No outside recess/lunch for Rock Island students during eclipse

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – The Rock Island-Milan School District is joining the list of Quad City Area schools amending policies for the total solar eclipse.

Monday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. “our principals are going to keep students inside school buildings,” said Holly Sparkman, communications director for Rock Island-Milan Schools.

That means no going outside for lunch or recess.

“There are some classes at some schools that have already pre-arranged to view the eclipse and have the correct NASA approved glasses for the event,” Sparkman said, adding that those students have also provided parental permission slips in order to view the event.

Just across the Mississippi River in Bettendorf, Iowa, where students have not yet begun the new school year, the Bettendorf Community School District announced Friday there will be no school-sponsored activities from “11:46 am to 2:37 pm” on Monday.

“There is a real danger to the vision of any members of the school community who watch the eclipse without the proper equipment, especially eyewear,” reads a message posted on the BCSD website.

“BCSD wants everyone to be safe if they watch the eclipse, but cannot ensure that will happen, so we are not allowing any district activities for eclipse watching.

That includes even informal arrangements which are not part of any school curriculum or activity.”

The message from BCSD adds, “There is a real danger to the vision of any members of the school community who watch the eclipse without the proper equipment, especially eyewear.”

BCSD is concerned younger students in particular “do not have the information and know how to protect their vision.”

Other QCA school systems have also enacted special measures, including Galesburg Community Unit School District 205 which has canceled the early dismissal scheduled for Monday to prevent students leaving school during the eclipse window.

Schools in East Moline, Illinois will keep all students indoors for recess on Monday.

"Better safe than sorry, especially with all the talk of so many glasses that don’t meet standards," East Moline district officials said.