Dougherty Co. to release elementary students late to view eclips - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. to release elementary students late to view eclipse

One South Georgia school system will take advantage of the eclipse. (Source: WALB) One South Georgia school system will take advantage of the eclipse. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County Schools announced it will extend school for elementary students until 3:30 p.m. on August 21. (Source: WALB) Dougherty County Schools announced it will extend school for elementary students until 3:30 p.m. on August 21. (Source: WALB)
"We've talked about this every day since the beginning of school," said Shane Williams, a 4th grade science teacher. (Source: WALB) "We've talked about this every day since the beginning of school," said Shane Williams, a 4th grade science teacher. (Source: WALB)
"We want (students) to be safe," said J.D. Sumner, DCSS Spokesperson. (Source: WALB) "We want (students) to be safe," said J.D. Sumner, DCSS Spokesperson. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The upcoming moon's eclipse of the sun is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so one South Georgia school system will take advantage of it for its students.

"We've talked about this every day since the beginning of school," said Shane Williams, a 4th grade science teacher at Lincoln Elementary Magnet School. "We're studying stars and the sun right now."

The eclipse will take place the afternoon of Monday, August 21, around the time when Dougherty County elementary schools typically release.

"It'll look basically like 7 o clock at night during the middle of the day," said Williams.

Dougherty County Schools announced it will extend school for elementary students until 3:30 p.m. on August 21, as a safety precaution for students and parents.

"We want them to be safe," said J.D. Sumner, DCSS Spokesperson. "That's the key thing. Obviously, being on a bus or being in transit and being able to look up at this thing would not be the ideal situation."

Elementary teachers will take their students outside to view the once in a lifetime event. The teachers will distribute eclipse viewing glasses to each student as well, paid for by DCSS.

"A lot of them are really excited about it," Williams explained. "They'll definitely be able to track the moon going across the sun, and there could be a chance for some stars to come out in the middle of the day."

Williams, who even has a classroom with a 'Star Wars' theme, said it's a chance to use a real life experience to encourage kids' learning.

"This is a bucket list item for me," he said. "I am really excited and I think the kids can see my excitement."

Parents of elementary students in Dougherty County can find out the procedures for the late dismissal, along with more information on the eclipse, here.

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