2017 Eclipse

Gering Public Schools will celebrate the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want to make this something special that students will remember for years to come.  In order to help you understand the event, we have some information about the eclipse and the day for our students.  In addition, the letter linked here will be sent home with all students outlining safety protocols and what parents can do if they do not want their child to take part in eclipse activities.  

What are we watching on August 21st and why is this so unique?

On August 21st at approximately 11:48 a.m., the moon will completely block the light from the sun for nearly two minutes.  Every lunar month, the moon's orbit, brings it between the Earth and the sun.  Most of the time when this happens, the moon's orbit does not cause a solar eclipse.  Only when the sun, moon, and Earth line up perfectly can you have an eclipse.  August 21st is one of those perfect times when this alignment will happen and the sun will be completely blocked from view in Gering.

What will it be like during the total eclipse?

During the time when the sun is totally blocked from view, it will get as dark as if it were dusk.  However, since it happens so quickly it will feel much darker and we will notice things that we generally experience at night.  Temperatures will drop, street lights will come on, insects will chirp, and the brightest stars will be visible.  The most amazing thing is that we will be able to see the sun's corona. 

How will GPS students view the eclipse?

Our students and staff will have the opportunity to view the eclipse in a safe and controlled manner.  Students and staff will be given special, approved Eclipse Glasses to protect their eyes and will receive direction on how to safely use them.  Each school will have activities and learning opportunities that are grade-level appropriate and that will enhance this learning opportunity.  All GPS students and staff who do not opt-out will participate directly in these activities.  

What if I don't want my child to participate?

Parents and guardians who do not feel comfortable allowing their children to take part in viewing the eclipse will be permitted to withhold their child from all or part of school that day, and we will excuse those absences on your child’s record.  If you do not plan to send your child to school on the day of the eclipse, please contact the school and inform them directly.  We will also provide a means to allow your child to make up any missed instructional time and class work if they are absent for some or all of that day.  If your child attends school that day, he or she will be included in the eclipse viewing activities we have planned.

Where can I learn more information about the eclipse?

NASA has an excellent site that provides safety and scientific information about the eclipse.  The site is located at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.

I've heard that Gering is going to be a prime viewing location for the eclipse and there could be thousands of visitors in town.  How will GPS ensure that our students are safe on August 21st?

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority.  GPS has worked closely with the Gering Police Department to ensure that all necessary precautions have been taken to prepare for eclipse day.  One major difference for students at Gering High School during eclipse day is that the GHS campus will be closed.  In other words, students will not be allowed to leave campus that day without being picked up by a parent or guardian.  The closed campus will include the lunch hour.  All other students across the district will view the eclipse from safe areas at or near their school.

Gering Public Schools
1519 10th Street Gering, NE 69341
Phone: 308-436-3125
Fax: 308-436-4301