Israel goes back to school as earlier alternating class plan proves unworkable

Schools in areas that still have a high concentration of corona cases will remain closed. 

By World Israel News Staff

One million Israeli schoolchildren went back to school as if it were the first day of the new school year on Sunday. Another million of the higher grades will return starting today and ramping up by Tuesday.

Israel’s Education Ministry says the opening will be done on a voluntary basis by the municipalities. Most of the larger cities say they’ll open by Tuesday to give them time to make the necessary preparations.

Schools in areas that still have a high concentration of corona cases will remain closed.

The decision to open the schools fully is partly an admission of failure of the earlier plan to open the schools on an alternating schedule with students coming some days and not others. It proved too complicated for parents and teachers alike.

Some health guidelines will continue to be followed. During break, students will wear masks and maintain a two-meter distance – something critics have said will be impossible to enforce. For higher grades, masks will be required in class as well.

Children will not be allowed out of classrooms except for lunch breaks, and classes will take those breaks at different times to reduce the number of children mingling together.

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Daycare centers and afternoon child care facilities will also start operating on Sunday, allowing parents to work a full day.