Early dismissal for students April 8 due to solar eclipse

On Monday, April 8, 2024, an amazing astronomical event - a full solar eclipse - will take place over Canada, including PEI.  All students in both the English and French school boards will be dismissed two hours early that day out of an abundance of caution.   

A spectacular and rare phenomenon, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, casting its shadow and darkness on the earth. PEI will experience the effects of the eclipse at various times between 3:26 p.m. and 5:44 p.m. depending on the region, which coincides with the time students would be walking or being transported home from school. 

“The solar eclipse offers a rare educational occasion, but prioritizing safety is crucial for all of us to fully embrace its wonder. Doing a system wide early dismissal ensures our bus drivers will be off the road before the eclipse begins, and students will be home safely."

- Education and Early Years Minister Natalie Jameson

“Providing a safe and informed environment for students to learn about and discuss such a rare astronomical event helps to encourage curiosity and critical thinking. It's always a wonderful opportunity when our schools can facilitate connections between classroom learning and real-world experiences. It will be exciting for students to return to classes the following day to discuss their unique perspectives and ways they safely experienced the eclipse,” said Director of the Public Schools Branch, Tracy Beaulieu.

 “The safety of students and staff is always our top priority. Celestial events are awe-inspiring, and they make us think about our place in the universe. We encourage all our students and their families to participate fully in this learning opportunity and experience the eclipse while following the safety instructions given by the authorities," said CSLF Superintendent Ghislain Bernard.

Island teachers are well-prepared with professional resources to educate students about the eclipse, the dynamics of our solar system, and essential safety practices to follow on April 8. The early dismissal is an added layer of protection.

The province will distribute safety information to Early Years Centres and after-school programs to assist in their planning for the day.  If parents have questions regarding child care, they should contact their child’s care provider directly.

PEI’s Chief Public Health Office and the Government of Canada Your guide to solar eclipses website have information related to solar eclipses and precautions people can take to protect themselves.

Media contact:
Department of Education and Early Years
Autumn Tremere

Public Schools Branch
Matt MacLeod 

Commission scolaire de langue française
Bruce Joshua 

General Inquiries

Department of Education and Early Years
Holman Centre
Suite 101, 250 Water Street
Summerside, PE C1N 1B6

Phone: 902-438-4130
Fax: 902-438-4062