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‘I’m thrilled;’ Clark Co. teacher educating students on eclipse safety, best practices

SPRINGFIELD — The total solar eclipse is less than a week away and people across the Miami Valley are preparing for the natural phenomena.

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On April 8, the eclipse will pass through the Miami Valley from around 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Totality will occur around 3:10 p.m. to 3:12 p.m.

As reported on News Center 7 at 6:00, Springfield City Schools 5th-grade science and social studies teacher Bradley Bertke is making sure his students are prepared for the eclipse.

“I’m thrilled and I think it’s important that all of our students are home with their families and enjoying it,” Bertke said.

The district knows thousands of people are coming to Clark County for the eclipse.

“Projections showed that potentially 80,000 to 100,000 people might be visiting,” Springfield City Schools Communications Specialist Jenna Leinasars said.

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People will be gathering to view the totality around dismissal time. So to keep students safe, the district is canceling school for the day.

“If we were at school, it would be very chaotic with them walking home at the time of the eclipse and hoping that they’re safe,” Bertke said.

Even though there’s no school on April 8, teachers like Bertke are taking the time to teach students about the solar eclipse.

“I have a lot of hands-on activities,” Bertke said. “They can make models to be able to more explain to their families or younger siblings about like what’s happening and what caused the eclipse.”

Bertke is also teaching his students how to view the eclipse with and without protective glasses.

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“Once it’s a total eclipse and the sun is completely covered for that few-minute window, they’re able to take them off. Take off their glasses and enjoy the surroundings,” he said. “But the second sun starts coming back though they have to put their glasses back on”

Springfield City Schools is handing out eclipse glasses to all 770 students before Monday.

“I’m hoping…It’ll be something phenomenal that they will enjoy,” Bertke said.

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