NCSU to close schools on April 8 due to solar eclipse safety concerns

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NEWPORT — The North Country Supervisory Union (NCSU) has unanimously voted to close all of its schools on Monday, April 8, 2024, as the region prepares for the total solar eclipse and the anticipated influx of visitors.

Northeastern Vermont falls within the path of totality for this rare celestial event, and Vermont Emergency Management forecasts a substantial increase of 50,000 to 200,000 individuals in Northern Vermont on the day of the eclipse. This surge in visitors is expected to strain emergency services, increase traffic, and create challenges related to parking, public lands, and wildfire risks. Disruptions to travel, cell service, and emergency response capabilities are also anticipated.

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Chief Travis Bingham of the Newport City Police Department highlighted potential traffic issues, particularly regarding school routes, during the expected influx of visitors. In response to these concerns and with a focus on ensuring the safety of its staff, students, and the broader community, the NCSU Full Board unanimously decided to close all NCSU schools on April 8th.

Schools closed on April 8th include Brighton Elementary, Charleston Elementary, Coventry Village, Derby Elementary, Jay Westfield Elementary, Lowell Graded, Newport City Elementary, Newport Town Elementary, Troy School, North Country Career Center, North Country Union High School, and North Country Union Junior High School. The NCSU Central Office in Newport will also be closed.

The NCSU Central Office in Newport will also be closed for the day.

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NCSU STEM coach Aaron Miller has secured eclipse glasses for every NCSU student, which will be used for educational purposes leading up to the eclipse and sent home with students on April 5.

Miller provided tips for safe eclipse viewing, including ensuring eclipse glasses bear the ISO stamp of approval, educating children about eclipses, minimizing unnecessary travel, and accessing live eclipse streaming on NASA TV in the event of cloudy weather.

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