Education Minister Yoav Galant said Wednesday that Israel's academic year will begin on September 1 and will be guided by the need to prevent further outbreaks of the coronavirus.
The minister's plan for the return to school may be executed differently in certain communities, depending on the local coronavirus contagion rate.
Galant said his plan includes groups of up to 18 children for kindergartens and elementary school classes up to fourth grade, to be held in existing facilities and additional public buildings.
Children from fifth grade and up will study remotely, though each child will be in school one day a week to maintain and bolster connection to the school and teachers.
"We are guided by the principle that functioning schools are crucial for the economy," the minister said.
"The cost of suspending the education system could reach NIS 300 million per day, so we must keep schools working for the good of the economy as well as for children's education."
With mitigation measures implemented by the ministry, Galant expressed the hope that there would be little need to introduce major changes to his plan.
The plan was devised in cooperation with local municipalities, parents and teachers and will be executed by the Education Ministry with the support of the Health and Finance ministries.
The Education Ministry is preparing to recruit additional manpower to bolster existing staff and enable children to learn safely.
The new staff will be drawn from retired teachers, students and job seekers to bolster faculty members, a move that Galant also hopes will help lower soaring unemployment numbers.