Israeli elementary schools are mainly small, community-based schools, encompassing grades one to six, which reflect the community in which they are situated. They have some measure of autonomy to determine the educational contents, teaching/learning methods and the use of time resources.
The basic assumption is that the school staff, which is familiar with the needs of its pupils and the community, is capable of developing and formalizing an educational approach, and can then formulate a school-based curriculum by adapting teaching and learning methods to local conditions.
In some schools the pupils themselves are allowed initiative and involvement in planning their studies. Generally speaking, over the course of the six years of elementary school education in Israel, 75% of the hours are allocated to teaching the basic curriculum using various approaches to knowledge, while the remaining 25% of the hours may be utilized freely as the school sees fit, often with considerable input from the parents by way of the Parents Association (Vaad Horim). These discretionary hours are most often used for subjects such as music, art and other electives but can also be used to give the school a special delineation, such as science/math or communications.
Some schools have special advanced English classes for English speakers (dovrei anglit). New immigrant children who are not able to participate in the regular Hebrew curriculum and meet the criteria for assistance, are entitled to a grant from the Ministry of Absorption for individual tutoring. Where there are many Olim children this aid can take the form of special classes.
School hours are usually from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., six days a week, (Sunday through Friday). The hours can vary, especially as they may include school-based after-school activities (moadoniot) in which the pupils can choose to attend courses/clubs (chugim) in a variety of activities: drama, movement, drums, film making etc. Usually a moadonit runs until 5:00 p.m.; one pays by the hour and a hot lunch is provided.
There are 31 elementary schools in Haifa which sponsor a multi-faceted community program. The activities are for children and adults and include sport, arts and crafts, dance, theater, music, computers, science, languages and more. They also sponsor community-wide events such as celebrations, exhibitions and workshops. These community programs are under the supervision of the Haifa Municipality; the following table includes the name of the coordinator.
Religious Elementary Schools
These are local, community-based schools with an emphasis on religious study. The school day starts with prayers; religious observances and laws are taught and practiced, dress codes and other behavior are observed, usually as a reflection of the pupil’s home environment. The average class size is smaller than in the secular stream and averages 29 pupils per class. The schools vary greatly in their level of religious observance and orientation. There are also approximately ten Haifa schools in the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) stream (hinuch atzmai), not listed here, which are recognized but are officially outside the government school system.
For the location of schools in other areas of Haifa please refer to the neighborhood closest to you under the “City of Haifa” drop-down menu.
Registration of Children in Elementary and Pre-Schools
Registration for all schools is at the office of the Haifa Municipal Department of Education (Mahleket Hahinuch) – Registration Division (machleket rishum) – 9 Harav Marcus St. (Map) in the municipal buildings in Hadar – Tel: 04-8356298/7.
Open Sunday-Thursday 8 am-2 pm.
You usually need the following documents to register your children for school for the first time:
1. Teudat Oleh-updated with your current address
2. Rental contract
3. Teudat Zehut or authorization of registration of both parents in the Ministry of the Interior’s population registry(mirsham toshavim)
4. Birth certificate of each child
5. Transcripts or certificates from schools your children attended previously
Registration of children for pre-school and elementary school is usually by district so that if your address has not yet been registered in your teudat zehut you may need to bring your rental contract with you.