The first day of school can be traumatic. Reluctant high schoolers schlep unopened summer reading books aboard early morning buses. Kindergartners sob at being separated from their parents -- and vice-versa.
For students in Miami-Dade and Broward public schools, the first-day-of-school drama could be intensified this year by the solar eclipse that's also happening Monday.
The celestial coincidence has led school officials to move most outdoor activities inside.
Eclipses are rare and cause unusual changes to light, so it can be tempting to sneak glances as the moon passes in front of the sun. But that’s not safe. Even when the sun is mostly covered by the moon, the light is so intense it can kill cells in your eyes and cause blindness.
So Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe county public schools have moved recess, sports practices, afterschool programs and other events inside until 4:30 p.m., when the eclipse will be over. Catholic schools in Palm Beach County are closed, and those in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.
Many schools will offer opportunities to learn about the eclipse and watch it safely -- online, using special solar glasses or with a special first day of school project: building an eclipse-watching device called a pinhole camera.