Launching school year, Tel Aviv-Yafo to open classrooms in city's public institutions
* Mayor Ron Huldai: "We have prepared for every scenario that we are expected to confront this year" *
Tel Aviv-Yafo, August 30 - New and intriguing surroundings will welcome schoolchildren in Tel Aviv-Yafo from September 1, after the city's education system adopted a series of creative solutions to enable in-class learning as the new school year gets underway.
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has prepared for the return of almost 75,000 pupils to school later this week amid strict Health Ministry COVID-19 guidelines, including the opening of classrooms in a range of public buildings and spaces across the city.
To enable classes to be split into smaller capsules for safer and socially distanced learning, additional spaces have been secured at sites including Tel Aviv's Cameri Theater, Charles Bronfman Auditorium (Heichal HaTarbut), the Israel Music Conservatory and Tel Aviv University. Taking advantage of the local climate, classes will also be taught in parks and other green spaces located adjacent to schools.
In order to provide additional and necessary members of teaching staff for supplementary classes, some 80 local artists and performers impacted by the coronavirus have been trained as educational support workers in recent months.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: "The coronavirus outbreak hurled the entire world into a new reality, and presented us with a challenge of an unprecedented nature. Given the experience of recent months, we have made special preparations for the opening of the new school year.
"The schools of September 2020 will be unlike the schools that we have known to date. The coming year will bring new challenges, but there are also opportunities: to implement upgrades; to accelerate pedagogical and structural processes for which the time is now ripe; and to reexamine our educational premises. We have prepared for every scenario that we are expected to confront this year in the shadow of the coronavirus, and we are all hopeful that this year will advance us to unprecedented and different levels of ability."
In addition to opening classrooms in public buildings and institutions, infrastructure work has been carried out in 137 schoolyards across the city to enable or enhance outdoor learning, including greater provision of shade and artificial grass.
All educational institutions in the city will dedicate the first days of the school year to personal and group conversations with pupils, placing an emphasis on enhancing their emotional and social skills.
Shirley Rimon-Bracha, Head of Tel Aviv-Yafo's Education Administration: "The past six months have presented educational teams in kindergartens and schools with management and educational challenges. We have translated all the lessons learnt and insights into optimal preparations for September.
"Education in the city has undergone significant reform in recent years, and school principals are therefore relatively prepared to acclimatize to change, to adjust educational frameworks and to work with flexibility and creatively. I expect an interesting and educational year for us all, and I pay tribute to school and kindergarten heads for their exceptional effort to open the new school year."
In addition to using public spaces, pupils arriving at over 70 elementary and middle schools on September 1 will be greeted by approximately 200 street performers at the school gates and adjacent public spaces.
The performances will fulfil two key municipal objectives: boosting the income of street performers and raising the morale of schoolchildren as they start an unfamiliar academic year.
Head of International Press
Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality