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Atlanta gearing up for total solar eclipse

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Atlanta gearing up for total solar eclipse


Photo obtained via Wikimedia commons

With a nearly full solar eclipse around the corner, on Monday, Aug. 21, the Atlanta area is getting ready.

Schools will stay open later so students to observe and learn about the eclipse at its peak while keeping them safe from potentially harsh environmental conditions.

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Every City Schools of Decatur school will be released 30 minutes later than normal dismissal time. For example, since Decatur High School usually ends the school day at 3:30, dismissal will be at 4 p.m. on Mondays. Schools are also distributing eclipse glasses.

Atlanta Public Schools are also extending school dismissal by 30 minutes for K-12 schools. The school district has more than 50,000 protective glasses for students.

According to a recent press release, “the district has created a teacher toolkit containing grade band-specific activities and safety tips. Schools will be sharing their plans and experiences with the eclipse on social media using hashtag #APSeclipse.”

In DeKalb County, school dismissal will be extended an hour for elementary, middle and high schools. For pre-K three schools, dismissal will be at 12 p.m.

“The solar eclipse offers a very special opportunity to experience science and the universe at work. We want our students to have a safe and comprehensive viewing moment, and extending the school day allows for that,” Superintendent R. Stephen Green said in a recent press release. “We will take the appropriate steps to remind our families of this scheduling change, and to minimize its impact.”

Traffic will also be affected by the eclipse.

For Metro Atlanta on Monday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Transportation is taking a few precautionary measures to reduce traffic during the eclipse.

GDOT plans to “suspend construction-related lane closures on interstate and secondary routes from noon to 7 p.m. on Monday.”

“Safety is always a primary concern. Due to the volume of motorists that will be traveling to view the eclipse, we will treat that day similar to a holiday travel weekend,” Metro Atlanta District Engineer Kathy Zahul said in a recent press release. “However, we urge the public to avoid driving during the eclipse if at all possible.”

Here are a few safety tips from the Georgia Department of Transportation for driving during the eclipse:

– Don’t park along the shoulder of the road, highway or interstate to view the eclipse

– Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic before viewing the eclipse

– During the eclipse it will be similar to nighttime travel, so turn on headlights

– Don’t look at the sun and don’t wear opaque sun shades while driving

Still curious about the eclipse? Visit NASA’s website for more information at: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

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