August 21st Solar Eclipse

viewing solar eclipse

Dear BC Parents and Families,

I hope your child(ren) have had a successful start to the school year. We are certainly honored to have you all as a part of our Barren County Schools family. I am writing to discuss an exciting learning opportunity that is quickly approaching.

On August 21, 2017, we will experience the first total solar eclipse since the early 1900's.  While the entire eclipse event spans from 11:53 am until 2:53 pm, the total eclipse is expected to begin at 1:27:23 p.m. and ends at 1:28:39 p.m. (1 m 16 s), according to Western Kentucky University. After much consideration, Barren County Schools will be in session on August 21 when the total eclipse occurs. Teachers are developing lessons and activities to enhance classroom discussion around the eclipse. This is truly a wonderful learning opportunity for our students, and our plans for primary students and students in grades 4 -12 is as follows:

  • Students in grades K-3 will have the opportunity to view the solar eclipse from NASA’s live stream via technology in the classroom. This will allow our primary students to safely view the event with their peers.


  • Students in grades 4-12 will have the opportunity to view the eclipse outside under the supervision of school staff. Safety is an important piece of this experience, and students in grades 4-12 will have solar viewers which have been donated from Western Kentucky University. We wish to thank WKU for providing this resource. Viewing the eclipse without proper eyewear can be extremely damaging. We want to ensure that our students maintain safety while taking part in this historic scientific event.

We understand that some parents may not want their child(ren) to participate in a live viewing of the eclipse. Therefore, we ask for those families who wish to have their child(ren) (grades 4-12) participate in the viewing to sign and date the attached permission slip and return it to their child(ren)’s school by Friday, August 18, 2017. Any student who does not provide a signed permission slip by August 18 will view the eclipse from the NASA live stream site inside the school building.

Parents desiring to provide opportunities outside the school day may request an EHO (educational enhancement opportunity). Forms are available at the school and we ask that an EHO be provided to the school by Friday, August 18, 2017. The absence will be excused if the proper form has been completed and submitted.


As part of our learning team, we encourage parents to educate their child(ren) on safety practices such as not looking directly into the sun at any time especially without proper eye wear. Please help us educate the students about proper viewing during the eclipse. Resources for the event are provided.

Thank you, as always, for your support and encouragement of the instructional programming in the Barren County School System. Our students are at the heart of each and every decision, including this one. We are excited to experience the eclipse on Monday, August 21 with our awesome students!




Bo Matthews

Back to School News      Print News Article