Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the return date of May 25 on Tuesday.
Face-to-face learning resumed across NSW last week for year 12 students at state and independent schools, but only for an average of three to four days a week. Other student year groups were allowed to return at least once per week.
Assemblies or excursions are likely to remain banned.
“We want to make sure that face-to-face time in the classroom is what maintains and sustains learning through the pandemic,” Berejiklian told reporters.
“But I do say it will be common for schools to be shut down temporarily, for a specific area to be on high alert, for a particular school to take extra measures if there’s a community breakout in that community with cases, and we just have to accept that.”
NSW recorded two new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on May 18 from some 5300 tests, with five people currently in intensive care.
It comes as Transport Minister Andrew Constance warned of indefinite Sydney traffic chaos as social distancing measures force people returning to on-site employment off public transport.
Berejiklian said peak-hour bus and train services were already at capacity – with just 12 passengers per bus and 32 per train carriage permitted.
Berejiklian and Constance on Monday said workers would for the foreseeable future need to shift their schedules to off-peak bus and train transport, take alternative ferry and light rail routes or drive, drop off, cycle or walk.
Constance said some 87 million vehicle movements were recorded around the state on Friday as people continued to work from home – down from an average 105 million.
The maximum number of daily public transport trips permitted amid social distancing guidelines, meanwhile, would be 600,000 per day – down from 2.2 million.
Berejiklian said public transport commuters should try to travel between 10am and 2pm in order to save peak-hour space for essential workers and construction workers.
Socially-distanced seating on public transport would be marked out in “green dots” in what Constance characterised as a “nudge” to keep people 1.5 metres apart.