Students explore as eclipse rolls through

A total solar eclipse is a rare thing and one that all of Central and Southside Virginia got to witness on Monday, April 8. It’s going to be a while before another one, as the next eclipse of this type isn’t expected to arrive until Aug. 3, 2044. 

Across the region, people stepped outside, pulled over cars or reflected the event through their phones, to watch the moon make its way across the sky. In Charlotte County, teachers handed out glasses and let students go outside to experience the event. Unlike neighboring districts like Prince Edward and Buckingham, Charlotte kept classes going on Monday, with teachers in elementary, middle and high school using the event in a variety of ways to teach science. It also means that as it stands, Charlotte schools might get out earlier than their neighboring counterparts. Prince Edward and Buckingham had to each add a half day to their semester in order to take off classes Monday. There was some concern in Prince Edward about how severe the eclipse would be and if it would cause problems for bus drivers. Thankfully across the region, the answer to that question was no. 

Meanwhile at Randolph-Henry High, classes took advantage of the event, bringing assignments outside and letting students watch the eclipse’s progression while finishing work. With perfect weather conditions, students marveled at the dimming lighting and cooler temperatures as the eclipse unfolded. Randolph-Henry Principal Erin Davis pointed out that even the Criminal Justice students, currently on a field trip, took time out of traveling to pull over at a Buc-ee’s and watch the eclipse. 

“A special thanks to CCPS for providing eclipse glasses and allowing us to witness this exciting event while at school,” Davis said. 


Meanwhile at Phenix Elementary, students all gathered on the playground, equipped with their own eclipse sunglasses. Teachers held class outside, going over what an eclipse is and how it comes about. 

“Laughter and gasps filled the air as the moon slowly crept across the sun, casting surreal shadows,” Phenix staff said in a statement. “It was a moment of wonder and curiosity, where young minds were ignited with a sense of awe for the universe beyond. The event was then celebrated with “sun” chips and Sunny D!”