Solar eclipse school closings: Over 60 IL schools to close so students can witness eclipse

Maine Township High School District #207 students will have early dismissal to watch celestial event

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, April 3, 2024
NASA expert shares 2024 solar eclipse times, what to expect
NASA expert Dr. Noah Petro explained what to expect when the sky goes dark Monday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Parts of Illinois will witness a total solar eclipse for the second time since 2017 on Monday, and some schools are closing so students can get the full experience.

Illinois is one of only 15 states to experience this rare event. Even more spectacular is that part of southern Illinois will experience totality for a second time, where the moon completely blocks the face of the sun.

Dr. Noah Petro with NASA said Chicago will see about 94% of coverage during the eclipse.

"A total solar eclipse is one of those events that people really should try to enjoy. If you can get into the path of totality, I really encourage people to do that," he said. "The moon will block the light from the sun, and for about three minutes you'll be treated to one of the most spectacular solar shows imaginable."

After Monday, the next total solar eclipse visible in the United States will be in 2044.

According to Adler Planetarium, the eclipse event will last from about 12:51 to 3:22 p.m. The eclipse is expected to be at its peak around 2:07 p.m.

SEE ALSO: Adler Planetarium solar eclipse celebrations include free outdoor event, eclipse glasses giveaway

"For that time, people will notice [temperatures] start cooling off, you'll notice birds and animals start getting ready for bed, and it is this really sensory experience," Petro said.

Some northern Illinois schools will be closed Monday, giving students an opportunity to watch the eclipse at home.

Country Club Hills School District 160 and South Holland School District 151 will be on break during eclipse day. In Park Ridge, students at Maine Township High School District #207 will be dismissed at 12:07 p.m. to experience the event.

Many schools will remain in session during the eclipse and are hosting opportunities for learning and safe viewing.

New Trier District #203 and Deerfield Public Schools District #109 are hosting eclipse viewing events for students. Deerfield PSD #109 will provide eclipse viewing glasses so students can safely watch the event during school hours.

Petro emphasized the importance of using safe viewing glasses during the eclipse.

"The sun is amazing, and it puts out so much energy. That amount of energy focused on to the human eye for any period of time can be very dangerous," he said.

RELATED: How to protect your eyes during 2024 solar eclipse

NASA has more safe viewing methods and tips at

Schools in downstate Illinois and Indiana are cancelling classes to allow students to be fully immersed in the rare total eclipse.

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is being called the "eclipse crossroads." Carbondale experienced totality during the 2017 total eclipse, and will have another rare opportunity to be in the path of totality in 2024. Classes at SIU are cancelled on April 8, but the campus will be open for the Southern Illinois Crossroads Eclipse Festival.

Indiana University also falls into the path of totality. IU campuses Bloomington, Columbus, East, Indianapolis, Kokomo and Southeast will be closed Monday. IU is hosting the Hoosier Cosmic Celebration, where attendees can buy tickets to see Janelle Monáe perform, as well as appearances from actor William Shatner and Mae Jemison, who was the first woman of color to travel into space.

At least 61 elementary and high schools in Illinois have announced that they will not be in attendance Monday.

Illinois schools closed on eclipse day:

Akin Community Consolidated School District #91

Allendale CCSD #17

Alton CUSD #11- Early dismissals

Anna CCSD #37

Ashley CCSD #15

Benton CCSD #47

Benton Consolidated High School District #103

Bluford Unit School District #318

Cairo District #1

Carbondale Community High School District #165

Carbondale Elementary School District #95

Carmi-White County CUSD #5

Carterville CUSD #5

Chester Community School District #139

Christopher District #99

Cobden District #17

Crab Orchard CUSD #3

Dieterich Unit #30

Dongola Unit #66

Edwards County CUSD #1

Effingham CUSD #40

Egyptian CUSD #5

Eldorado CUSD #4

Elverado CUSD #196

Ewing Northern CCSD #115

Fairfield Public School District #112

Fairfield Community High School District #225

Flora CUSD #35

Frankfort CUSD #168

Gallatin CUSD #7

Giant City CCSD #130

Goreville CUSD #1

Grayville CUSD #1

Harrisburg CUSD #3

Herrin CUSD #4

Jacksonville District #117

Jasper CCSD #17

Johnston City CUSD #1

Joppa-Maple Grove District #38

Lawrence County CUSD #20

Marion CUSD #2

Marshall CUSD #C2

Martinsville CUSD #C3

Massac Unit #1

Meridian CUSD #101

Mount Vernon City Schools District #80

Mt. Vernon Township High School District #201

Nashville CCSD #49

Nashville Community High School District #99

New Hope CCSD #6

Norris City-Omaha-Enfield CUSD #3

North Clay Community Unit #25

Project ECHO Alternative School & STAR Quest Academy Regional Safe School

Richland County CUSD #1

Shawnee District #84

Thompsonville CUSD #174

Vienna PSD #55

Vienna HSD #133

Waterloo CUSD #5

Wayne City CUSD #100

Zeigler-Royalton CUSD #188