Flexible Instruction Day - April 8

Dear Parents/Guardians,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inform you of an important decision regarding our school schedule. The Norwin School District has decided to implement a Flexible Instructional Day (FID) on April 8, 2024, due to safety concerns related to the solar eclipse that will occur during student dismissal.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of our students is our utmost priority. We consulted with several advisors including, our school district transportation company, the Pa Department of Health, and our District Physician, who agreed there was cause for concern. Our advisors provided the following safety concerns.
First and foremost, the solar eclipse presents a significant risk of retina damage if viewed without proper eye protection. While there may be less light, the sun is still strong and staring for just a few seconds can lead to significant retina damage. While we would provide guidance and education on safe viewing practices, the possibility of students inadvertently looking directly at the eclipse during student dismissal and while on the bus poses a real concern. By implementing a FID, we can help mitigate this risk and prevent any potential harm to our students’ eyesight.
Secondly, the timing of the eclipse coinciding with student dismissal raises concerns about distracted driving. According to their public statement, AAA recommended staying off the roads during the eclipse. Both bus drivers and other motorists may be tempted to either glance at the eclipse while on the road or purposely avoid glancing in the direction of the eclipse. In both situations, this could divert their attention from the task of driving safely. This distraction increases the risk of accidents and poses a threat to the safety of everyone on the road ~ both for drivers and pedestrians.
Additionally, we recognize the educational and bonding opportunities that the solar eclipse presents for families. Watching this rare celestial event together can be a memorable and enriching experience for parents and students alike. We hope to encourage families to safely observe the eclipse together and engage in discussions about science, astronomy, and STEM-related fields of study.
We understand that this decision may cause inconvenience for some families, and we sincerely apologize for any disruption to your plans. However, please know that we have made this decision with the safety and well-being of our students as our top priority.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperateion. Together we can ensure a safe and
enjoyable experience for everyone during the solar eclipse.
Best regards,
Dr. Jeff Taylor,