Schools to dismiss early to protect kids

ELKINS — Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Gabriel J. Devono announced Friday that all Randolph County schools will be operating on a three-hour early dismissal Monday.

The decision was made because of a solar eclipse that is expected to occur between 2:30 and 2:40 p.m. Monday — the time period many schools would be releasing students.

“What we decided to do is go ahead and dismiss three hours early. Our biggest problem is — and we just got information from the (West Virginia Department of Education) yesterday — that the eclipse is going to be in our area sometime between 2:30 and 2:40 p.m.,” Devono said Friday afternoon.

“That’s the time we dismiss from school. We were concerned with our students coming out,” he continued. “We considered holding the buses but we didn’t want to get them exposed so we are going to go ahead with the three-hour early dismissal to get the kids home. We thought it would be better that way instead of trying to hold them at school.”

Barbour County schools will be releasing students three and a half hours early on Monday. Tucker and Upshur counties classes will run on their normal schedules.

Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Roy Wager said some classes will go outside to view the eclipse with special glasses while other classes will gather in school auditoriums to watch the event on television. He noted that younger-aged children will not be taken outside to view the eclipse.