Some students in North Carolina will have to go home early or stay late on the day of the solar eclipse.
Though Raleigh and much of North Carolina is outside the solar eclipse’s path of totality and will only see a partial eclipse, Raleigh Charter High School will release students at 12:05 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21.
Raleigh Charter students are welcome to stay late, though, school officials said in an announcement on the school’s website. Students can stay at the school until 2:40 p.m. on Monday to view the eclipse. Students who want to see the eclipse at the school should bring their lunch and stay on campus, since they won’t be allowed to leave and come back.
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Franklin County Schools officials said Wednesday that they will dismiss students from Youngsville Elementary School at 4 p.m. Aug. 21.
The Early College High School in Franklin County will dismiss at 11:45 a.m., following its early release schedule. Bus riders will be taken home at the new times.
Youngsville Elementary parents can pick up their students at normal dismissal time or earlier in the day, but will have to come into the school to do so.
“The safety of our students is our first priority, which is why the district is making adjustments,” the school system said in a news release Wednesday.
Both the N.C. Highway Patrol and N.C. Department of Transportation warned residents that roads would be packed across the state on the days leading up to and including the day of the eclipse.
The first day of school isn’t until Aug. 28 for Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston and Chatham public school students on traditional schedules, a week after the eclipse.
The total solar eclipse on Monday is the first to cross the entire continental U.S. since 1918 and the path of totality will stretch across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Millions outside that path will be able to see a partial eclipse.
That narrow strip across the country – where the totality of the eclipse will be visible just after 2:30 p.m. – is south of the Triangle.
A partial eclipse – about 92 percent – will be visible in the Triangle area beginning about 1:16 p.m., peaking at 2:44 p.m. and ending by 4:06 p.m.
Eclipse viewing glasses are necessary to look directly at the eclipse while the sun is partly covered. During the two-minute “totality,” when the sun is completely blocked, it is safe to take the glasses off – but most of North Carolina, including the Triangle, is not in the path of totality.