The St. Tammany Parish Public School System has plans in place for the 2017 Eclipse Across America on Monday, August 21.  STPPS teachers and students will have the opportunity to experience an extremely rare and inspiring event – a partial solar eclipse.  STPPS will be using this “teachable moment” to increase the science literacy of our students. We will be utilizing a variety of resources curated by NASA and STPPS educators to provide an unforgettable learning experience for our students in grades K-12.

Information for Parents

St. Tammany Parish is in the path of the partial eclipse.  We will experience a 77% partial solar eclipse.  The partial eclipse will begin around 11:57 am and last about 3 hours. The skies will gradually begin to darken as the moon moves into the path of the sun. Over time the sky will become increasingly dark. Here in St. Tammany Parish, the maximum eclipse will happen around 1:29 pm.  It will last just over 2 minutes. Then the skies will gradually become filled with more light, as the moon moves out of the path of the sun.

Each school will provide students with the opportunity to watch the live NASA eclipse broadcast.  This is the preferred opportunity for our students.  Teachers across the district are working to align the learning experiences on the 21st to concepts taught in each grade or course.

Schools will observe their regular dismissal times on August 21.  However, all outdoor activities between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – including physical education classes, recess, athletic practice, band practice, etc. will be moved indoors. Outdoor activities can resume when appropriate.

Teachers and administrators will stress the importance of eye health during the eclipse, and we encourage parents to share this message with their children prior to the eclipse as outlined by NASA at http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

If a student is missing school to view the eclipse from home or for safety reasons, parents need to present in writing the excuse in order for that absence to be considered as excused.

To learn more about the 2017 Eclipse Across America please visit http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

Safety
Student and employee safety are of the utmost importance.  It is never safe to look directly at the sun's rays – even if the sun is partly obscured. When watching a partial eclipse you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the sun (frequently looking away to cool your eyes), or use an alternate indirect method.  This also applies during a total eclipse up until the time when the sun is completely and totally blocked.

Download NASA Safety Info

Where to Purchase Eclipse Glasses

Listed below are links to reputable manufacturers and authorized dealers of solar filters and viewers whose products have been certified safe by authorities and confirmed to be genuine. Your eyes are precious! You don't need astronomers to tell you that, but you do need astronomers to tell you where to get safe solar filters. To do otherwise is to take unnecessary risks.

These five manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products:

Local stores are also selling eclipse glasses. Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product.

Classroom Learning Opportunities
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System is committed to ensuring that students become scientifically literate and develop a deep understanding of scientific phenomenon. The Eclipse Across America will provide an opportunity for students to experience phenomena such as lighting, shadows, temperature and wind changes, and even animal behavior. This is also an excellent opportunity for students to make observations of the details they notice around them and hypothesize why the eclipse may cause those effects.

The level of participation will vary by schools.  Individual schools and teachers will determine and incorporate the most instructionally effective means of helping students learn from the eclipse within the context of their grade level, content area and daily schedule. All activities must have prior approval from the school’s principal.  Options for participation are as follows:

August 14 – August 18

  • Listen to daily announcements educating students about the solar eclipse, including safe viewing of the eclipse, and the dangers of not using the eclipse glasses.
  • Participate in integrated instructional learning opportunities.

August 21

  • Have students watch the live NASA broadcast of the eclipse in the classroom at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive.  
  • Continue to participate in integrated instructional learning opportunities.
  • Optional with principal’s and parent's approval:  Take students outside to view the eclipse using approved eclipse glasses and follow proper safety procedures. 

NASA has curated a strong collection of informational resources on the eclipse. We recommend accessing this site for eclipse questions you may have regarding safety, timing, resources and more. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.
Our students will also have strong curriculum connections at each grade level.

K-5 Eclipse Across America 2017

Kindergarten: Our students can use this event to communicate their observations about the sun and moon in the sky. With guidance, they can explore the crosscutting concept of cause and effect as they conduct simple tests to gather evidence about causes of an eclipse.

First Grade: First grade students have the opportunity to explore the concept of light. They are called upon to make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated as they explore the cause and effect crosscutting concept that events have causes that generate observable patterns.

Second Grade: Second grade students have the opportunity to make observations (firsthand or from media) to construct an evidence-based account for natural phenomena.  They can apply the crosscutting concept that patterns in the natural world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.

Third Grade: Students in third grade will be able to develop a simple model to describe a phenomenon.  Their models will allow them to explore the crosscutting concept of patterns of change that can be used to make predictions. 

Fourth Grade: Fourth grade students will be able to use this solar event to ask questions and construct explanations as they make connections with the crosscutting concept that energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects. 

Fifth Grade: Fifth grade students will use models to describe this solar phenomena as they apply the scale and proportion crosscutting concept that natural objects and observable phenomena exist from the very small to the immensely large or from very short to very long time periods. 

6-8 Eclipse Across America 2017

Sixth Grade:  Sixth Grade students will have the opportunity to analyze graphical displays of data (e. g., a United States map showing the path of totality of the solar eclipse) to identify relationships as they apply the scale and proportion crosscutting concept that proportional relationships provide information about the magnitude of properties and processes. 

Seventh Grade:  This solar event offers our seventh grade students an opportunity to collect data to provide evidence to answer scientific questions.  In the process, they can make crosscutting connections as to how cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.   

Eighth Grade:  Eighth Grade students will be able to develop and use models to describe the phenomenon of a solar eclipse.  They can make crosscutting connections of scale and proportion as they model that time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales to study systems that are too large or too small. 

9-12 Eclipse Across America 2017

Biology:  The eclipse will give students in Biology the opportunity to make connections to their content via the crosscutting concepts of systems and system models as well as scale and proportion:  Models can be used to simulate systems and interactions within and between systems at different scales while the significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs.

Chemistry:  Chemistry students are challenged to develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and energy released during fusion, the process that takes place in our sun.  They can make real-world connections to the solar eclipse via the crosscutting concept of patterns:  different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanation of phenomena. 

Environmental Science:  Students studying Environmental Science during the solar eclipse will be able to develop a model or computational representation of the phenomenon based on real-world evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of systems.  Systems and system models is the crosscutting concept that encourages them to investigate and describe a system by defining the boundaries and initial conditions of the system. 

Physical Science:  Physical Science students will be able to develop and use models to construct explanations about energy as a quantitative property of a system that depends on the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within that system.  They will be able to apply a natural phenomenon to the systems and models crosscutting concept:  when investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and described using models. 

Physics:  Students in Physics analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e. g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and scientific claims.  The eclipse will give them the opportunity to apply the cause and effect crosscutting concept that empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.