The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Texas Prepares for Total Eclipse

Lilah Schlanger
In preparation for the upcoming total solar eclipse, Austin resident Erik Schlanger practices using solar eclipse glasses. Those planning to observe the total eclipse have been encouraged to use these special shaded lenses to protect their eyesight from the sun’s harsh rays.

Most of central Texas will experience a total solar eclipse, which only occurs once every 20 years, for a brief period on Monday, April 8. During this time, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, blocking the face of the sun and causing temporary darkness.

Only a certain part of North America will be in the path of the eclipse. This is causing mass amounts of movement to the cities which will experience the total solar eclipse. For example, the Travis County population has the potential to double. This sudden increase has prompted counties such as Travis County and Bell County to declare a state of emergency to help deal with the pressure being put on Texas infrastructure as a result.

“I don’t really know what traffic is going to look like that day, especially getting to school,” Mihika Ferris ‘25 said, “so I am a little bit worried about it but I guess I’ll just leave early.”

In addition to declaring a state of emergency, officials are encouraging people to stay home and do any errands in advance to help control traffic. Some Central Texas districts such as Lake Travis ISD, Liberty Hill ISD, and Lago Vista ISD have already canceled school on Monday, April 8. Austin ISD has not canceled classes, but will be providing glasses for students to watch the solar eclipse. Round Rock ISD also has not canceled classes. However, Westwood will be enacting an alternate bell schedule in which they will allow time for students to view the event.

“You [can] look at the academic [aspect of the eclipse] and see the opportunity,” Westwood Learning Community Superintendent Dr. Zac Oldham said. “We have students [and] teachers in a very rare, very unique situation where a lot of learning can go on.”

We have students [and] teachers in a very rare, very unique situation where a lot of learning can go on.

— Westwood Learning Community Superintendent Dr. Zac Oldham

Those who decide to venture out to fully experience the eclipse are advised to ensure that they have plenty of food, water, and gas to ensure their safety. Many are also urged to use a pair of solar eclipse glasses to protect their eyes from dangerous rays.

“In parks, we have blocked registrations for the fields and pavilions so that we don’t have any excessive folks there,” Cedar Park City Emergency Management Coordinator Mr. John Cummins said. “The police department is staffing up so we will have extra traffic units and extra patrol units on that day. The fire department is looking into having extra EMS staff that day and we will be opening our emergency operations center [around] 8:00 that morning and monitoring what’s going on through our traffic cameras and our security systems.”

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About the Contributor
Lilah Schlanger
Lilah Schlanger, Reporter
Class of 2025
Hi! I like writing and design. I'm very happy to be apart of student press! I enjoy cheerleading, being with my friends and family, and listening to music.

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