Wilson County Schools prepares educational experience for solar eclipse

(Photo: WKRN)

WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – With the total solar eclipse a little more than a month away, school districts are debating whether to stay open.

Wilson County Schools is one district that has announced they will hold class on Aug. 21, and now they are preparing to use the once-in-a-lifetime experience as a learning tool for their students.

Officials said on Wednesday they spent $5,900 on eclipse viewing glasses for every single student.

Kelsie Lunn, a P.E. teacher at Mt. Juliet High School, is taking a class this week to learn more about why the sky is going to go dark in the middle of the day.

“I think it is kind of cool that we get to see it and we get to teach the kids, they get to learn something cool,” she told News 2.

The decision to keep kids in class is something the district has been discussing for months.

“We have 18,000 students, we know that not all of their parents have the luxury of being able to stay home for the day,” said the district’s spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson

Now, they are giving teachers in every subject the answers that many children might have when the eclipse happens.

“We obviously are going to a lot of work to educate our teachers, teaching the teachers so to speak,” said Johnson.

Johnson told News 2 if parents want to keep their children at home, they can use one of their three excused absences.

“If they want to stay at home with their kids, we support that,” she added.

Leesa Hubbard is a resource and special education teacher and a self-proclaimed space nerd. She is making sure her colleagues know the do’s and don’ts of the eclipse.

“First off, we don’t stare at the sun. You’ll burn your retinas. You need to think about sunscreen, you need to think about water so it is more than just using the glasses,” she said.

Even though she has a month to go, she is ready for the big day in Wilson County.

“How spooky is that? The temperatures are going to drop, it is going to get dark. You are going to be able to see stars,” says Hubbard.

The total solar eclipse is expected to last 2 minutes and 37 seconds in Lebanon and happen just before 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 21.

More on the total solar eclipse:

Visit wkrn.com/eclipse for all the resources and information you need.