the district is attempting to provide multiple options to accommodate family needs and/or concerns.  Regardless of your decision for school on April 8, let’s all hope for a clear, sunny day!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeff Beltz

Superintendent

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