Out of an abundance of caution, and after much thought and consideration, the decision has been made to close Holmes County Schools on Monday, August 21 due to the solar eclipse. This includes all extra-curricular activities, including WINGS. There are many factors that influenced this decision:

• Looking directly into the sun at any time can cause permanent eye damage. This unusual occurrence will draw more curiosity and attention, making the potential for permanent eye damage much greater. Staring at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can damage the retina permanently, and can even cause blindness.
• The timing of the event is such that, if a regular school day is held, dismissal time would occur during the time of the eclipse, risking exposure of students.
• The purchase of protective eyewear is not feasible, as there is no way to ensure that a student would not remove the eyewear. In addition, there have been reports of eyewear being sold and labeled as safe which actually do not meet the strict requirements for safety from potential damage from the eclipse.

While this rare event is a wonderful learning opportunity, we respect parents’ rights to make the decision they feel is best for their children regarding viewing the eclipse. Please visit https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety and https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/faq for further information.