North Vancouver School District
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Superintendent's message on the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8

April 08, 2024


April 6, 2024

Dear North Vancouver School District Community,

As many of you will know, on Monday, April 8, 2024, a solar eclipse will occur when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth. In the Greater Vancouver region, this event will be a partial eclipse, expected to start around 10:40am and end around 12:20pm. While it is dangerous to look at the sun anytime, the risk of harm is higher during a solar eclipse because we are more tempted to look, and some of our protective mechanisms that would make us turn away may be less effective due to lower light levels. Even during a partial eclipse, the sun’s intense radiation can cause severe damage to the eyes. It’s crucial to avoid looking directly at the sun during the eclipse, especially for children, as their eyes let in more light to the retina than adult eyes. Young children also may not fully understand the risks or be able to follow safety directives and may require more supervision.  

In order to avoid the risk of permanent damage, it is reasonable to keep students indoors during the eclipse and put the blinds down, particularly for younger students. The North Vancouver School District may therefore see school recess and lunch times altered on Monday to best accommodate this unique event. The eclipse can be watched live online. Should classrooms choose to organise a learning opportunity around this, such as viewing with a pinhole projector, recommendations for safe watching will be followed.

  • Avoid direct viewing: Never look directly at the eclipse under any circumstances.
  • Only use safe viewers: Only view the eclipse if you have safe viewers and filters that meet the international standard ISO 12312-2.
  • Avoid homemade filters: Do not use homemade filters, sunglasses, ski goggles, camera lenses, smoked glass, photographic film, or x-ray film by themselves or in combination with a binocular or telescope.
  • Pinhole projector: If you don’t have eclipse viewers that meet the international standard, create a pinhole projector and focus on the projected image, not the sun itself.
  • Always supervise children.

For more information, please see:

Dr. Pius Ryan
Superintendent of Schools