SAN JOSE - Gabriel Chilcott adjusted his bright yellow sun costume as he prepared to greet hundreds of school children for the first total eclipse of the sun in decades.
The principal at Richmond's Mira Vista K-8 School, Chilcott believed this to be the most unique first day of school in his career.
"You don't get eclipses very often," he explained. "And, on the first day of school, getting everybody together and celebrating that is fantastic."
It was an extra added bonus for the first day of classes, a field trip of sorts out to the playground. "This is my first time seeing an eclipse and I'm really excited," said student Emalee Aymar.
Each student had a "passport" to draw pictures in and a chance to cycle through various stations, learning everything from the relative size of the sun and the moon to the cities and states that were in the path of totality.
"We made cootie catcher actually," said fourth grader Zahyare Lear, unfazed by the heavy overcast that obscured most of the peak period of the eclipse. "There's the partial eclipse, the total eclipse, the sun and the moon," explained Lear as he proudly showed us the folded paper contraption.
Despite the low clouds and fog, the sun did pop through, at just the right moment, practically on Principal Chilcott's cue. "I counted down, asked for the sun," said Chilcott, "and then it popped through, right at the apex. That was pretty amazing."
FULL DETAILS: Rare total solar eclipse 2017