The school year in Israel begins on 1 September and ends, in elementary school on 30 June, and in middle school and high school on 20 June. From the school year of 2012, in Israel every school year will start on 26 August.
(Note from Ed) When Rosh Hashana is early like this year, school also starts earlier.
The education system consists of three tiers: primary education (grades 1-6, approx. ages 6–12), middle school (grades 7-9, approx. ages 12–15) and high school (grades 10-12, approx. ages 15–18). Compulsory education is from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Israeli schools are divided into four tracks: state (Mamlachti), state-religious (Mamlachti dati), Independent (Haredi) schools (Chinuch Atzmai) and Arab. There are also private schools which reflect the philosophies of specific groups of parents (Democratic Schools) or are based on a curriculum of a foreign country (e.g. The American School). The majority of Israeli children attend state schools. State-religious schools, catering to youngsters from the Orthodox sector (mainly Religious Zionist / Modern Orthodox), offer intensive Jewish studies programs and emphasize tradition and observance. The Chinuch Atzmai schools focus almost entirely on Torah study and offer very little in terms of secular subjects. Schools in the Arab sector teach in Arabic and offer a curriculum that emphasizes Arab history, religion and culture.