Toronto School Boards Reschedule April P.A. Days In Light Of Solar Eclipse

Maximizing the safety of our children is an absolute must. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t agree with that statement. The majority of parents will do just about anything to ensure well-being of their kids. This is why we all grew up with constant reminders to “look both ways before crossing the street” or to “stop eating too much candy because it will rot your teeth”.

Parents certainly can’t do everything themselves. We often rely upon other family and community members to create positive and fruitful living environments for everyone. This teamwork-structure of keeping kids safe most definitely includes schools. Many Ontario school boards, including Toronto’s school boards, are taking a particularly unique action regarding child safety during the month of April.

Toronto schools reschedule their P.A. days in April.

On January 31st and February 1st respectively, both the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) made a similar announcement. They put out press releases informing parents that the Professional Activity Day (P.A. Day) originally scheduled for Friday, April 19, 2024 was moved to Monday, April 8, 2024.

The change was decided upon in order to mitigate the risks associated with viewing a total solar eclipse. North America is, in fact, scheduled to experience a total solar eclipse on the afternoon of April 8, 2024. “While some areas in Ontario will witness the eclipse in its totality, Toronto will be on the outer edge of its path,” reports the TCDSB newsletter, “The timing of the eclipse, between 2 pm and 4 pm, coincides with the dismissal hours of our schools.”

Why is it necessary to protect children from viewing the eclipse?

As the TDSB press release explains, “as the eclipse will occur around the dismissal times of many schools, there were concerns that children would be outside and possibly looking directly at the sun, which without appropriate protection, can lead to serious problems such as partial or complete loss of eyesight. There were also traffic-related concerns as students could be walking home in temporary darkness.”

The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) explains that during a solar eclipse, the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth. This occurrence can either partially or completely block the Sun’s rays. “The danger lies in the fact that even during a partial eclipse, the Sun’s intense radiation can cause severe damage to the eyes,” notes their website, “Looking at the Sun directly during an eclipse can lead to solar retinopathy, permanently damaging the retina’s light-sensitive cells.”

The CAO stresses that even a brief look at the partly eclipsed Sun can harm the eyes. Toronto’s school boards recognize the danger in having children leave school during a time when they may be at risk.

To accommodate the last minute change, SOS 4 Kids will be offering all day safety awareness courses on the new P.A. Day, April 8, 2024.

In addition to Home Alone and Babysitting courses, we will be offering the My Safe Life for children aged 7 to 10. The personal safety program helps kids to learn special life skills. They become empowered to make safe, caring and respectful decisions in their everyday lives, both online and offline. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-844-373-1024 or email us at [email protected]. You may also fill out the form on our Contact page!