Logan County Schools will be closed on Monday, Aug. 21, because of problems that could arise with the huge influx of traffic in our community from the total solar eclipse that will be taking place.
Superintendent Paul Mullens announced the decision on Wednesday.
“After much consideration we will utilize an NTI day on Aug. 21 and not have students in school that day,” Mullens said in a statement. “It was a tough decision to make because there are so many wonderful learning opportunities that could take place that day. However, safety of students and staff always comes first and with our emergency services being stretched and with all of the unknowns for that day I must err on the side of safety.”
NTI stands for non-traditional instruction and allows for students to miss a day of class that doesn’t have to be made up during the school year.
Mullens said that after talking with local emergency agencies, he was told that services such as Logan County EMS and the Logan County Sheriff’s Department might not be able to make it out to some county schools in a timely manner if an emergency were to occur during the time when roads are crowded with visitors because of the eclipse.
Some estimates say as many as half a million people could visit Kentucky to watch the eclipse on Aug. 21. Many of those will be concentrated in Logan and surrounding counties and several schools districts such as Warren County, Todd County, Christian County and Muhlenberg County have already closed.
Russellville Independent Schools are planning to remain open, however.
“We are having school,” said Russellville superintendent Bart Flener. “This is a once in a lifetime learning opportunity for our students. We’re receiving glasses for every team member and student in our schools. We also have someone coming from WKU who is going to do some education about the eclipse and how to take proper safety precations.”
Flener said that because his district is relatively small geographically, so transportation issues with the number of cars on local roads will not have as big an impact as other districts.
“We will be prepared – especially when it comes to dismissing our students and getting them home that day,” Flener said. “If we need to hold our elementary students for a short amount of time, just to let traffic clear a little bit, we will do that. But our dismissal time is about an hour after the event, so most of the traffic should be cleared.”
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