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Michiana schools closing for total solar eclipse

The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Hoosiers will enjoy a front-row seat for the solar eclipse coming April 8.

The eclipse will be total, meaning complete darkness, for four minutes in a 115-mile-wide band of totality that runs through central and southern Indiana. The band stretches from the Pacific Coast of Mexico to the Atlantic Coast of Canada.

State officials are preparing for hundreds of thousands of visitors to the totality band.

The closest the mid-afternoon total darkness will come to Michiana will be the southern edge of Fort Wayne. But our view will still be better than elsewhere in the country, and of course, very enticing for children.

The last time we saw a total eclipse, in 2017, it happened during the school day, so teachers could make sure students didn’t look directly at the sun without protection. This time, it’s expected to start locally at 1:53 p.m., which is when students typically are heading home on buses and will be harder to control.

On Tuesday the Middlebury Community Schools board voted to cancel classes that day. School City of Mishawaka and John Glenn schools also will close. A Penn-Harris-Madison schools spokeswoman said Friday they were still evaluating the situation. South Bend school officials didn’t reply to requests seeking comment.

To meet state-mandated minimum instructional time, many schools that are closing are using off-days that they had set aside in their calendar to make up for snow days.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).