Eclipse prompts delay in Pocatello-Chubbuck

POCATELLO — This year’s “Great American Eclipse” is on course to overshadow more than just the sun in East Idaho.

Pocatello-Chubbuck School District trustees voted Tuesday to postpone the district’s regularly scheduled school start date from Aug. 22 to Aug. 23 — a “precaution based on the unexpected influx of people to the area for viewing the historic eclipse,” according to a district news release issued Tuesday.

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. Pocatello, located roughly 77 miles south of eclipse’s direct path, is one of several East Idaho cities bracing for the event.

Here’s a breakdown of changes made to the Pocatello-Chubbuck calendar:

  • Monday, Aug. 21: a non-contract day for staff.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 22: a contract day, but students will stay home.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 23: first day of school

The district has designated Dec. 20 as a make-up day for the extra day off at the beginning of the year.

Several other school districts around the state have altered schedules to accommodate the eclipse, including West Ada, Idaho’s largest school district, and Nampa.

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