A phased return to school will start from Monday for younger pupils and some senior pupils who have practical assessments to complete.
However it could be the middle of March before the second phase of pupils are allowed to go back into the classroom.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed pre-school children and pupils in P1 to 3 will be back in school full time next week.
A “limited” number of senior phase students will allowed to return – but only to complete essential practical work.
Ms Sturgeon said she was hopeful of setting out details of the next phased return in a fortnight, on March 2.
We think it unlikely, at this stage, that there will be any further return to school before March 15.”
But she warned the cautious approach could make it unlikely any more children will be back before March 15.
She said: “I am pleased to confirm today that, in line with the advice of our expert group, the first phase of the re-opening of schools will go ahead as planned on Monday.
“We will need to monitor the impact of this change very carefully before taking any further decisions.
“However I hope we will be able to set out the second phase of school re-opening in two weeks’ time.
“I want to be clear though to give parents as much clarity as possible at this stage, that the need to properly assess the impact of this limited reopening means we think it unlikely, at this stage, that there will be any further return to school before March 15.”
Plea to parents
Ms Sturgeon also made a plea to parents to keep obeying lockdown rules in order ensure Monday’s “important milestone” was successful.
She warned parents not to socialise at the school gates in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Please treat Monday’s important milestone as a return to education for children only, and not as a return to greater normality for the rest of us.”
She said: “The hard, but really inescapable fact is this: if the return to school leads to more contacts between adults over the next few weeks, transmission of the virus will quickly rise again.
“That will then jeopardise our ability to sustain even this limited return and it will make it much less likely that we can get more pupils back soon.
“It would also set our progress back more generally.
“So for now – and I really cannot emphasise this point strongly enough – please treat Monday’s important milestone as a return to education for children only, and not as a return to greater normality for the rest of us.”
Teachers and lecturers involved in awarding national qualifications will also be rewarded with a one-off payment of £400.
Two days will be set aside for teachers to work on assessments later in the year.
The National Qualifications 2021 Group are expected to release updated guidance for teachers on how qualifications will be awarded this year.
Ms Sturgeon added: “We have also decided that all teachers and lecturers involved in awarded national qualifications this year will receive a one-off payment of £400.
“This will be paid to part-time teachers on a pro-rata basis. And two days will be set aside for teachers to work on assessments this year.”