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Open or closed? What local schools are doing about today’s eclipse.

UPDATE @ 1:22 p.m.

Dozens of people are gathering next to Waynesville schools’ stadium to watch the partial solar eclipse. The school district handed out solar viewers to everyone for safety, and some are setting up their own devices, using binoculars to project an image of the eclipse onto a screen on the ground. 

Mark Reinemann of Waynesville’s public library just gave a brief presentation over the stadium PA system, explaining some of the science of the eclipse. Reinemann said in about 50 million years, solar eclipses like this one will cease, because the moon is gradually moving farther away from earth, affecting how it casts a shadow on our planet. 

He also mentioned some of the mythology that previous cultures built around the confusion of solar eclipses. 

Waynesville schools will release students during the next hour, to come out and watch the eclipse.

Dozens of people gathered next to Waynesville schools’ stadium to watch the partial solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. JEREMY KELLEY / STAFF

EARLIER REPORT

A handful of local schools and districts decided to close Monday for safety reasons tied to the solar eclipse. They include the Xenia and Northridge districts, plus Dayton Christian in Miami Twp. and Catholic Central High School in Springfield.

Greenon schools are also closed. The school district cited both the eclipse and a weekend car crash that killed two students in announcing its decision.

RELATED: What you need to know about the eclipse

Those schools that remain open (the vast majority) are taking a variety of approaches to protect children from the eye damage that can come from looking at the sun without protective glasses.

Beavercreek, Northmont and Waynesville are among the districts that ordered special eclipse glasses for all students and will have supervised outdoor events.

Other districts including Kettering, Miamisburg and Franklin will keep students indoors and have lessons about the eclipse while students watch a live-stream broadcast.

RELATED: Normal sunglasses not safe for eclipse viewing

An automated call Sunday from Kettering Superintendent Scott Inskeep informed families that students will be indoors because there was a safety recall on the eclipse glasses the district ordered.

Many districts are emphasizing the safety precautions they are taking, especially since some schools’ dismissal time is near the 2:28 p.m. peak of the eclipse.

Guidance from Springboro schools says that dismissed students are to walk in a straight line outside and look directly ahead or at the ground. “Any student not following the guidelines will be escorted back in to the school.”

RELATED: What the eclipse will look like in the Miami Valley

At Greeneview schools, afternoon recesses have been moved indoors, and New Lebanon schools said elementary students will remain inside during the eclipse with windows covered by closed blinds.

Tecumseh schools moved back middle school and high school dismissal until after the peak of the eclipse. Kettering is allowing elementary students to use the district’s after-school childcare for free if they don’t want to leave during the eclipse.

Huber Heights and Springboro schools are among the districts with special outdoor viewing events for seventh-graders, because Ohio’s science curriculum includes standards about the sun and moon that year.

RELATED: Eclipse mania hit Dayton back in 1918

Of course some school districts -- such as Fairborn, Troy, West Carrollton, Bellbrook and Tipp City -- haven’t started the school year yet. The impact there is minor, with some afternoon sports and band practices delayed or moved.

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