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Solar Eclipse Safety Considerations for School Administrators

Maine DOE Eclipse Resources 

Dear Champions of Education, 

With excitement building for next month’s total solar eclipse, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has compiled resources to make this rare occurrence a safe event for your school community and an engaging learning opportunity for students. The total solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024, and will pass through Maine beginning at 3:28 p.m. EDT and end a approximately 3:35 p.m. EDT.  

School and Classroom Resources on the Eclipse 

The Maine DOE’s 2024 Eclipse Resources Website includes an interactive map allowing users to zoom in to see the path of totality for Maine or anywhere else in the country, basic information on the eclipse, engaging lessons and activities to learn about the eclipse, and advice on safe eclipse viewing. View the resources here.  

Contact Maine DOE Interdisciplinary Instruction Specialist Erik Wade 
at for any questions on DOE’s eclipse resources.  

Safety Information 

Our communities and roadways will likely experience a large influx of people and traffic, especially along the direct path of the eclipse. School administrative units (SAUs) should prepare for the possibility of delayed responses to emergencies or communications interruptions.  

Here are some considerations to help keep your school community safe: 

  • Review and refine your emergency operations plan to make sure you have everything in order. This includes possible incidents involving school buses as well as in school incidents, and after school activities.  
  • If you need help with your school plan, please call School Emergency Management Coordinator Bridgette Gilbert, 207-816-2286 or email at the Maine DOE"s Maine School Safety Center or contact your local emergency management agency.  
  • If you need assistance with your transportation plan, please call Transportation Coordinator, Cheryl Bracket at 207-446-3019 or at the Maine DOE's Maine School Safety Center.
  • Consider the impacts this event may have on your school.  Depending on your location, transportation routes may be congested or slowed due to the influx of observers to the area. 
  • Prepare for disruptions in communication as there is a limit to technology and systems may be overloaded.  

Share Your Eclipse Activities 

The Maine DOE wants to promote all of the exciting and engaging activities that educators have planned for the eclipse. Hosting an eclipse celebration after school? Teaching about the eclipse in your classroom? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form so we can share what Maine schools, educators, and students are doing for the eclipse. 

Sent March 25, 2024


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We Need You!

There is a serious and real shortage of school bus drivers in Maine.  Please consider obtaining your CDL to drive a school bus part time or full time. You get to be an integral part of students lives throughout the year, with some drivers driving the same routes year after year. This is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of being a school bus driver, as you make a positive impact on the lives of those around you.

The pros of being a school bus driver include no degree requirements, independent work, and paid holidays. It also comes with flexible working hours, allowing you to determine your schedule. Whether you just need to offset some pending bills or want a full-time salary, driving a school bus is your best option. It is a perfect job if you want to enjoy a personal life and still earn money.

Visit or call your local SAU's transportation office to see if they are willing to train you. Many schools will do the training free. Some of Maine schools are now giving new bus drivers incentives to drive.


Maine Schools We Need You!

If you have do not have a member of your team train new drivers please consider doing so.  If an SAU wants an employee to be their trainer, there is no cost. The only requirement is that they have 2 years of CDL experience in the class of vehicle being instructed. The Code of Federal Regulations, gives the requirements needed. The schools must also provide administrative oversight.

If a school or an adult education program wants to provide training for a fee, the information for obtaining a Driver Education Instructor License there is a fee of $256. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides the information on their web site.

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It Takes a Whole Village

School transportation is about planning over the life cycle of the fleet. To ensure that schools deliver safe and efficient transportation, Maine DOE school transportation works with state school superintendents, Legislators, and the Governor. We collaborate with state and federal agencies that include: Maine State Police, Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Managements’ Maine Emergency Management Agency. On the federal level, the Maine DOE works with U.S. Departments of Transportation, Education, Justice, and Homeland Security. Based on State laws and standards and federal laws and guidelines, we collaborate with these organizations to:

Provide school transportation safety and security information for schools

  • Establish practices for efficient school transportation operations
  • Develop procedures and regulations to ensure a safe transportation system
  • Direct state transportation programs Track and report transportation data School Transportation supports and contributes to the mission of the Department through Strategic Priority
  • Ensure student and school safety, health, and well-being.


Maine Department of Education Transportation Department

For approximately 80 percent of Maine students, the school day begins and ends on the school bus. It is a place that sets the stage for daily learning as well as a place where safety is the first priority. For parents, it is about deciding how their child will travel to and from school. For students, it is a place to cultivate friendships and prepare for the school day.

Today’s school buses include technological advancements that have made them safer, more fuel efficient, more durable, and more environmentally friendly.

Maine Department of Education school transportation provides information to schools and works with the Legislature to ensure safe and efficient transportation for school children. At the Department, school transportation deals with policy, operations, programs, and training to track data and report trends in school transportation.


Cheryl Brackett, MBA
Transportation Coordinator
Maine School Safety Center
Phone: 207-446-3019