Israel Education Ministry: Everything you need to know on return to schools

All the questions you may have are answered.

Schools reopen after third national coronavirus lockdown, Feb. 11, 2020 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
Schools reopen after third national coronavirus lockdown, Feb. 11, 2020
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
1. Does the return outline apply to all schools and nurseries throughout the country?
The outline distinguishes between localities and authorities that are in green and yellow areas and those in orange traffic light areas where physical learning has been allowed, and between authorities that are orange and red according to the traffic light model.
2. What is the return outline in red and orange authorities?
Nurseries and grades 1-12 in red and orange authorities will not return to learning in class and will continue to study from home and remotely in accordance with the pedagogical emphases and according to the Keep in Touch outline. Educational day centers will continue to provide a response for the children of teaching staff in special education and at-risk and drop-out youth frameworks.
3. Are open-air activities allowed in red and orange authorities?
Open-air activities are permitted if they are led by one educational staff member with a maximum of nine students. This type of activity will be possible for nursery children, elementary and high school students, in all areas/localities according to the traffic light model, without accommodation.
4. Can teachers and employees of an educational institution come to educational institutions in red and orange authorities?
The institution’s employees can come to the educational institutions in accordance with what is required for their maintenance (animals, crops, etc.) or to repair defects that are urgently needed to maintain the integrity of the institution, to maintain the ability to teach remotely and conduct online teaching or to maintain other employees' work from home. In addition, they can come to the institution to take and distribute necessary items such as computers/mobile phones, for the maintenance of the institution, for the distribution of salary payments to the employees of the institution, or for the continuation of the functional activity of the institution.
5. What is the outline for returning to nurseries in green and yellow areas and orange authorities where physical learning has been allowed?

Nurseries (and the nursery stage in elementary school) will operate six days a week according to their regular hours. Afternoon childcare in nurseries will return to operating as normal, five days a week, in their fixed groups and with their regular teaching staff. Children from two organic groups can be mixed in afternoon childcare, and no more than three organic classes, provided that the number of children in this group does not exceed 28. Activities for nurseries and afternoon childcare in regional councils will be permitted in localities defined in the sixth appendix to the regulations.
6. What is the outline for returning to schools in green and yellow areas and orange authorities where physical learning has been allowed?
In grades 1-2: learning in full classes, five days a week, five hours a day. Schools will be open six days a week. (A teacher will be able to teach while switching between no more than three fixed organic groups.)
Afternoon programs in first and second grades will return to operating as usual five days a week, in fixed groups and with their regular teaching staff. The children will stay in the same classroom for the afternoon program as they used during school hours, without moving between classes.
Grades 3-4 will study in fixed groups of up to twenty students in a group, five days a week, five hours a day. Schools will operate six days a week. (A teacher will be able to teach while switching between no more than four fixed organic groups.)
Increasing the size of fixed groups - It will be possible, in exceptional cases, to increase the number of students in the group beyond 20 students, provided that the total number of enlarged groups does not include more than 10% of the existing classes before the decision was made to increase, and as stated below. An exception of between 20 to 22 students must be approved by the Director General of the Ministry of Education and an exception of between 22 – 24 students must be approved by the Minister of Education. 
Grades 5-12 will study remotely throughout the week.
7. Is there a restriction on the movement of students and teachers between different areas in the traffic light model?
There is no restriction on the entry, exit and movement of students and teaching staff between the various traffic light areas/localities, in order to reach those institutions that are allowed to operate.
8. Is it possible to go out for open-air activities and studies in green and yellow areas and orange authorities where physical learning has been allowed?
Open-air activities are permitted if they are led by one educational staff member with a maximum of nine students. This type of activity will be possible for nursery children, elementary and high school students, in all areas/localities according to the traffic light model, without accommodation, under the following conditions:
Each fixed group will meet with one permanent staff member at all encounters.
It is possible to have an individual meeting of one student with an educational counselor who is not a permanent staff member who meets with the group to which that student belongs.
It is possible for a student’s aide to be present, in addition to the regular staff member who meets with the group, and he/she will be considered as a student for the purpose of counting the number of participants in this activity.
All participants will eat their meals separately.
A two-meter distance must be maintained between each participant at all times, and the activity will not include contact between participants.
The distance between one group and another shall not be less than 100 meters.
9. How will special education services in regular education be provided in the authorities and localities where physical learning will take place?
Students eligible for special education services in regular education in accordance with grades 1-4:
The personal curriculum of a student with a disability will be updated and adapted to current needs.
Students eligible for support from the integration basket will continue to receive a response from the integration teacher from teaching staff from the health and care professions.
The personal aide will be assigned according to the student's weekly framework.
Participation of students eligible for special education services who study in a nursery/special education class, and are integrated in a nursery/regular class, will take place on the days planned according to the class, group and individual program.
10. What are the rules of hygiene in institutions where physical learning will take place?
The education system will operate while adhering to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health with an emphasis on wearing masks, adhering to personal hygiene, ventilating classrooms, maintaining distance, as much as possible, during breaks, in class, teachers' rooms and common areas in the educational institution and outdoor activities. The physical educational activity in the educational institutions and in complementary frameworks will take place according to the lifestyles documents that include the guidelines of the Ministry of Health (including entry to the educational institution, health declaration, rules of conduct related to school transport, personal and physical hygiene rules, maintenance of the educational institution, order of actions when discovering a verified case in the educational institution, routine in the classroom and during breaks, meals and nutrition, special education staff, afternoon childcare programs, etc.
11. Will external operators be permitted to enter and work within the educational framework, and under what conditions?
It is possible to hold an activity of an external operator in an elementary school or in a special education institution, dependent on the following conditions:
The activity will take place in the regular groups.
The number of groups that the external operator will meet will not exceed three in grades 1-2 or four in grades 3-4, unless it is a special education institution.
Each regular group can meet only one external operator.
An external operator will operate only in one regular educational institution.
12. Can a student who is in practical teacher training enter an educational institution?
Students in practical teacher training are permitted to enter only on condition that they are part of the permanent staff, i.e. – they regularly integrate in the educational institution, have continuous contact with the students and play the role of either caring for or teaching the students (i.e., not students entering educational institutions for observation or sporadic treatment).
13. Is there a limit to the number of groups which Land of Israel studies and physical education teachers can teach?
A Land of Israel studies teacher, a staff member from an agricultural farm or a marine education center will be able to teach more than four fixed groups of students, provided that the classes take place in the open-air and that he/she wears a mask and maintains a two-meter distance from the students at all times.
A physical education teacher will be able to teach fixed groups of students, with no limit on the number of groups, if he/she wears a mask and always maintains a two-meter distance from the students. If weather conditions preclude holding physical education classes outside or in a large enough hall to maintain social distancing, no activity will take place.
14. Is it possible to study in spaces and buildings adjacent to the educational institution?
Learning in general will take place in the building of the educational institution. In the absence of a suitable space for physical learning in the school and to provide a solution for physical learning according to health guidelines, it is possible to study in buildings that are not part of the school building, with the approval of the supervisor, in coordination with the local authority and subject to the ministry's guidelines for selection and approval of additional learning spaces during the corona pandemic.
15. What is the outline for matriculation exams and mock matriculations? Is this too conditioned by the traffic light model?
Matriculation exams, mock matriculation exams, certification (middle and high school) and selection for educational institutions (seminars) will operate according to the outline of exams and will be held in all localities/traffic light colors.
16. What is the outline for boarding schools?
Boarding schools for students up to high school age without a family background, including students referred by the social services departments of the local authorities or by court orders or Naaleh students: In groups of up to 18 students. Students may leave the boarding school to participate in activities permitted during the restriction period, in accordance with the regulations related to restricting activities.
Other boarding schools for students up to high school age: In groups of up to 50 students. If a boarding school student, as defined in this sub-paragraph, leaves the boarding school area, he will not be able to return to the boarding school area unless he has joined another group of up to 50 students, or after dispersal and re-assembly of all boarding school students.
School lessons: It is permitted to leave a boarding school to study at a special education institution and at a junior high school for dropout and at-risk youth.
In a school near the boarding school where all students who attend the school throughout the year are only the boarding school students: These children will be allowed to walk to school and learning will be permitted.
If the school is not adjacent, or if the students attending the school are also non-boarding school students, the boarding school students may not attend. 
17. What is the outline for the operation of special education? How many days and hours will they study and what activities may be held?
Students in special education nurseries, special education schools and regular special education classes will study five days a week no later than 14:00. They will be able to carry out the following activities:
Work experience (as part of the curriculum Quality of life and preparation for life)
Activities on agricultural farms
Activities at a water sports center
Treatments outside the educational institution:
  • Animal therapy
  • Swimming pool therapy
  • Horse riding therapy

18. Has there been a change in transport operating procedures?
There is no change in the procedure for transporting students during the corona period.
19. Are there pedagogical, emotional, and social emphases for this period?
The emphases are published on the Learning with Confidence website in accordance with the age divisions and the Psychological Counselling Service.
20. There are quite a few difficulties in students adjusting back to school. Are parents allowed to enter the classrooms with their children?
If adjustment is required, the parent/guardian of the student will be given the opportunity to stay with the child for up to 10 minutes in the yard of the educational institution/open space.
If it is required to bring a parent/guardian into the classroom, no more than one parent/guardian will be allowed to enter the class at any one time, for a maximum stay of 10 minutes.
At the school - the school principal will individually approve the entry of parents/guardians 
The parent/guardian will wear a mask at all times during the adjustment.
The parent/guardian will be allowed to enter the area of the educational institution after questioning, in accordance with the wording of the health declaration: Hebrew, Arabic and taking temperature by the educational institution staff.