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Central Texas has some of the best seats in the country for the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse April 8.

Total eclipse of the school day: Some Central Texas districts will close April 8

A group of people gathers in a park in downtown Austin for a partial eclipse of the sun in 2017. Behind them the sky is blue and there are big white clouds.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
KUT News
People gather in an Austin park on August 21, 2017 for a partial eclipse of the sun.

The total solar eclipse on April 8 will cast portions of Central Texas in shadowy twilight in the middle of the day. Some school districts — including Austin ISD — will be open and are gearing up to distribute thousands of solar-safe glasses to their campuses in preparation for one of the most exciting Mondays in the history of Mondays.

But other districts will be closed in anticipation of an influx of totality-chasing travelers clogging the roads.

Lake Travis ISD is one of the latest school districts to announce it will be closed due to safety concerns and operational issues. Superintendent Paul Norton shared the decision on March 6.

"Because we have reserved a sufficient number of instructional minutes for the current school year, students will not be required to make up this day," Norton wrote in a message to families and staff.

Del Valle ISD and Hays CISD also recently decided to close for the eclipse. Both districts said they consulted with local officials before making the call.

"This decision comes at the request of county and emergency management officials," said Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communication officer, in email to staff, parents and students on March 7.

Savoy added that Hays CISD purchased enough eclipse glasses for every student and staff member, so schools will send the glasses and other activities home with students.

Marble Falls ISD decided to close for the eclipse years ago because of its location in the path of the totality.

“When planning the 2023-2024 academic calendar back in 2022, we decided not to hold school on April 8, prioritizing the safety of our students and staff based on predicted eclipse-related crowds,” MFISD communication specialist Megan Hamilton said in an email.

Killeen ISD amended its calendar for the current school year last fall.

“We fear that students would not be able to get home due to increased traffic associated with the 50,000 plus visitors expected in our area,” Superintendent Jo Ann Fey said in a statement.

Another Central Texas district that’s not holding classes that day over the same concerns is Johnson City ISD. But LBJ Elementary Principal Amanda Haley said even though it’s a holiday, her campus has already helped students learn about this once-in-a-lifetime event by working with a local science museum.

"The Science Mill here in town partnered with our librarian and they put together an activity for each grade level," she said. "And all of it was related to learning more information about the eclipse."

Here’s a list of the other school districts that will be closed on Monday, April 8 as their communities are shrouded in the umbra of the sun and moon’s dramatic dance:

Becky Fogel is the education reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @beckyfogel.
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