Carson City Schools kick off the new year with eclipse |

Carson City Schools kick off the new year with eclipse

Students of Al Seeliger Elementary School watch the solar eclipse in awe on the first day of school Monday.
MOLLY MOSER/Nevada Appeal |

When the moon passed over the sun Monday morning, students of Al Seeliger Elementary School were so astounded only one word could describe their experience: “Woah!”

The first day of school kicked off with some science, as the solar eclipse made its journey across the country for students witnessing this rare occurrence.

The last solar eclipse happened in the United States 26 years ago and hasn’t included a coast-to-coast pathway in 99 years.

According to the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College, Carson City received a partial eclipse, ranging from an 82-85 percent view at 10:15 a.m.

The Carson City School District purchased viewing glasses for all elementary students to safely see and experience this natural and scientific wonder of our solar system.

Seeliger third grade teacher Coco Graham said the staff is beyond grateful for the school district’s gift for affording students to indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“The fact that this is happening on the first day of school shines a perfect ray,” she said. “It will get them thrilled about science and keep them inspired for the school year.”

Even though the solar glasses were distributed to only elementary schools, a few teachers at Carson High School ensured their students had a chance to experience it as well.

Astronomy, science, and social studies classes were encouraged to view the eclipse.

With 2,300 students and 20 new teachers, Chair of the Department for Language Arts Adam Whatley said the attendance and the eclipse is a positive way to begin the school year.

Whatley said he also brought in a pair of solar glasses to share with his students.

“I’m psyched for this year,” he said. “The school is doing more than it has just to meet the needs for our students.”

As Monday was certainly a busy day for all, the first week of school is going to be jam-packed in terms of traffic, especially at the high school.

With a new school traffic law in effect — which U-Turns aren’t allowed on school zone roads — CHS Principal Tasha Fuson recommends parents to plan dropping off students 45 minutes early to avoid traffic, as breakfast is offered in the cafeteria starting at 6:30 a.m.