English Montreal School Board announces ped day for total eclipse event

Click to play video: 'Total eclipse event prompts English Montreal School Board to close schools for the day'
Total eclipse event prompts English Montreal School Board to close schools for the day
WATCH: With a the once in a life time total solar eclipse on the horizon, the English Montreal School Board has decided to make the date of April 8, a pedagogical day. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, not all schools in the province have made the same decision – Feb 14, 2024

Students at the English Montreal School Board will be able to enjoy the total solar eclipse from the comfort and safety of home.

The largest English school board in Quebec has decided to move a March pedagogical day to April 8 to coincide with the once-in-a-lifetime celestial crossover.

The action is being taken out of an “abundance of caution,” according to spokesperson Mike Cohen, due to the number of health risks associated with looking directly at the eclipse.

The rare solar event, where the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow, will take place at the same time many students are normally dismissed from classes.

“Students at the elementary and high school level are pretty much leaving the building at that time. There will be efforts in the schools to explain the dangers of the eclipse and looking directly at it. Nonetheless, it’s better if they are home,” Cohen said.

Story continues below advertisement

The move follows similar decisions by other school boards in North America caught in the direct path of the event.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

However, the Lester B. Pearson and Sir Wilfrid-Laurier school boards have not yet announced their plans for April 8.

“The LBPSB has not yet reached a final decision regarding our plans for the eclipse on April 8th. Once a decision is made, we will inform promptly our community,” spokesperson Darren Becker said.

“As always, our main priority is to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students.”

This once-in-a-generation cosmic event will mark the first time in more than 92 years that a total eclipse has been visible in Montreal, according to Planétarium science activities co-ordinator Simon Bélanger.

While safety is paramount, viewing the eclipse through specialized glasses is an educational moment that all should enjoy.

“This is the eclipse of our generation take the time to watch, it will be fun. It will be safe and you will remember it for ages,” Bélanger said.

The next one is set to occur in 181 years, in July of the year 2205.

Click to play video: '‘Once in a lifetime’ total solar eclipse will occur in Kingston, Ont.'
‘Once in a lifetime’ total solar eclipse will occur in Kingston, Ont.

Sponsored content