Letter to Elementary School Parents and Guardians about Solar Eclipse

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On April 8, portions of New York will be along the path of a solar eclipse. Locally, this will be experienced as a partial eclipse, occurring during our regular elementary school dismissal time. There will be no changes to the regularly scheduled instructional day. 

While this is a rare and exciting phenomenon, it presents a risk of eye injury to everyone, especially children who may not understand the dangers of looking directly in the direction of the sun. The timing of the eclipse, when children are transitioning to their homes, after-school activities and after-school care presents a challenge to provide sufficient adult supervision. At no time will it be safe to look at the sun without the protection of authentic and properly certified eclipse viewing glasses. 

Because safety is our number one priority at VCSD, we are offering parents and guardians the option to pick up their elementary aged students early on April 8 so they may directly supervise them. Early pick-up is also available for those who want to experience this rare occurrence alongside their children.  Mr. Vivenzio will be sending out specific information and instructions to families as we get closer to the eclipse.  

For those who do want to share the experience with their children, we have an important resource. NASA’s safety page is directing people to the American Astronomical Society and its Solar Eclipse Task Force. The Solar Eclipse Task Force has created a list of what they consider to be reputable retailers offering solar eclipse viewers and filters. Although the district is not purchasing glasses and does not endorse any retailer, it’s worth noting that the American Astronomical Society recommends against searching mass marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Temu to make this important purchase. There is a concern that unscrupulous sellers will make unverified claims about safety, potentially putting people at risk of eye injury.

With the proper precautions, we know that the wonder of an eclipse will be a source of great inspiration and knowledge for our students for years to come. 

Frank Macri

VCSD Superintendent