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CCPS solar eclipse update

On Monday, April 8, Maryland will experience a partial solar eclipse between 2 and 4:30 p.m., with peak timing around 3:20 p.m. During a solar eclipse, the Moon blocks the light of the Sun, causing a shadow over Earth. On Monday, there will be about 90% coverage in Maryland which will cause it to become darker outside.  

This timing occurs during school dismissal times in Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). The school system will operate on a normal schedule on Monday, April 8. However, during the eclipse outdoor CCPS activities taking place in Charles County other than student dismissals will be deferred until 4:30 p.m. or later.

The James E. Richmond Science Center is hosting a free eclipse viewing event, “Our Sky Today,” on April 8 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The Science Center is located at 5305 Piney Church Road in Waldorf. Event parking will be available on the gymnasium/poolside entrance of St. Charles High School.  

Along with the outdoor viewing event, which will include viewing stations, the Science Center will also offer a solar eclipse informational program in the planetarium. Seating in the planetarium may be limited due to event participation, as the space accommodates 170 visitors.

Additionally, ISO-certified eclipse glasses will be available at the Science Center for purchase for $4, but supplies are limited. To RSVP for the event, visit An RSVP does not include eclipse glasses.

The Science Center has facts about the solar eclipse, as well as safety tips, on its website at  

Families, staff, parents and students should be aware of the following safety tips provided by NASA.

  • Except during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright face, it is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.
  • Anyone using special viewing glasses should use ones that are International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certified. Such glasses are recommended by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). A list of AAS recommended glasses vendors, as well as other helpful solar eclipse viewing tips, is posted at
  • Families, staff, students and community members can safely view the eclipse through a NASA livestream at

Additional information about how to safely view a solar eclipse is posted at

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).