Though the ceasefire came into effect on Wednesday, the Gaza vicinity communities – Eshkol, Shaar Hanegev and the Hof Ashkelon regional councils as well as the city of Sderot – decided to allow students and teachers to spend the weekend with their families. Askelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and other southern communities reopened schools on Friday.
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Before diving back into the curriculum, teachers and students will be discussing the Gaza operation, during which more than 1,000 rockets were fired toward Israel.
"We start the week with discussions, in preparation for which teachers will be trained by professional counselors, so that they too can unburden themselves as well as be able to listen to students," Shuster explained.
School hit by rocket during Gaza op (Photo: Eliad Levy)
Sderot Mayor David Buskila said that schools in his city will also devote the beginning of the school day to discussing the difficult days of Operation Pillar of Defense, in order to "help the children express everything they've experienced. I truly hope that they gradually manage to return to their normal lives."
Head of Eshkol Regional Council, Haim Yalin, said that "Over the weekend, families spent time together, trying to take everything in."
According to Yalin, the staff will tend to the children's distresses. "The first week will not be an ordinary one," he added.
Zamira Ben Yossef, the principal of a school in the region, told Ynet that most of the schoolchildren were happy to go back to school but were nonetheless apprehensive, knowing that it may not be over yet. "But we will be in school to listen and contain all their emotions."
Ilana Curiel contributed to this report
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