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School April PA Days Changes for Solar Eclipse Safety

The Upper Grand District School Board and the Wellington Catholic District School Board have opted to reschedule a professional activity day in April due to the occurrence of a total solar eclipse.

Emails were sent out Tuesday to notify of the change from Friday April 19th to the new PA Day of Monday April 8th.

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To all UGDSB families,

Please read this important information below about the upcoming April PA Day.

We have made the decision to move the PA Day originally scheduled for Friday, April 19, 2024, to Monday, April 8, 2024.

We are making this adjustment due to the fact that the solar eclipse is set to occur during school dismissal, when students will not have full supervision and will be travelling home.

This decision is being made by the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board, and is in line with similar changes announced by other school boards.

Leading up to this decision, we consulted with Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health, the City of Guelph and County of Wellington to learn more about the potential risks during a solar eclipse. Looking at the sun without appropriately rated eye protection may cause damage to the eye and that this damage can be severe and even permanent. This is a risk at any time the sun is out. The additional risk during a solar eclipse comes from the fact that people are more likely to look up and keep looking at the sun to catch a glimpse of the special event. The timing of the solar eclipse coincides with afternoon dismissal, when students will be travelling home from school and will not have full supervision.

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The Ministry of Education recognizes the importance of this adjustment and has encouraged school boards to prioritize safety in such unique circumstances.

We understand that this change may impact families’ plans for the April PA Day, which is why we wanted to provide as much notice as possible, so families have time to make alternate plans.

This rare event provides a great opportunity for learning. Please see below for learning resources and information about the April solar eclipse.

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