Dear Berkeley Academy Parents, Students and Families:
It was a wonderful first week back seeing familiar and new faces on our campus! We are so excited to begin this new academic year with enthusiasm and motivation.
On that note, we also want to stress the general safety and well-being of all of our students.
Tomorrow, at approximately 12:04pm to 2:22pm, Costa Rica will experience a solar eclipse. This occurs when the moon is in the new moon phase and travels between the Earth and the sun. As the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, the shadow blocks all or some of the sun’s light, causing the sky to become increasingly dark.
*Looking directly at the powerful brightness of the sun can cause damage to the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye.*
“When you look directly at the sun, the intensity of the light and the focus of the light is so great on the retina that it can cook it,” according to Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association. “If the exposure is great enough, that can and will lead to permanent reduction in vision and even blindness.”
Here are our official precautions:
Guidelines and safety tips are available on the CIENTEC Founation website , and we are asking families and caregivers to reinforce with your children the following precautions:
1. If your child is at home during the solar eclipse, keep him/her inside the house between 12:00 and 2:30 p.m. to avoid any temptation to view the eclipse without protective glasses.
2. During school hours, teachers who are not incorporating the eclipse into their lesson plans are being instructed to keep students inside during the eclipse. We will pay special attention to Lower Elementary students.
3. Reinforce with your child that looking directly at the solar eclipse without proper eye protection is unsafe and can cause serious permanent eye damage.
4. Homemade filters and standard sunglasses—even dark or polarized ones—are not sufficient to prevent eye damage. This is also true for unfiltered cameras, telescopes, binoculars and other optical devices.
5. The only safe way to directly view the partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, also known as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers that are certified and meet NASA standards.
6. While self-made pinhole projectors are popular, during the eclipse they should be used only with supervision by an adult who is knowledgeable about safety guidelines.
7. The safest way to view the eclipse is through live streaming of the eclipse on television or on NASA’s livestream “Eclipse Megacast” at: nasa.gov/feature/aug-21-eclipse-up-close-and-personal-with-nasa
8. We will be delivering two announcements to students at the beginning and end of the school day, reminding students that their focus should be on the ground or street in front of them and they should not look at the sky until they can safely view the eclipse at home on the NASA website above.
We have also attached some precautionary measures for your safety.
Thanks and please contact our administrative office if you have any concerns.

——– Peter J. Swing *President, Head of School* *BERKELEY ACADEMY | *FOR MULTICULTURAL STUDIES www.berkeleycr.com
(506) 2203-4621 CR (506) 8582-2505 <8582%202505> CR (415) 944-9392 USA pswing@berkeleycr.com