GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — The day Grand Rapids Public Schools scholars return from Spring Break, they’ll have a chance to witness a rare natural phenomenon as the world watches a total solar eclipse.

Grand Rapids is not in the “zone of totality” and therefore won’t see a complete eclipse, but the area is expected to see about 90 percent of the sun covered by the moon at the height of the eclipse. The eclipse will begin just before 2 p.m. and last until just before 4:30 p.m. This is during dismissal for many GRPS schools.

The district has plans in place for scholars to experience the eclipse but school leaders want to ensure that viewing this rare event is done safely. Looking at the sun during the eclipse without appropriate eye protection can cause permanent vision damage.

GRPS will provide special “ISO” glasses that can be used to safely view the eclipse. Regular sunglasses DO NOT provide adequate protection to view the solar eclipse. Scholars will be warned about the danger of looking at the sun without eye protection. 

GRPS leaders are asking parents to speak with their scholars about the eclipse and how to view it safely to reinforce the messaging at school.

Eye Safety for Viewing the Solar Eclipse

English: Eclipse Glasses: Instructions for use
Spanish: Lentes de Eclipse: Instrucciones de Uso
Kinyarwanda: Amadarubindi yo kubona ubwirakabiri: Amabwiriza y’ikoresha
Swahili: Kifaa Maalum cha Kutazamia Jua: Maelekezo ya kutumia