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Portage Township Media

Portage Township Media

Portage Students Receive an Early Dissmisal for Solar Eclipse


On Monday, April 8, Portage Township Schools will be dismissing students two hours early in light of a solar eclipse. This decision was made out of safety for the students, as the eclipse will peak during the time of usual dismissal, and the sun’s rays will prove harmful if viewed directly without proper eye protection. Previously, a partial solar eclipse occurred in Portage on August 21, 2017 during school day, keeping the students inside. The next total solar eclipse that will occur in the United States won’t happen until August 23, 2044, making this a rare event. 

A solar eclipse is when the moon, the Earth, and the sun are in alignment, causing the moon to block a portion or all of the sun’s light. This alignment creates a temporary shadow on Earth, causing a noticeable dimming of the sky. With total solar eclipses, the sky can become as dark as the night, with stars even being visible. While Portage is not within the path of totality, unlike many Indiana cities such as Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Evansville, 95 percent of the sun’s rays will be blocked by the moon.


It is not safe to look at a solar eclipse without proper eyewear, as the intense radiation of the sun created from the event can damage the retina, potentially causing vision loss or blindness. Therefore, proper eye protection, such as certified solar viewing glasses or specially designed solar filters, is essential for safely observing a solar eclipse. Sun glasses or homemade eclipse glasses do not work as proper eyewear. Solar eclipse glasses can be found on Amazon, as well as in stores such as Walmart or Meijer. Wearers must ensure that the glasses do not have any scratches or holes in their lenses. 

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Students will be dismissed from school two hours earlier, with the elementary schools being released at 12:05 pm, the middle schools being released at 1:30 pm, and Portage High School being released at 12:35 pm. Students will have the opportunity to safely view the eclipse at home with proper supervision and eyewear, and elementary school students will be completing eclipse related activities. 

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