Wednesday, July 24, 2024

BWDSB & BGCDSB Reschedule Professional Activity Day in April

In a unified move with other school boards across Ontario, Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board (BGCDSB) have decided to change the Professional Activity (PA) Day originally scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2024, to Monday, April 8, 2024.  This means that BWDSB and BGCDSB students will not be attending classes on Monday, April 8, 2024 and Friday, April 26, 2024 will shift to a regular school day.

  • Monday, April 8, 2024 is now a PA day.
  • Friday, April 26, 2024 is now a regular school day.

This decision has been made in anticipation of the total solar eclipse expected to occur between 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 8, 2024, which will be visible across North America, including specific regions of Ontario.

The primary concern prompting this schedule change is the safety and well-being of our students and staff during the solar eclipse.  As many students would be getting on the bus or walking home from school during this time-frame, their risk of looking directly at the solar eclipse would be significantly increased.  Viewing a solar eclipse directly without proper protection can be harmful due to the intense sunlight that remains even as the moon obscures part of or the entire sun.  The sun’s rays can cause significant eye damage, and regular sunglasses do not offer adequate protection against harmful solar radiation.

BWDSB and BGCDSB are committed to ensuring that all families and staff are well-informed of this change well in advance, allowing sufficient time to adapt plans accordingly.  Understanding that changes to the school calendar may affect daily routines, we appreciate your flexibility and cooperation,” said the two school boards. “Ensuring the safety of our entire school community remains our utmost priority.  We thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to maintaining a safe and nurturing environment for all.”

While total solar eclipses, like the one set to happen on April 8, 2024, offer scientists and researchers a unique opportunity to gather valuable data that enhances our understanding of the sun’s corona and behaviour, it is crucial for everyone to prioritize eye safety during this celestial event.  Directly staring at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause severe eye damage.  Grey Bruce Public Health (GBPH) urges parents and guardians to speak with their children about the potential dangers of staring at the sun, even for a brief period, during the eclipse,” said GBPH Physician Consultant Dr. Rim Zayed.

For further details on safely viewing the solar eclipse and to learn more about the event, please be sure to follow GBPH on social media.  GBPH will also be providing schools with information and resources on eclipse safety in the near future. 


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