Solar Eclipse Monday, August 21

RRPS Guidelines for Viewing the Solar Eclipse
Posted on 08/18/2017

Solar eclipseRio Rancho will experience a partial solar eclipse on Monday, August 21.  While this is an unusual and wonderful event, concerns have been raised about safety, and especially the potential for permanent eye damage potentially including blindness if the eclipse is viewed improperly.  In particular, we are concerned that thousands of solar eclipse viewing sunglasses have been recalled around the county because they have been determined to be unsafe, and that the use of glasses designed for adults that may not fit young children properly could result in eye damage.

Some teachers and schools are planning class activities where students view the eclipse via the Internet or on television.  Others may have their classes view the eclipse by projecting images on a piece of paper through a pinhole camera (a piece of paper with a small hole punched in it) or a colander.  These are safe methods of viewing the eclipse if appropriately supervised.

Because of the concerns about the use of unsafe viewing glasses, we have established guidelines for our schools to follow on August 21: 

  • Students are not permitted to bring eclipse viewing glasses from home to use at school.
  • Elementary children will not be allowed outside during the times the eclipse is in progress except as absolutely necessary or under the close supervision of a teacher. Students will not be permitted to view the eclipse through viewing glasses.
  • Middle school students will be kept indoors to the extent possible during the eclipse except under the close supervision of a teacher.  Parents who wish their students to be able to view the eclipse through school-provided­ eclipse glasses meeting NASA standards must sign a permission form allowing this activity.
  • High school students who wish to view the eclipse will be encouraged to do so using colanders or pinhole projection devices.  Parents who wish their students to be able to view the eclipse through school-provided­ eclipse glasses meeting NASA standards must sign a permission form allowing this activity.

Eclipse Viewing Permission Form for middle and high school students

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we celebrate this learning opportunity with our students.