Dear Parents,

We hear your requests to return to a full school schedule which includes Fridays  and understand your frustration.

It is important for us to share the daily struggle of the school principals who, since the outbreak of the war, have been putting aside personal matters and working tirelessly to give a sense of stability and routine to the education staff, to the students, and to you, the parents.

The council, the education department and the psychological service department maintain a daily dialogue with the education staff, the guidance counselors and the school principals. The administrators understand the needs and they want to expand the hours and days of school. However, the challenges they face as a result of significant shortages in manpower directly affect their ability to return the system to a full school week.

The number of teachers in reserves varies between schools and directly affects the education staff. This is in addition to teachers who are unable to come in for various reasons (illness, etc.).

Many of the women are wives of soldiers who have been called to serve and have been absent from home since the outbreak of the war. Some of those soldiers are in the battle zones and cannot be in contact with their families. Most of these women are young mothers with small children at home. Others are mothers of enlisted soldiers. All of them are entitled to flexibility in their schedule which includes the right that the Ministry of Education gave them to a free hour off a day.

In addition, the Ministry of Education allows teachers to leave in the middle of the school day in order to receive treatment at the Resilience Center or to be absent during a visit from a spouse who was granted time off for a few hours.

We must also take into account that part of the teaching staff in Efrat comes from towns that have not yet returned to a full school schedule and teachers who are mothers of young children cannot teach on Friday when they do not have a framework in place to send their children to.

In times of emergency, the need to provide emotional support to students is increasing. The support is given individually or in small groups. This effort also requires maximum utilization of resources and teaching hours.

Unfortunately, the existing staff is not enough to fill the gaps and the many hours of those that are absent. The school administrators are trying to reduce the gaps through various solutions: the teachers were asked to give up their day off during the week and accept Fridays as their day off. In some schools, teaching breaks and individual teaching hours have been canceled and students are taught by combining classes or as a full grade. School assemblies, recess activities, and sports sessions, have been carefully calculated so that no teaching hour is wasted.

Even during normal times, it is difficult to find substitute teachers, how much more so now. We requested that students in the field of education teach in our schools but they need to give priority to filling places in educational frameworks opened for the evacuated students. Nevertheless, the schools are busy trying to hire temporary and permanent staff, but these are processes that take time.


Many of the schools have created programs that provide additional solutions, beyond the school hours, such as a play space, after-care, etc... for children of those whose parents are in reserves or essential workers.

Unfortunately, the war does not spare the education staff either and there are often absences due to bereavement in the family or close circle, participation in funerals, etc...



The daily difficulties the principals face multiply as the war continues.

At this stage, we invest a lot of effort to maintain a successful school schedule during the week.

This Friday there will be no classes. The goal is to partially open schools starting next Friday.

We ask from all parents to accept and understand that the schools are doing as much as they can to provide as full a system of hours as possible.

The schools and the principals are facing huge challenges and they should be given the backing and trust that they are doing as much as they possibly can to get the system back to normal.


In prayer for good days and besorot tovot,


Yossi Krothamer,

Director of the Education Department