Some communities, especially those in the zone of totality, have been planning for the solar eclipse for several years.  This is not the case for all of Maine's towns and cities.

As we are less than a month away from this once-in-a-lifetime event, we are hearing more about how some communities are planning for the eclipse.

Some towns are planning for an influx of tourists, others are planning to have additional first responders on duty, and some school districts have decided to cancel school on April 8.

The Augusta School District

Earlier today, it was announced that the Augusta School District schools would only be in session for a half day on April 8.

This decision was made out of concern for the safety of the students and staff.

A posting on the district website breaks down the timeframe of the solar eclipse in the Augusta area.  It will begin at 2:18 PM, and will reach the maximum coverage of 98% at 3:31 PM.  It will be completely over by 4:40 PM.

This means that students could still be on their way home from school during the darkest periods of the solar eclipse.

Additionally, there was some concern that it should not be up to the bus drivers to monitor the behavior of the little ones who are on the buses at that time.  Older kids and adults know that it is not safe to look at an eclipse.  This is not necessarily true for the younger kids.

Having an early release means the kids will be with their families or daycare providers when the eclipse starts.  This will maximize their enjoyment of the event.

The early release will ensure that students are off the buses (especially elementary students) and hopefully in the care of a responsible person if they watch the eclipse.


Cony Middle School and Cony High School students will be released at 10:45 AM.  The students at Augusta's four elementary schools will be released at 11:45 AM.

Nathan Watson / Unsplash
Nathan Watson / Unsplash

The post also says that in addition, all outdoor activities and athletics sponsored by the school department will be canceled or held inside during the entire eclipse.

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