Kids get day off school for total solar eclipse in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon

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Published January 23, 2024 at 11:36 am

solar eclipse ontario totality video 2024
Photo: Canadian Space Agency

Kids will get a day off from classes due to a “once in a lifetime” solar eclipse in Mississauga and Brampton later this year.

The Peel District School Board and Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board have both changed the date of an upcoming PA day from May 17 to April 8, the same day as a total solar eclipse.

And with the eclipse expected to be visible around 3 p.m. when students will start being dismissed from school, the school boards made the call to move the date of the PA Day “to ensure that students will not be outdoors during the total solar eclipse.”

“As noted on the Government of Canada’s website, there are risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse,” a statement to parents from the PDSB reads. “Looking directly at the sun, without appropriate protection can lead to severe eye damage or loss of eyesight, even during an eclipse.”

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon aligns perfectly with the Earth, casting a shadow and plunging the planet into temporary darkness.

Viewing a solar eclipse can be dangerous and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) says regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes sufficiently. You can buy special glasses with filters designed for eclipse watching to prevent eye damage or build a homemade eclipse projector.

Depending on where you are in North America, the event will be visible at different times for around one minute and 46 seconds, according to the CSA. The eclipse is expected to be visible starting around 3:18 p.m. on April 8 in the GTA.

The PDSB says that the change may cause inconvenience for some families but “the health and safety of our students is our top priority and this decision was made with these factors in mind.”

Parents with concerns or questions about the changed PA Day should contact their child’s school, the boards said.

For more information on the eclipse and how to build your own eclipse projector click here.

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