With the first good opportunity in more than 40 years for area residents to see a total solar eclipse, the Dawson County Schools Board of Education last week voted to make Aug. 21 an early release day. “We decided to make that change due to the timing of the eclipse,” Gibbs said. “Our students would be on the bus and miss an opportunity to witness it. We plan to provide viewing information and a pair of glasses for each student.” Gainesville and Hall County school systems as well as Forsyth County schools will keep students an extra hour to let students experience the eclipse at school. University of North Georgia officials are offering an opportunity to help prepare local residents for the event by hosting a program for the general public on the day before the eclipse, from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 20.