A solar eclipse is a rare event ... and an excuse for missing school.

Our news partners at The Tampa Bay Times report several local school districts will excuse students from school, provided parents write a note.

Hillsborough County will allow parents to pick up their children after a half-day or keep them out all day.

Pinellas County will excuse students with a note.

Pasco will allow a half-day or all-day absence.

All the districts plan steps to protect children's safety, and ask parents to talk to their kids about not staring at the sun.

For more, read The Times report.