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Solar Eclipse 2024 Preparedness Tips for Schools

News Update

Solar eclipse 2024 is on Monday, April 8. Large cities such as San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas, which are in the eclipse’s path of totality, can expect large numbers of tourists and locals looking to catch a glimpse. If your district is not closed on Monday, follow these tips to manage crowds and traffic delays.

Protect Your Eyes

Viewing the eclipse improperly can irreparably damage your eyes. Staff, students, and visitors should use solar eclipse safety glasses approved by the American Astronomical Society. Beware of fake safety glasses that won’t protect eyes from permanent damage.

Plan Travel Accordingly

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning road and lane closures this weekend and on eclipse day. The eclipse will pass over Texas in the early afternoon. Onlookers may not directly impact morning or afternoon routes, but the increased volume of vehicles will cause delays throughout the day.

Transportation Leadership

  • Plan for much longer travel times.
  • Rely on credible, timely sources for traffic information and road closures.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Modify routes to avoid normally busy intersections and major roadways when possible.
  • Ensure all vehicles on the road are equipped with the necessary supplies, including:
    • Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses for before/after the eclipse
    • Full tank of gas and an emergency kit in case of extensive traffic delays
    • Extra snacks and water
    • Camera with certified solar lens filter
    • Chairs, blankets, and activities to keep busy before and after the eclipse
    • Cash in case vendors do not take cards or internet credit card services are down
  • Review emergency communications protocol with staff who plan to drive on eclipse day, including alternatives to limited or no cell phone service.
  • If your schools will not close on eclipse day, remember that support from local law enforcement (traffic control during drop-off/pick-up) will likely be limited because officers are on duty elsewhere. The same goes for school resource officers.


  • Expect heavy traffic and sudden stops by other motorists.  
  • Be on alert for distracted pedestrians looking at the sky.
  • Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Stay informed about traffic patterns and road closures through dispatch or other emergency channels.  
  • If you drive during the eclipse, note that surroundings may become temporarily dark.
  • Keep headlights on while driving. Focus on the road, and don’t become distracted by the eclipse.
  • Do not pull over on the shoulder or side of the highway. You will only add to roadway congestion, and these areas are littered with debris that can easily puncture a tire or damage a vehicle.  

Follow Emergency Protocol

While you have never seen a total eclipse, Fund members have been preparing for and managing similar events for years. Review your district and campus emergency operations plans (EOPs) for preparation and response action items:

  • If school is in session or you expect visitors to watch the eclipse on district property, follow protocol for similar events such as pep rallies, graduations, and elections.
  • You would typically expect local first responder support during events that bring crowds to campus. Remember that officers will likely be assigned to eclipse-related duties such as managing traffic.
  • Check with your local first responders and county emergency manager for specific directives and up-to-date information on planned road closures. Verify that all contact information is current and accurate.
  • Expect limited or unavailable cell service, review EOPs for emergency communications protocols, and test protocols in advance.  

To Close or Not?

The Fund cannot advise districts whether they should close for the total eclipse. Instead, we recommend you follow decision-making criteria for similar scenarios. For example, if you had a flu outbreak, what guidelines would you follow to determine if closure was necessary (estimated enrollment, estimated staff attendance, etc.)?

Risk Solutions Staff

The TASB risk solutions team includes risk solutions consultants and communications professionals who deliver training, consultations, articles, and resources that help Fund members control losses and their associated costs.