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Ritenour Students and Staff Enjoy Viewing Spectacular Solar Eclipse on April 8

Ritenour students and staff had an incredible learning experience witnessing near totality of the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. In the hours leading up to near totality, students learned about the eclipse and how to safely view it with their NASA-certified solar eclipse glasses. Ritenour provided special eclipse glasses for all staff members and all students.

On April 8, Some teachers brought their students out both in the early phase of the solar eclipse, which began at 12:43 p.m., and then again during the height of eclipse so they could view the eclipse at 99.1 percent totality at 2 p.m., barely making it seem like dusk outside. The eclipse ended at 3:17 p.m. in the St. Louis area.

For some Ritenour students, this was the second near-total eclipse they have seen while in Ritenour. The last near-total eclipse was on Aug. 21, 2017 and provided a view of 99.9 percent totality. During that eclipse, the St. Louis area experienced 99.9 percent totality, which caused it to be dark outside and caused crickets to sound.

Nyah Gladney, a seventh-grader at Ritenour Middle School, remembered looking at the solar eclipse when she was a first-grader at Wyland Elementary in 2017.

"I remember sitting in front of the school and thinking, 'Wow, this is really cool,'” said Gladney. “But now that I'm older and seeing it again, it's way cooler. I understand what I'm seeing a lot better. What a great experience to have two times." 

Throughout the day on April 8, many of Ritenour's younger students were engaged in classroom activities that helped them better understand what they would be seeing in the sky like role playing the sun, moon and earth, making diagrams, watching educational videos, and drawing pictures. Some students enjoyed special treats like Moon Pies, Milky Way bars and Starbursts.