PRESTON — The Preston School District is now part of a growing number of Idaho districts postponing school-start dates to accommodate next month’s total solar eclipse.
“We have decided to change our district calendar to allow our students, our teachers and staff and their families to attend without complication if they wish to do so,” reads an announcement posted to the district’s website Thursday.
The school district, located in the southeast corner of the state, will now start school on Aug. 22, instead of Aug. 21.
Dubbed the “Great American Eclipse,” the event is now on course to overshadow the first day of school in several districts across the state, including Pocatello, Nampa and West Ada, Idaho’s largest school district.
The rare eclipse is expected to bring a deluge of people to the Snake River Valley in East Idaho, which has been pegged a prime viewing place as the event rolls its way across the country on Aug. 21.
Estimates surrounding the potential influx of viewers have ranged widely from 50,000 to 500,000. Preston, located roughly 140 miles south of eclipse’s direct path, is one of several Idaho cities bracing for the event.
The district apologized for the adjustment made at “so late a date,” and provided links to NASA’s webpage, which provides tips for safe viewing the rare event.