"I assure you, this decision was not made lightly, but rather was made after hours of research on both eclipse safety standards and eclipse glasses, as well as consultation with surrounding school districts."
In expectation for Monday's solar eclipse, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton County school districts are creating guidelines and making preparations for students to view it.
Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson announced Monday in a press release that all outside activities have been canceled between 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Monday.
"I assure you, this decision was not made lightly, but rather was made after hours of research on both eclipse safety standards and eclipse glasses, as well as consultation with surrounding school districts," Jackson said in the release.
Instead, Jackson said students can view the eclipse through NASA or Discovery Education's live stream of the event.
If parents choose to keep their students at home to watch the eclipse, Jackson said they will receive an excused absence.
Monday's eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse to occur coast to coast in the United States since 1918, although the Florida Panhandle will not be in the path of totality.
In Santa Rosa County, Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick is allowing teachers to choose between three viewing options for students.
The first option is direct viewing, in which teachers who purchased solar eclipse glasses can bring their students outside to see the event.
The second option is indirect viewing, in which students can use the pinhole projector method.
"It's where you take an object, like a box or paper plate, and stick a pinhole in it," said Jeff Baugus, Santa Rosa's coordinator for math and science. "The light mirrors the same action as the sun."
Teachers also can opt for students to view the eclipse by online streaming.
"The solar eclipse is a great way to bring astronomy and space ideas into the classroom," Baugus said. "There aren't many times where they have a scheduled lesson that students are captivated by. We're just a little jealous we're not in the path of totality."
Like Okaloosa County, Walton County Superintendent Russell Hughes also has decided to cancel all outside events from 11:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday.
"We are concerned about the safety and, with reports that some of the glasses have been recalled, we feel like this is the safest decision we can make for our students," said Jennifer Hawthorne, the school district's specialist of school and leadership development.
Students can see the solar eclipse from a live stream, If parents prefer to keep their children home, they will receive an excused absence."It will be an amazing educational experience," Hawthorne said. "I'm excited for all the lessons that will come with it."