Change to School Year Calendar – P.A. Day Moved to April 8, 2024
At the January 29, 2024 Board Meeting, HWDSB Trustees approved a change to the 2023-24 School Year Calendar. The Professional Activity (P.A.) Day previously scheduled for all elementary and secondary schools on Friday, March 1 has been moved to Monday, April 8.
This change means that HWDSB students and staff will attend school as a regular day on Friday, March 1, 2024. There will be no school for elementary and secondary students on Monday, April 8, 2024 while staff engage in professional learning.
Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024
On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over southern Ontario. The City of Hamilton is expected to experience a deep partial solar eclipse, with the timing of this event presenting a concern for school dismissal. The solar eclipse will begin at approximately 2 p.m. and end around 4:30 p.m.
A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. These events can pose potential risks and severe damage to eyesight if proper precautions are not taken. Viewing the sun directly during an eclipse can permanently damage the retina’s light-sensitive cells.
In addition to the physical risks associated with directly viewing the solar eclipse, a period of increased darkness will occur. The peak period of darkness (referred to as the mid-eclipse) will occur at approximately 3:20 p.m. This aspect of the eclipse can present safety concerns for students, staff and families during dismissal time.
Hamilton Public Health Services (HPHS) understands that there are significant risks associated with the unprotected viewing of the solar eclipse and is supportive of HWDSB’s desire to mitigate potential risks. Shifting the P.A. Day is a proactive measure to support the safety and well-being of students, staff and families.
HPHS is working with HWDSB to provide information for families and staff regarding safety considerations. These resources will be shared closer to the P.A. Day on Monday, April 8.