Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
The Orot Etzion school in Efrat reopens. May 3, 2020

The children of Israel – at least one million of them – went back to school Sunday morning, except for those in grades four through six, those in middle school and those who were tenth graders.

The above-mentioned students – totaling another one million children – are expected to return to their classrooms beginning Monday.

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It’s been two months since schools were filled with the sounds of children – Israel closed down the schools at the outset of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.

The gradual return of children to the classrooms began about a week ago.

Although the number of new cases of the virus is still dropping, as is the number of patients requiring ventilator support, and death toll from the virus, the Health and Education ministries are requiring students from fourth grade and up to wear face masks throughout the entire school day.

Breaks and recess will be taken in shifts, classroom windows will stay open, and during lunch break the students will be told to maintain social distancing – two meters (six feet) apart from one another.

So far, attendance is still voluntary; parents are not required to send their children under the current Health and Education Ministry guidelines.

For that matter, local authorities and cities are also not yet required to open the schools in their communities either, if they feel they are not yet properly prepared to do so, and maintain appropriate health standards.

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