See how some local schools are planning for the solar eclipse

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CLEVELAND-- Some students will head back to school just in time for one of the biggest events: A solar eclipse will cross the U.S. on August 21.

A lot of school districts are trying to figure out ways for their students to see it safely.

“Looking at the sun with inappropriate equipment is bad; you can damage your eyes," Cleveland State University Astronomer Jay Reynolds told FOX 8 News.

He said it's important for adults to guide children through this. Reynolds said children and some adults think they can take shortcuts, but the sun is dangerous.

“The ultraviolet energy is what does the damage and we all have experience with ultraviolet; we call it sunburn," Reynolds said. “Binoculars -- definitely not! This represents instant blindness unless you have the proper filters that go on the fronts."

While most school systems don't start until a day or two after the eclipse, some are starting either a week before or on the day of the eclipse.

It will last about three hours right during the time that many schools dismiss for the day.

Beachwood Schools started preparing for this last year.

A spokeswoman said they are coordinating education efforts across grade levels, and will dismiss on-time from outside during the eclipse viewing.

Solon Schools start that day. They said they are still working out details and may send a letter to parents advising on safe viewing.

Cleveland Schools are leaving it to individual classroom teachers to work out safe viewing of the eclipse.

Lakewood Schools, which also start on the day of the eclipse, are still working on possible programs.

Reynolds said there are simple viewers that teachers can use like two pieces of cardboard with a hole punched in to follow the eclipse.

He said this is an event that should not only be safe, but a good time as well.

“This is great.  Everyone is excited. The whole North American continent is going to experience something all at the same time. How often are we unified in some event together at the same time?"

If your children are not in school, there are several places that are holding viewing events on August 21 including the Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Metroparks, and Lorain Metroparks.

You should check with the parks in your area to see if they’re doing anything special.

**More on making your own projector**

**Continuing coverage on the eclipse**