The Public Schools of Robeson County released guidance for viewing the upcoming solar eclipse by students and staff. 

There will be a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. However, the Robeson County area will experience a partial eclipse (about 80 percent) from about 1:30 p.m. until the end of the school day.

"A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk,” according to NASA. 

“Unfortunately here in Robeson County,  we'll see only roughly 80 percent coverage of the Sun.  This means that eye safety will be critical. You must use the special eclipse glasses,  which were given to all hands last October, or use the pinhole projection methods described below,” said Ken Brandt, director of the Robeson Planetarium and Science Center. 

Schools across the district plan viewing opportunities to allow students to experience the eclipse. Permission slips are being sent home to families to obtain permission for students to participate in the viewing. Please sign and return them by Monday, April 8th, so that your child can participate in this rare event. 

Students can use the eclipse-safe glasses given out in October to view the event. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.

There are several safety precautions one should take when viewing the eclipse, according to NASA. 

“Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury,” according to NASA.

One should not look at the Sun directly through “a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer,” according to NASA. Doing so can cause serious eye injuries. 

“If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can use an indirect viewing method, which does not involve looking directly at the Sun. One way is to use a pinhole projector, which has a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and projects an image of the Sun onto a nearby surface. With the Sun at your back, you can then safely view the projected image. Do not look at the Sun through the pinhole!” NASA states. 

As a safety precaution, all PSRC athletic practices and events will be delayed until 4 p.m. The PSRC Transportation Department is asking all bus drivers to monitor students and remind them about solar eclipse safety as buses will be running routes during part of the eclipse.

For more information about eclipses and how to safely view them, visit