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School District discusses plans for 2024 eclipse

Sat, Dec 17th 2022 07:00 am

Story and photos by Alice Gerard

The Grand Island Board of Education was looking skyward at its Dec. 12 meeting, held at Kaegebein Elementary School. Superintendent Dr. Brian Graham suggested the School District begin early with plans for a total solar eclipse, which is scheduled to occur April 8, 2024.

The eclipse is expected to begin at 2:04 p.m. and end before 3:30 p.m., which encompasses the times when students are dismissed from school. In addition, the path of the solar eclipse will be directly over the Buffalo-Niagara Region, which could result in a large increase in traffic, as Niagara Falls has been recommended as a place for people to enjoy viewing the eclipse.

“The area could see 300,000 to 500,000 visitors coming to the Buffalo area for this event,” Graham said. One possible solution, he noted, would be to hold school for half a day, to make sure no school buses are on the road during totality.

Graham also emphasized eye safety for people watching the eclipse, which has been given the title of “Great American Solar Eclipse.” According to the Great American Eclipse website, “The duration of totality will be up to 4 minutes and 27 seconds, almost double that of The Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017.”

The estimated duration of totality in Buffalo will be 3 minutes and 14 seconds, beginning at 3:18 p.m. For more information about the path of the eclipse, as well as recommendations for eye safety, look at the Great American Eclipse website at https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/april-8-2024.

Also at the meeting, seven Island students were recognized for their efforts, which resulted in them being chosen for induction into the National Technical Honor Society. They are among 162 students who will join the National Technical Honor Society. This society is open to students who attend Erie I BOCES vocational programs in the Potter, Harkness and Ken-Ton sites.

The seven Island students are: Olivia Martinez, Makayla Bender, Amanda Gula, Colin Hurley, Julia Capage, Kayla Donovan and Zachary Przybyl. Requirements for membership include maintenance of an 85% average in the students’ home school and a 90% average in their Erie 1 BOCES career and technical education program. The students also were required to submit letters of recommendation, undergo a formal interview and present a career portfolio to a National Technical Honor Society screening committee.

The induction ceremony will be held in January at Villa Maria College.

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