Shawnee Mission working to secure viewing glasses for students ahead of Aug. 21 eclipse


The Shawnee Mission School District is making plans to help ensure students can experience the one-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse that will pass over the area August 21 safely.

Christy Ziegler, the district’s assistant superintendent for innovation and performance, told the board of education this week that the curriculum team was assembling resources for teachers to incorporate into lesson plans as well as researching options for getting viewing glasses for students.

“We are following NASA’s recommendations for a safe viewing standard and eye protective wear,” Ziegler told the school board Monday.

Ziegler said a number of businesses and PTA groups had been in contact with the administration about supplying viewing glasses to schools that wanted to schedule outdoor sessions to observe the eclipse, which will reach its peak around 1:08 p.m. (The Olathe School District has secured viewing glasses for all students and teachers).

Schools will not hold outdoor recess that day “during the times that the eclipse would be a detriment” and pose a safety threat, Ziegler said. She said schools will be providing information to building staff and parents about the potential eye damage that can result from staring directly at the eclipse without protective gear.

Parents who wish to take their children out of school that day to view the eclipse as a family activity can get an excused absence for their students by contacting their building attendance office.