How to Experience Solar Eclipse Safely

The first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in more than 100 years occurs on Aug. 21, offering teachers, parents and communities the opportunity to teach students science in a variety of fun and educational ways. Our area will experience a 90 percent partial eclipse of the sun beginning at approximately 1:16 p.m. Maximum amount of sun coverage will occur at approximately 2:47 p.m., which is around the same time as Mosaic’s school-day dismissal times.

Even during a partial eclipse, there are safety concerns for all students, Mosaic staff and parents. It is important that safety guidelines be carefully followed. Please communicate with your child about the importance of following the safety precautions provided below:

  • Do not look directly into the sun during the solar eclipse, as it could be harmful to your vision.
  • Do not look into the sun without proper eye protection.
  • Do not look at the sun through a telescope or binoculars.
  • Do not look at the sun through sunglasses, smoked glasses, or welder’s glasses.
  • Do not look at the sun through a camera/smart phone.

The only safe method to view the solar eclipse is by using special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters and ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun during the eclipse. To date, four manufacturers have certified solar glasses and handheld solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

NASA is preparing for the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse with live coverage and safety information.

Normal dismissal procedures will be followed for that day. If you are concerned and decide to keep your child home, we will treat it as we do with other inclement weather situations and count it as an excused absence. If you are concerned and decide to check out your child early, we will also count it as an excused absence. This should happen within the school’s normal checkout times/procedures. If you would rather not pick your child up during the eclipse, we will have aftercare available for that day at a charge of $12/hr.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school office, 904.900.1439.

While looking directly at the eclipse is dangerous, we have discovered several sources for fun, educational and safe ways for your child to experience this event. For example, Pinterest shares many solar eclipse crafts and activities that students will enjoy.

Local public libraries have planned a host of events around the solar eclipse, as well. St. Johns County Public Library System will be handing out solar eclipse glasses during its Total Solar Eclipse Party at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch, on Aug. 21, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  – one set of glasses per person – while supplies last. It is one of 75 libraries nationwide to win the NASA@My Library grant which is providing the funds for the free glasses and special event.

Everyone is invited to gather for the live nationwide streaming of the Eclipse on the library’s big screen with surround sound. Guests will watch the Live Stream, peruse new astronomy books purchased by the Friends of the Library, and, if so inclined, make their Solar Eclipse viewers. (Parents, you need to bring your own cereal box!).

Parents can also take kids to the St. Johns County Main Library, noon to 4 p.m., on Aug. 21, for live-streaming of NASA’s solar eclipse coverage in that library’s large meeting room. All ages invited. No registration required.

The Jacksonville Public Library is celebrating this historic event with fun, hands-on activities and expert speakers at various branches, Aug. 15 – 19, and culminating in the The Great American Eclipse, Aug. 21.  Those who join one of the Jacksonville’s Public Library’s events to celebrate the Eclipse Across America will receive a pair of free solar eclipse-viewing glasses while supplies last.

On the day of the event, Parents and their children can participate in The Great American Eclipse at the Jacksonville Public Library Main Library in downtown Jacksonville. Explore the science behind eclipses with hands-on projects and activities in the JAX Makerspace, 1 – 2 p.m. View the eclipse first-hand in the Main Library Courtyard, 2 – 4 p.m. Eclipse glasses will be available for attendees, while supplies last.