KNOXVILLE - A month and a half away from August's total solar eclipse, Knox County Schools superintendent Bob Thomas decided to cancel school the day of the solar spectacle.
"Our number one concern for the kids is always the safety of the kids above anything else," Knox County Schools Chief Academic Officer Jon Rysewyck said.
Adding to the complications is that the eclipse falls on the first full day of school for kindergarten students.
"Parents do a great job but still when you introduce a new situation, a new building, all of those kinds of things that we taked for granted sometimes that are all part of the school experience... that's a lot especially for students who will be doing it for the first time," Rysewyk said. "Even though we have great supervision, we have the right ratio of teachers to students, that's enough to teach them when there's no natural phenomenon going on at the same time."
Though class will not be in session, Rysewyk says the district will take advantage of the unique educational opportunity. Students will be given glasses so they can safely watch the event and students will take home education materials.
Rysewyk says KCS science supervisor Andrea Berry is working to design lessons and help science teachers across the district prepare those. During in-service days at the beginning of August teachers will have a session focusing on how to best teach students at their given grade level.
"It's a pretty neat thing that's happening so we're going to encourage every teacher to take some time during that week to talk through it," Rysewyk said.
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