We are happy to welcome you and your children back to school and the start of the 2017-18 school year. The first day of school for all students in grades K-12 will be August 17th. Prior to the start of school, and as soon as we possibly could, we want to make you aware of an adjustment to our 2017-18 school calendar.
On Monday, August 21 , 2017 we will experience a total solar eclipse, an event that hasn't occurred over the U.S . mainland since 1979. A total solar eclipse, which is when the moon completely covers the sun, will occur across 14 states in the continental U.S. along a 70-mile-wide swath of the country. While Northern Kentucky is not located in this area, we will still be able to view the partial solar eclipse. Information about how to safely experience the solar eclipse can be located https: //eclipse2017 .nasa.gov/.
Like any other day, looking directly at the sun without proper protection can damage eye tissue, and that becomes more of a risk when people are interested in being outside to specifically look in the sky and watch the eclipse. The timing of the eclipse is predicted to occur between 1 pm and 4pm on August 21 , 2017 and will coincide with the last few hours of the school day and dismissal at all of our schools.
Since the eclipse will be at its peak around the time of dismissal in the afternoon, we do not want to take the risk of having children watch it without proper eye protection on their way home from school whether they are walking, riding buses, or waiting to be picked up from school. While we could provide students with protective glasses, we would need permission slips to do so, and we cannot guarantee they will wear them after school. Therefore, August 21, 2017 will now be an off day for students and a staff only work day (PLC Day).
We are adjusting our school calendar to have November 3, 2017 (which was originally a "staff only" day) now be a day for students and staff to attend school. This change does not add any days to the calendar for students or staff and still allows the same last day for students to attend school to be May 21 , 2018 (pending any weather closings).
Our school district has put a great amount of thought into this decision and we have chosen to err on the side of caution. Multiple options were explored, but knowing that early releases from school or extending the school day creates more barriers for our families led us to this decision. The safety of our students is always our top priority and the unpredictability of other components outside of our control that might influence student safety on August 21st were all taken into consideration.
We hope that notifying you in advance helps minimize any inconvenience this might cause you and your family. The YMCA will be able to offer School Days Out Childcare at Arnett Elementary on August 21 st, which will be open to elementary students in the district. The schools will send out forms and information about that service.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at the Erlanger-Elsmere Board of Education. Thank you for your time, partnership, and understanding.
Kathlyn Burkhardt, Ed.D.