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St. James-Assiniboia School Division
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News Item

Protect Your Eyes from the Solar Eclipse

March 25, 2024

Eclipse_400by400-01.png​A total solar eclipse takes place on Monday, April 8, 2024 between approximately noon and 3 p.m. Central Time. Manitoba will experience an approximate 50 per cent occlusion eclipse.

While this is an awe-inspiring event that may draw the interest and eyes of stargazers and students alike, there is a risk of permanent vision damage if proper precautions are not taken.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Learning has consulted and collaborated with Manitoba Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care to develop guidance on solar eclipses. Highlights include:

  • Children and students may need extra supervision during the eclipse, as they may not fully comprehend the risks involved.
  • Children's eyes are still developing and let in more light to the retina than adult eyes, so they are at higher risk of harm if they look at the sun without proper eye protection.
  • Even a brief look at the partially eclipsed sun can result in permanent damage.
  • A person may not experience any pain or discomfort while watching the event and still suffer severe damage as a result.
  • Symptoms may not surface until 12 to 48 hours after the event.
  • Anyone who may not understand the risk or have difficulty following safety instructions is at greater risk.
  • Indirect observation through a recording (for example, watching on television or streaming online) is the safest way to view an eclipse.
  • Direct observation requires appropriate safety measures, including internationally-certified eclipse glasses. Sunglasses, camera lenses (including smart phone cameras), binoculars, telescopes or anything else that is not specifically made for viewing an eclipse are not safe.

Please read Solar Eclipse Safety Measures and Viewing Guidance​ for more information on protecting yourself and others from the upcoming solar eclipse.


SJASD Measures

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning is encouraging schools and child care facilities to have plans in place to keep children indoors during the afternoon to ensure they don't view the eclipse unless appropriate eye protection is available and worn.

During the week following Spring Break, school administrators will email families with specific plans they have put in place for their students. Stay tuned for further details.

Families are encouraged to contact school administrators in case they have any specific questions about these measures. The regular business of school operations will continue inside schools during the solar eclipse. However, parents that wish to keep their child(ren) home must report any absences to the school as per standard absence procedures.

Please note: All school offices are closed for Spring Break and will reopen during regular school office hours on Monday, April 1, 2024.​

Stay safe!


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2574 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3J 0H8 204-888-7951 204-831-0859
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Jan. 2–5, 2024/Winter Break Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.