AS THE SUN DARKENS, WORK AT SCHOOLS SHINES BRIGHTPosted by Kevin Smith on 8/16/2017With students returning on August 23, this is crunch time for “Back To School” in classrooms and schools. Transylvania County Schools teachers have four required workdays in schools before classes begin, and they bring loads of positivity while preparing for students. This year’s total solar eclipse, however, adds a whole new level of energy and excitement to the week.
In anticipation of heavy traffic and with many staff assisting elsewhere, TCS schools and the Education Center will close at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 21. School and office building doors will be locked, and gates to sports fields will be closed. Restrooms and other amenities inside school facilities will not be accessible. Visit www.tcsnc.org/eclipse for details on the TCS response to this unique event.
Some residents are wisely treating the eclipse as they would a winter weather event, unsure of what to expect, especially the additional time required for travel. This might remind families that Transylvania County Schools pioneered “virtual days” for students over the past two winters.
Dr. Jeff McDaris explained, “Thanks to a partial ‘virtual day’ on Monday, teachers will be able to volunteer or watch safely with family members at home. In return, teachers will have a homework assignment, just as students would on a snow day. This will give our dedicated teachers added safety and flexibility to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event, and come back to school excited to share the experience with their students.”
Getting students ready for Monday’s eclipse has been a summer-long activity, thanks to the support of the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority (TCTDA), which donated eclipse glasses to be distributed by School Nutrition Services.
Executive Director Clark Lovelace said he is focused on strengthening the connection between the authority and local efforts, “so the community can understand all that TCTDA does, welcome our visitors, and appreciate what the tourism industry brings our county.”
School Nutrition staff serving thousands of meals this summer also delivered nearly 2,000 pairs of safe and effective eclipse glasses to children and families, thanks to TCTDA. They were distributed through feeding sites at stops on the bus routes and at both public swimming pools. Glasses were also delivered with several hundred packs of food thanks to Backpack Buddies, and through partners in summer feeding at Rise & Shine/Neighbors in Ministry and the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County.
The Rosman community is poised very near the center line for viewing “totality” during the peak of the eclipse. This prime location led some Rosman High School teachers and students to jump on the opportunity to commemorate the event and support initiatives at the school by selling T-shirts, stickers, and limited edition posters.
Commemorative “In The Shadow” T-shirts are on sale now to support the 2017-18 RHS Senior Trip, thanks to teachers and trip advisors Julie Queen and Linda Peeples. Shirts are available (as of this printing) at McNeely's Store & Rental in Sapphire, and will be available at the Brevard Community Church eclipse party on Monday. All remaining shirts will be on sale by students and Mrs. Queen at Gorges State Park both Sunday and Monday. Call the school at 828-862-4284 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for details.
Support has been strong, said Queen. “It's been unbelievable… We are so incredibly excited and appreciative of how much money has been raised to support students for this important senior trip to Washington and New York. Mrs. Peeples and I think we should start chasing eclipses every summer!”
Amy Schoenacher and her RHS art students banded together to design and produce limited-edition stickers and posters to support the building of a new art gallery for Rosman High School.
Posters, bearing the stylized “Transylvania County - NC” design and “1:36” for the time of totality, are available at Brown Bean Coffee Roasters in downtown Brevard as part of a bundle with their “Eclipse Blend” created by owner Matt Huggins. Schoenacher will be selling posters at the Toxaway General Store and Grille on Friday and Saturday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.tcsnc.org/eclipse to reserve one.
The image here won’t do justice to the finished product, which shines off the page. The limited edition posters are made with a five-color, hand-pulled screen print process on 100lb cover stock paper from French Paper Co. (made in USA) on a color called Parcel Wrap. All ink was hand-mixed, and a translucent medium was added to the orange layer to give it a reflective property. Paper size measures 12.5 x 15.5 inches, and the image will fit neatly within an 11 inch x 14 inch matte.
All proceeds go to the future Rosman High School art gallery. The minimum suggested donation for this artwork is $15.00. The art program is also selling stickers, commemorating the Rosman experience of totality, through local Rosman businesses including Hair 2 Dye 4, Conoco, Headwaters Outfitters, and Jarrett's. A limited supply of stickers is available at the school.