Pittsburgh-area schools adjusting schedules for upcoming solar eclipse

PITTSBURGH — Some Pittsburgh-area schools are adjusting their schedules so students can see the solar eclipse in April.

The eclipse will be seen in the United States on April 8, with Pittsburgh just two hours away from the path of totality.

>> Solar Eclipse 2024: Here’s where you can see the total solar eclipse in western Pa.

>> Solar eclipse 2024: How to watch safely, where to get solar viewers

While some schools, including Pittsburgh Public Schools, are scheduled to remain open that day, many schools in the area are seeing closures, early dismissals and remote learning days.

Here’s our list of schools making adjustments to their schedules:

Pittsburgh Public Schools

Our region’s biggest school district will be operating as business per usual on eclipse day. However, after-school practices will be moved inside or canceled. Games that take place outside will be rescheduled.

>> Pittsburgh Public Schools will be open on day of solar eclipse

Avonworth School District

Avonworth School District will be having an early dismissal on eclipse day.

The decision stems from the fact that the eclipse will be happening during regular dismissal for both campuses, the district said.

The secondary campus will dismiss at 1:20 p.m. There will be no after-school activities occurring on the secondary campus.

A.W. Beattie Career Center will run normally for students who attend the a.m. session. There will be no p.m. session at A.W. Beattie Career Center.

Athletic activities will begin at 5 p.m. Coaches will communicate with teams about specifics concerning adjustments to games, practices and more.

The primary/elementary campus will dismiss at 2 p.m. The YMCA afterschool program will begin at 2:00 p.m. for students already enrolled in the program.

Burgettstown Area School District

The Burgettstown Area School District will have an early dismissal on Monday in the interest of the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

The middle/high school will dismiss at 11:45 a.m. and the elementary center will dismiss at 12:45 a.m.

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

The Catholic Diocese has closed all schools for the day and will have a flexible instructional day.

“This rare event has generated significant interest and concern regarding the safety of viewing the eclipse without proper precautions. The safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. Although eclipses are awe-inspiring, looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection can cause serious eye damage. Given the challenges of ensuring that all students and staff have access to and use appropriate eclipse-viewing glasses and the challenges with transportation issues at dismissal, we believe closing the school is the most responsible decision,” Oakland Catholic Principal Nicole Powell said.

Freedom Area School District

Freedom Area School District took to social media to announce an early dismissal on eclipse day.

In a Facebook post, the district said students would be on buses or walking home during the eclipse if dismissal was on time.

“As we all know, children are curious creatures,” the post said. “We want to ensure students are under close supervision during this exciting event.”

The middle and high schools will dismiss at 11:40 a.m. The elementary school will dismiss at 12:50 p.m.

North Hills School District

North Hills School District’s will hold an early dismissal on April 8 due to the timing and concern for student safety.

Norwin School District

The Norwin School District has decided to implement a Flexible Instructional Day (FID) on April 8 due to safety concerns related to the solar eclipse that will occur during student dismissal.

Penn Hills School District

Penn Hills School District announced that April 8 will be a flexible instruction day for students.

“This means our kids will engage in special learning activities from the safety of home, avoiding the risks associated with direct solar observation. We’re committed to making this event both educational and safe, providing resources on the science of eclipses and how to observe them without harm,” the district said in a Facebook post.

Pine-Richland School District

Pine-Richland School District has already canceled classes for the day, citing safety concerns for students who may be tempted to watch it without proper safety precautions while exiting the school or getting off the bus.

Plum Borough School District

Plum Borough School District announced it has extended its spring break so students have eclipse day off.

After-school activities will start at 5 p.m., the district said in a letter to the community.

The district also said the day off will not be made up, as the 2023-2024 school calendar meets both the instructions days and hours required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

“We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this decision,” the letter said. “The safety of our students is always our top priority, and we want to ensure that everyone stays safe during this rare event.”

Shaler Area School District

Shaler Area School District will have an early dismissal on April 8 so that students can experience the eclipse while minimizing safety concerns.

The high school will dismiss at 11:45 a.m.; the middle school at 12:15 p.m.; the elementary school at 12:35 p.m.; and the primary schools at 1 p.m.

South Fayette School District

South Fayette is having an early dismissal on April 8.

Sto-Rox School District

Sto-Rox School District will be dismissing all classes early on eclipse day.

In a letter to the community, the district said the junior/senior high school will dismiss at 11:30 a.m., the upper elementary school will dismiss at 12 p.m. and the primary center will dismiss at 12:30 p.m.

All after-school activities and athletics are also canceled that day.

“We encourage all students and families to take necessary precautions when observing the solar eclipse and to follow safety guidelines provided by trusted sources,” the letter said.

Woodland Hills School District

Woodland Hills School District will hold a virtual instruction day on April 8.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW