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First Day of School for Watauga, Avery County Schools is Monday, Aug. 21, Day of Eclipse

Expect to see buses on the road after this weekend because Monday is the first day of school for the Watauga and Avery County Schools systems during the 2017-18 school year. It’s also the day of the total solar eclipse.

While Avery County Schools is dismissing at noon (except for Newland Elementary which is dismissing at 11:30 p.m. to allow students to view the eclipse at home, Watauga County Schools is taking a different approach by extending school 15 minutes.

“We considered all the options, and feel the best choice is to stay the course with a full day schedule and give as many students as possible the opportunity to safely view the partial eclipse with teachers and safe viewing glasses,” WCS Supt. Scott Elliott said.

“I know that some parents will keep their students out of school in order to travel to the path of totality, and some may choose to pick their children up early from school that day. I fully understand those choices, but we plan to have fun viewing and educational activities available at our schools for the children who cannot travel or who otherwise would not have a chance to view the eclipse safely.”

Schools across the district have solar eclipse-related events planned. See this release from Watauga County Schools for more information.