Madison City Schools announce early dismissal for eclipse citing safety concerns

(Photo: Getty Images)

MADISON, Ala. – Superintendent Robby Parker announced Madison City Schools will dismiss early on August 21, for the eclipse.

Dismissal times

  • PreK will dismiss at 10:30 AM
  • Elementary at 11:00 AM
  • High School at 11:45 AM

Parker says that it wasn’t a decision he made lightly, but was made in the interest of student safety. He wants them to experience this unusual natural phenomenon outside the structured environment of a school campus.

He said without purchasing glasses for all 10,500 students, there was no way to ensure that the eclipse glasses met safety standards and that the student’s eyes wouldn’t be damaged.

Since the schools can’t offer the opportunity to experience the rare event to all students, the decision to dismiss early was made.

“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,” he wrote in a statement released to parents.

If a parent wishes to keep their child at home for the full day in order to witness the eclipse from another location, the absence will be excused with a written note. It will NOT be counted as one of the child’s parent notes.

He understands that many will disagree with the decision and asks that you contact him directly by email or phone if you have questions.

Note: Previously, this article incorrectly stated that an absence would be counted as one of a child’s parent note. The article has been updated to reflect that it will not.