Thursday July 18th, 2019 2:12PM

Hall schools: no issues during eclipse day

By Caleb Hutchins Reporter

GAINESVILLE -- As the total solar eclipse came across North Georgia last week, the Hall County School System spend much of the day trying to educate students about the rare event and dealing with high absenteeism as many parents tried to view it with their children.

Kevin Bales, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with the school system, said the board spent weeks preparing for how to approach the event from standpoints of both safety and education.

"Right, wrong or indifferent, we probably should have started planning months ago," Bales said. "It really caught on fire right there at the time and, you know, I don't know if was social media or for whatever reason, you know everybody just all of a sudden started posing the question 'what are we doing' with this time."

Despite working on a short clock, he said they got mostly good feedback about how the school day played out.

"It was an excellent day, an excellent instructional opportunity across the spectrum of kids," Bales said.

The school board decided in the weeks before the eclipse to delay the closing of schools by two hours due to safety concerns, however school officials openly encouraged parents to either check their students out or leave them at home for an excused abscense.

Bales said many parents heeded that advice.

"We were at roughly two-thirds attendance, and so we missed a third of our students on attendance, which we were perfectly fine with," Bales said. "I would say another 25 to 30 percent checked out that day, later in the day as it got close to that 2:36 time frame (when the eclipse peaked in the region)."

He added that those rates were noticeably higher for the county's elementary schools. High school students in the county were allowed, at the discretion of their teachers and staffs, to go outside to view the eclipse with supervision and proper eye protection, while elementary students were kept inside and watched live video of the event. One group of high schoolers was able to take a field trip to South Carolina to view the eclipse's totality.

Bales said safety, ultimately, was what concerned school officials the most, and fortunately, they did not hear of any issues to that end.

"I held my breath for the whole next day, I'll be honest," Bales said. "I kind of expected at some point we might have someone that said their glasses had failed or they felt like they had recalled glasses and did not know it, but we did not field a call in the teaching and learning department."

The school system spent much of the week before the eclipse and the day of teaching courses on the science of the eclipse, which Bales also said received mostly positive feedback from the schools.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: hall county, Hall County School Board, solar eclipse
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hall schools: no issues during eclipse day
As the total solar eclipse came across North Georgia last week, the Hall County School System spend much of the day trying to educate students about the rare event and dealing with high absenteeism as many parents tried to view it with their children.
3:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
State, local officials respond to fatal wreck on Interstate 85 in Banks County
Banks County officials confirm personnel are on the scene of a fatal two-vehicle wreck on Interstate 85 near Exit 154(Ga. 63/Martin Bridge Road), and that the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Department of Transportation are on their way to the scene.
3:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
Baldwin sets Special Election for 2018
Since no one qualified for the Post 1 Baldwin City Council seat for the November election, the city will try again next year.
2:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Local/State News
Hall County school board chooses new school name, renews Schofield contract
After more than a full month of discussion and gathering community input, the Hall County Board of Education has made a decision on the name for the new middle and high school coming to the south end of the county.
6:00AM ( 10 hours ago )
Gainesville man arrested for trafficking $9.6K worth of meth
A Gainseville man is facing charges after Hall County drug agents allegedly found him in possession of $9,600 worth of methamphetamine.
3:31PM ( 1 day ago )
Gainesville couple arrested for mail theft, check altering in multiple counties
Oakwood Police have arrested two people for their role in a mail theft and check altering scheme.
1:13PM ( 4 days ago )
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce visits Riverside Military Academy for first meeting of the year
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce President Kit Dunlap joined Col. William Gallagher at Riverside Military Academy Thursday morning for a Pass and Review ceremony.
1:43PM ( 5 days ago )
ACLU threatens to sue Oakwood over police actions during protest July 1
The American Civil Liberties Unions (ACLU), on behalf of the Young Democrats of Hall County, is threatening a lawsuit over police actions allegedly taken by the Oakwood Police Department during a protest near the University of North Georgia campus July 1.
1:37PM ( 5 days ago )