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Education Ministry releases the plan for opening the school year

With the approved regulations of the Corona Cabinet, Israel's Ministry of Education announced on Tuesday the plan for the opening of the school year based on in-person learning and with an attempt to provide students with stability, certainty and routine.

According to the Ministry of Education Spokesperson's Office, "learning within the schools and kindergartens will allow for students to decrease the learning gaps they have accumulated and the emotional and social difficulties they experienced throughout the coronavirus pandemic over these past 18 months. Thus, providing students with stability. In addition, the plan is based on providing school directors with flexibility on deciding how to minimize contact points and manage the layers of protection (prevention, detection, and control measures) that will ensure the health and safety of the students and educational staff."

Here are the regulations will take effect as school begins on Sept. 1: 

Green, Yellow, and Orange cities: 

● Kindergartens, daycare centers, and schools will conduct their full daily itinerary according to their given weekly schedule. 

Red cities: 

● In Kindergartens, 1st-4th grades, and afternoon learning: studies will be conducted as usual, within their framework. 

● In 5th-7th grades: studies will continue, while taking action to reduce contact (in orange and red communities). This means: schools will be able to choose, for example, to study in groups or in open spaces, or in any other format. 

● Grades 9th-12th: students will move to learning in open spaces, or from a distance, in the case where less than 70% of the class is exempt from quarantine. If the class is more than 70% exempt from quarantine - they will continue to learn physically, within their framework.

○ How to calculate 70% exemptions: the calculation includes students who have received two vaccinations and have also tested positive in the serological tests - in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. 

At the same time, throughout the month of September, students who received the first dose of the vaccine will also be included in the required 70%, but will not be exempt from quarantine in the case of coming in contact with an infected individual. 

● Integration students in regular education: these students will learn in the same manner as other class members. 

● Special education, dropout, and at-risk youth will continue studying within their usual framework. 

Showing green pass or presenting a negative coronavirus test at schools and kindergartens:

● All of those coming to kindergartens and schools, including teaching staff, external operators, and parents, must present a green pass or a negative coronavirus test at the entrance; excluding the students who are attending the institution. 

It’s important to note that only the result of a rapid test (antigen) performed at a testing station, with approval of the Ministry of Health (via verification or barcode) will be accepted. 

● Any individual of those listed above who does not present a test result will not be eligible to enter a kindergarten or school. Teaching staff who have chosen not to get vaccinated and who will not present a test result, will not enter as well. 

Parents during the adjustment period: 

● Throughout the period of adjustment for this new framework: during a student’s first seven days in kindergarten or school, a parent will be allowed to accompany the child only in an open space of the kindergarten or school (in the courtyard, for example), even if they do not hold a green pass or negative test results. 

Students during the adjustment period: 

On the first day of school (Sept. 1), teachers will collect from their students, in the classroom or kindergarten, a confirmation from their parents that states that their child has received a negative test from the rapid test performed at home. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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