Solar eclipse gives Carlmont a unique view

Connor Lin, Staff Writer

On Aug. 21, Carlmont students and staff members made their way down to the football field to witness a rare occurrence: a solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, which casts a shadow and blocks the light from reaching Earth.

In order to make a school-wide viewing possible, Carlmont administration allotted time in the morning to watch the solar eclipse reach its peak. Unfortunately for the viewers, the Bay Area was not in the path of totality. Glasses made to view the solar eclipse without causing eye damage were provided for all students.

Principal Ralph Crame said, “We discussed [allotting time for watching the eclipse] as an admin team with input from staff, and we all agreed it would be a once in a lifetime event for students and teachers. We need to do everything we can nowadays to provide opportunities for students to experience life first-hand.”

A select group of Carlmont parents interested in the solar eclipse decided to raise enough money to provide glasses for every student.

In a Facebook post addressing the parents of Carlmont students, Carolyn Bruguera said, “Thank you to all of the parent donors who made it possible to order 2,200 pairs of NASA-approved solar viewing glasses so that all Carlmont students can experience the [solar eclipse of] 2017.”

Although Carlmont’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) was approached to provide money for the glasses, budgetary regulations restricted their ability to help.

PTSA President Amy Armstrong said, “PTSA was unable to purchase the glasses because our bylaws required that we get an approval. By the time we would’ve been able to transfer the funds, the eclipse would have already happened. PTSA accounted for the budget and estimated that it would have taken about two months before we could have gotten the funds released.”

Despite their inability to help financially, PTSA and Armstrong believe that getting the chance to watch the eclipse was a great idea.

“Buying glasses for every student in the school was a fantastic idea, but it was just a matter of finding enough money in that short amount of time. There are many students at Carlmont who might not have had the opportunity to view something like the solar eclipse. It’s great to see people come together to raise enough money and provide glasses for everyone,” said Armstrong.

While many students were excited to watch the solar eclipse, some believed that creating shorter classes in order to view it was a waste of time.

Emma Romanowsky, a sophomore, said, “I was not excited to see the eclipse because I have no interest in space and feel like the entire event is overhyped. The specific schedule for the eclipse seems like a waste of money and class time to me.”

Students like Romanowsky believed that they should have had input in whether or not this event was scheduled.

Romanowsky said, “I think it would be a more effective use of resources if there was an optional viewing during the day, where students answered a survey saying whether or not they were interested in going.”

According to Express, the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 was the first to cross the entire contiguous United States since 1918. The next total eclipse over the country will be in 2024; however, it will only be seen from Texas to Maine.

Although many people believe that the solar eclipse was impressive, Armstrong believes that the planning and effort taken to organize the school-wide event equally formidable.

“It really says a lot about Carlmont and Mr. Crame that we were able to organize this event in such a short amount of time. Being flexible enough to account for something as rare as a solar eclipse and giving everyone the chance to experience it is extraordinary,” said Armstrong.