Several schools closing for solar eclipse -

Several schools closing for solar eclipse

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Credit: NASA Credit: NASA

Four school districts in the St. Louis region have decided to close schools on the day of the solar eclipse, August 21. They are in the St. Clair School District in Franklin County, Dunklin R-5 and Windsor C-1 school districts in Jefferson County and Edwardsville District 7 in Madison County, Illinois.

Edwardsville District 7 added its name to the closed list on Tuesday. The board approved the decision at Monday night's meeting. 

Dunklin superintendent Stan Stratton told News 4, "There are just a lot of unknowns with it, the unknown of how many people are you going to have and what's going to be the traffic issue.

It's estimated more than one million visitors will travel to Missouri to watch the eclipse. And districts in small towns said they were worried about clogged streets making it difficult for school buses to travel and for first responders to get to the school if a student has an emergency.

Herculaneum High School is in the Dunklin School District but it won't be empty on the day of the eclipse. The city asked the district to close classes so it could use the high school for some of the many activities planned around the viewing of the eclipse.

"Partly because of liability for the school but also because we could use the football field, the parking areas, some of the facilities for a cooling station," said Mayor Bill Haggard.

Stratton said his students will still be able to learn a lot about the eclipse, even if they're not in class on the day it happens.

"It's a once in a lifetime event and so there'll be discussions both before and after in the classrooms," said Stratton.

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