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Solar eclipse causes students to leave campus in high numbers

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Hundreds of check-out slips covered the counter in the front office. Sports practices were canceled or moved inside.

It was time for the solar eclipse.

Although Florida only saw a partial eclipse on Aug. 21, it was still a rare event.

“A solar eclipse occurs when our Moon’s path crosses between the planet Earth and the Sun,” said AP Environmental Science teacher Benjamin Houge. “This will block out the light from the sun for the 2-4 minutes when the three line up perfectly.”

Since looking at the solar eclipse directly could cause eye damage, Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) took extra precautions to keep their students safe.

According to executive secretary Susan Rodenburg, SCPS planned to keep all students inside from 1:15 p.m. until dismissal.

“All outdoor events/practices were postponed until 4:30 p.m.” Rodenburg said.

Many students took the opportunity to skip 6th and 7th period–or the entire day–to see the solar eclipse.

“Approximately 300 students left campus over the course of the day,” said attendance secretary Jean Davis.

Sophomore Emma Gaedele was one of the students that left school after lunch to watch the solar eclipse.

“It was pretty cool, but was kind of anticlimactic,” Gaedele said.

Sophomore Kiley Nash also left campus after lunch. She made a cereal box to watch the solar eclipse.

“It didn’t work, so I cut a hole in a piece of paper and watched too eclipse on the shadow on the ground,” Nash said.

Some people even went out of state to see the solar eclipse.

“During the eclipse, my father took my brother and I to South Carolina, where the coverage would be above 88%, and we ordered the special viewing glasses off Amazon,” said senior Meghan Sisson.

Although many students skipped school, teachers still continued to teach.

“I absolutely continued on with class as usual,” said biology teacher Heather DeLong. “Although it was a day that students were excused for, we continued learning new content and reviewing previously learned content as usual.”

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Solar eclipse causes students to leave campus in high numbers