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Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

Business Spectacle: Lilys Hair Studio (video)
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October 26, 2023

Experiencing totality

Solar eclipse in Coppell, what to expect
A total solar eclipse will be visible from Coppell on Monday, a phenomenon that will not occur for another 293 years. To celebrate this marvel, Coppell ISD has planned an alternative schedule for the day to allow students and faculty to experience the eclipse as a community. File photo. (Sameeha Syed)

On Monday, a total solar eclipse will be visible from Coppell, a phenomenon that will not be visible to the community for another 293 years. For approximately four minutes, North Texas residents and others in the path of totality will be plunged into a midday darkness as the moon completely obstructs the view of the sun. 

To celebrate this marvel, each Coppell ISD campus has planned an alternative schedule for the school day which allows students and faculty to experience the eclipse in a unique way. 

“This is a once in a lifetime thing and it’s a huge learning opportunity,” CISD director of science Evan Whitfield said. “We can’t take that from our kids, so let’s get them out in it.”

Coppell High School will follow a normal bell schedule, but will have an evacuation drill from 1:35-1:50 p.m. to allow all staff and students to be outside leading up to totality. 

Pre-K and kindergarten students will watch the eclipse on a live stream and participate in indoor activities learning about the eclipse. Older elementary students will also participate in learning activities, but will have the opportunity to be taken out of class in groups to view the eclipse. 

Prior to Monday, middle school students will learn about the eclipse, its significance and how to view the event safely. On the day of the eclipse, students will be released from class to view the eclipse from 1:30-1:50 p.m. and will conclude their viewing with a reflection. Throughout the day, students will enjoy snacks like Moon Pies and Sunny Ds to celebrate the event.

Whitfield worked with Buc-ee’s and the Houston Museum of Natural Science to provide solar eclipse viewers to CISD schools and offices. Elementary and middle school students will each receive their own visor or pair of solar eclipse glasses, while CHS students will be sharing a visor with two to three of their classmates. 

To ensure all students have equitable access to this opportunity, CISD campuses will play a live stream of the event indoors. 

“If there’s a kid who has limited mobility, high needs or whatever it might be, they can stay inside and still experience what we’re experiencing outside,” Whitfield said.

Parents have the option to opt their students out of the event all together, whatever the reason may be. By default, however, all students are allowed to see the eclipse. 

“In my religion, the solar eclipse is actually seen as a bad omen,” CHS senior Hemaxi Patel said. “So I’d rather just not participate in that.”

Each campus has a designated location for students choosing not to partake in the viewing.

CHS astronomy teacher Angela Barnes emphasized that this eclipse will provide a sensational experience that is unlike anything Coppell residents have seen before.   

“The fact that we don’t have to go anywhere and we’re going to be able to see this total eclipse is just special,” Barnes said.  “I’m so thankful that the district decided not to release us that day so we could all be together and experience this as a school. My biggest recommendation is to be with somebody who is special to you, because you’re going to remember this event for the rest of your life.”

Follow @ssameehaa and @CHSCampusNews on X. 

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About the Contributor
Sameeha Syed
Sameeha Syed, Social Media Manager
Sameeha Syed is a senior and the Social Media Manager for The Sidekick. Syed joined The Sidekick thinking she was going to write, but realized she enjoyed taking photos and videos more. On rainy days, you can find her listening to her favorite artist, Steve Lacey, or watching her favorite movie, Little Women (2019). Syed loves spicy, flavorful food and her drink of choice is hot chai. Syed dislikes sweets; in fact, she would take savory food over dessert any day. Syed has a super cool fashion style, and if you look at her hands, 9 times out of 10, she has on her fun accessories: her rings and her favorite watch. Syed has a list of odd things she really likes, and on that list is her emotional support water bottle and warm socks. Syed also is very much a night owl, preferring to stay awake later rather than wake up earlier. Her favorite subjects in school are history and literature courses. You can contact her on Instagram (@ssameeha) or through email ([email protected]). 

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