BPS Foundation to Provide Solar Eclipse Viewing Classes for Staff and Students

By Granger Meador, BPS Executive Director of Technology & Communications

Thanks to the generosity of community donors, the Bartlesville Public Schools will be able to conduct Solar Eclipse 2024 events at each school site on Monday, April 8, 2024 around 1:45 p.m. The Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation has spearheaded a drive that will provide 7,200 pairs of eclipse glasses so that all students and staff at the district’s schools can safely observe the maximum coverage. 

The moon will begin to obstruct the sun above Bartlesville around 12:30 that afternoon, reaching a maximum at 1:49 p.m. when 94% of the sun’s disc will be obscured. All will return to normal by 3:07 p.m.

Even though 94% of the sun will be obscured at the local maximum, it is said that humans may not directly perceive the resulting dimming of the surroundings, unlike within the path of totality to the south and east. However, the loss of solar radiation will make it noticeably cooler, and only a sliver of the sun will show when safely viewed through approved eclipse glasses.

School principals will determine the most appropriate method and timing for students and staff at their site to safely observe the event. No doubt the events at each school site will be clustered around the 1:49 p.m. local maximum whenever feasible. Opt-out forms will be available about a week in advance should any parents wish to opt their children out of viewing the eclipse.

The BPS Foundation funded a similar eclipse event in 2017, and Ken Willcox, a local astronomer who traveled around the world to view eclipses, was instrumental in helping district schoolchildren safely view an annular eclipse in 1994.

The district sincerely appreciates the support from the BPS Foundation, the Vision Advancement Foundation, and the discount offered by the glasses supplier, Icarus Eclipse Shades, founded by local resident Andrew Oleson.