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District News - Solar Eclipse Information


To Our UCSD Community,


As you’ve most likely heard, on Monday, April 8, we’re going to experience a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse. This is a moment where we can witness the awe-inspiring beauty of our universe in action, a learning experience that extends far beyond the confines of our classrooms.
In light of this, we have adjusted the school day to ensure the safety and well-being of all our students. Monday, April 8, will be a half-day of school. High School and Middle School students will be released at 11 am, while Elementary students will follow at 12 pm. There will be no after-school activities or athletic events.
This decision is made out of an abundance of caution to prevent any risks associated with walking home in reduced visibility and to mitigate potential driving hazards during this time.
The "totality" phase of the eclipse, a moment when the moon entirely covers the sun, is predicted to occur over Utica shortly after 2:00 pm. 


To ensure that everyone can enjoy this event safely, we urge you to adhere to the following safety tips:

  • Never look directly at the sun, even during the eclipse, as it can cause permanent eye damage. Always use proper eye protection, such as certified solar eclipse glasses or a pinhole projector.
  • Supervise children closely to ensure they understand the importance of not looking directly at the sun and that they use eye protection correctly.
  • Avoid using cameras, phones, telescopes, or binoculars to view the eclipse, even if you are wearing eclipse glasses, as these can still harm your eyes.
  • If driving during the eclipse, do not wear eclipse glasses and avoid looking at the sun, even with sunglasses. This practice is dangerous and should be avoided.
  • Be prepared for traffic delays and possible disruptions to cellular service.
  • It is advisable to plan ahead with extra supplies like food, water, and gas.
  • Monitor weather conditions and select a safe, open viewing location that is free from obstructions.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you or your child experiences any vision problems or loss of eyesight during or after the event.

Please visit the New York State Education Department website for more detailed information and resources about the eclipse, including safety guidelines. The National Weather Service also has a great informational site with eclipse maps, weather predictions, and safety tips.

This is a unique and dazzling opportunity to marvel at the wonders of our collective universe. I hope you and all of our UCSD families take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience! 

  • Monday, April 8, AM school/PM shortened day for students due to Eclipse. (Staff will work full day)
  • Tuesday, April 9. School is in session full day.
  • Wednesday, April 10th, school is not in session for students in recognition of Eid al - Fatir. 
  • School resumes Thursday, April 11th - Friday April 12th.     


Warmest regards,


Dr. Kathleen Davis
Interim Superintendent
Utica City School District