Half Day Announced for August 21
Posted On:
Friday, August 11, 2017
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DMS will dismiss at 11:45 a.m. on August 21

Everyone,

I want to address the eclipse that will occur on August 21. Due to the rarity of this event and the educational experiences that can be derived from it, Madison City Schools will dismiss early that day.
PreK at 10:30, Elementary at 11:00, Secondary at 11:45

This is not a decision I’ve made lightly. In the interest of safety for our students and affording them an opportunity to experience this unusual natural phenomenon outside the structured environment of a school campus, I felt it best to release schools early.


Let me explain why I believe this is best.

1. We cannot ensure your child's safety. There is no way we can ensure that glasses used by the student are safe. Some have been ordered off of the Internet, some have been donated, some have been purchased at the Space Center and at other sites. I am sure many of you have seen that there are a number of fake glasses that are going around. We have no way of ensuring your child's eyes will not be damaged. I am not willing to take the chance of "hoping" all glasses brought in by the student or acquired by different schools by different staff members from different sites are all 100% safe.

2. We cannot offer the opportunity to watch the eclipse to all of our 10,500 students. Some students will get the opportunity and others will not. We do not have 10,500 pairs of glasses (fake or real).

By dismissing, each parent can ensure their child's safety and afford them the opportunity to watch the eclipse. I could not live with myself if a child (or numerous children) have permanent retina damage as a result of something that we did at school.

I hope you all understand my reasoning. I made this decision 11 days early so you could have time to prepare. I know some will disagree with this decision and I can accept that and any criticism that may come. What I could not live with is if one of our kids had permanent eye damage that occurred because I couldn't make a tough decision.

Finally, I want to address the many parents that have contacted us about taking their children out of school the full day to witness the eclipse from a different location. We will excuse the absence with a written note. It will not be counted as one of the child’s parent notes.

Robby Parker

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