The great American solar eclipse made its way through the entire country Monday, from Oregon to the Carolinas, and even though California was not one of the states experiencing complete totality, schools all over Hanford made sure they had some fun viewing the eclipse.

By ordering hundreds of NASA approved sunglasses, students and teachers were able to enjoy the rare occurrence of a solar eclipse.

At St. Rose-McCarthy Catholic School, the solar eclipse was exceptionally exciting for the students and staff. Teachers made sure to do a weeklong study with the students leading up to Monday’s solar activity.

Fr. Michael Moore was a physics major and along with science teacher, Vicky Rioux, they were able to talk with the students about the eclipse for a few minutes before the eclipse passed through.

The best viewing time for California was to start at around 10:19 a.m. and the staff made sure to hand out to every student sunglasses before they could view the eclipse so as not to damage their retinas.

Extra precautions were taken by the Hanford Elementary School District on Monday so that students would be able to enjoy the eclipse without worrying about students looking up at the sun.

“We adjusted our recess times from 9:40 to 10:20 a.m. so that students would not be outside during the eclipse,” said Superintendent Joy C. Gabler.

Permission slips were sent home and had to be brought back signed in order for students to be a part of any solar eclipse activity. Students were also not allowed to be outside without their teachers.

“Students were outside with their teachers so that they can be supervised, so that they don’t look directly at the sun,” said Gabler. “We respect the fact that it is an exciting time, but children have an intrinsic nature, and want to look up, so that’s why we are taking precautions to adjust recess.”

HESD sent out certain guidelines in an email to teachers that they had to follow in order to be a part of any solar activity. Most of those guidelines were taken from NASA’s official website.

The guidelines urge people not to look directly at the sun without eye protection or to look at it through pinholes in paper or foil.

HESD also sent out ideas on solar eclipse activities that would help the students view the sun. One of those activities was to make a cereal box viewer. Jefferson Elementary School actually used shoe boxes for that same activity. 

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