St. Andrew's-Sewanee School will kick-off the school year in the dark. Students, faculty, and staff will be taking a break on the first day of classes for an all-school viewing of the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21.
During orientation and opening meetings on Saturday, August 19, the science faculty will be share a video on the history and significance of eclipses. Following the video, they will explain the science of an eclipse and provide instructions on how to view the eclipse safely.
On Monday, August 21, after an eclipse-themed lunch, the entire school community will gather in St. Andrew's Chapel at 1 p.m. to receive viewing glasses. Everyone will proceed to the varsity field in time for the expected 1:27 p.m.-1:33 p.m. viewing. Classes will resume at 1:45 p.m.
A solar eclipse is when then the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that, when viewed from the Earth, the Moon eclipses the Sun's light. Solar eclipses are fairly common -- they happen at least twice a year -- but it is rare to view a total solar eclipse. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total solar eclipse was in 1979. While Sewanee is not quite in the path of totality, the view should still be quite spectacular. (View the path of totality in Tennessee.)SAS science teacher Jen Bachman who is helping to organize the event noted, "We are grateful to have the flexibility in our classes and schedule to be able to make room for special teachable moments like this. This is the type of event that brings our classroom learning to life!" Each year, St. Andrew's-Sewanee School takes a break from normal classes to celebrate Earth Day with special workshops and activities. The school also conducts a weeklong Winterim each February that provides a break from the normal curriculum and allows for intense hands-on short courses on a variety of topics from woodworking to cinema to archaeology.