On Monday, August 21, 2017, St. Augustine will be close enough to the path of a total solar eclipse that we will be able to see it partially. This event is being called “The Great American Solar Eclipse,” because it is the first time since 1918 a solar eclipse will be visible on a path across the entire continental United States.
Although for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is not in the direct path of the total eclipse, we are planning to ensure our students can experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. We have purchased eclipse-safe viewing glasses for older students and staff members in the Deaf Department. Parents of Middle and High School students will receive a permission form that requires parent signature.
For students in the Blind Department, because of their visual needs for viewing anything at a distance, we will have an internet-based experience indoors. The Blind Department students therefore can use their adaptive computer monitors or other technology to view/experience safely with the visual adjustments to the equipment that will give them much clearer access to the event.
Safety is Always a Top Priority
We will take all precautionary measures with both students in the group noted above and staff members to make this experience both safe and enjoyable. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. Students will not be permitted to look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through unfiltered cameras, telescopes, binoculars or other optical devices, with or without glasses.
Because of these safety factors, parents of Deaf Department Middle and High School students must turn in their signed permission form to the Assistant Principal by August 18 so they can participate using the special eclipse glasses. For students whose parents either do not complete this form or choose to opt out – their child will view televised coverage as noted above and complete an alternative, eclipse-related activity from inside the school building during the eclipse.
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible Pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit www.fsdb.k12.fl.us.