With a total eclipse predicted to draw thousands to the Texas Hill Country in early April, many local school districts have opted to cancel school April 8, or planned out academic calendars in advance to make the day a student holiday.

Round Rock ISD will proceed with the school day as planned, district officials said, and will facilitate a viewing of the eclipse for all students on that day.

What you need to know

In partnership with the district's parent, teacher and student association, the district has secured enough solar glasses to allow students to safely view the total solar eclipse. To participate in the viewing, students will need to return a signed permission slip to their home campus.

Students who do not return a signed permission slip will be able to participate in alternative activities inside their campuses, Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez said, to avoid potentially viewing the eclipse unprotected, which can cause damage to the eye. It is not recommended to view eclipses with the naked eye, through a telescope or using binoculars.

What they're saying

Natalie Nichols, RRISD's senior chief of schools and innovation, said the district's decision to proceed with school as normal comes from a desire to ensure students can safely view and learn about the eclipse.

"We understand that this is a rare opportunity for our students," Nichols said. "We approach this not just from an academic standpoint but from an experiential standpoint, to be in awe of something that is just a wonder to behold."

Travis County, which accounts for about a third of RRISD, issued a local disaster declaration ahead of the eclipse with the intention of being able to mobilize emergency responders faster, as Central Texas is expected to see three to four times its normal population for the event, Community Impact previously reported.