Mark your calendar: Important dates in the Czech school year for 2023–24

As another academic year kicks off in Czechia, here's a round up of key dates for expat parents to remember. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 29.08.2023 16:30:00 (updated on 29.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Attending a Czech public school can be one of the faster ways for expat children (and their parents) to integrate into the Czech community. However, for parents and children whose native language isn’t Czech, school days can bring added linguistic and cultural challenges.

We have rounded up some of the most important dates for the upcoming school year to help parents plan. One issue that parents should know is different districts have different spring vacation times, so it is important to check which dates apply to where you live.

Final week in August: Preparation week for teachers and student reexamination

In the week before school officially starts, teachers and administrators are on-site and often available to speak with parents by appointment. Lunches can be prepaid and lunch cards or chips acquired at school cafeterias. This period is also used to reexamine students who failed one or more compulsory subjects to determine their advancement in the upcoming school year.

Sept. 4: First day of school

School will start on Monday, Sept. 4, instead of the previous Friday to give kids one more week off.

On the first morning of school, first-grade students and their parents are officially welcomed in a meet-the-teacher ceremony. Students in other grades have a 45-minute opening hour with their teacher where they are usually given registration forms for školní družina (before/after school care for the youngest students) and payment information for school lunches. Both lunch service and školní družina typically start on the second day of school.

First week in September–mid October: Class meeting for parents and club sign-up

Many schools hold a třídní schůzka (a meeting for parents with the classroom teacher) during the first or second week of school. During this meeting, the organization of the school year is explained, and any upcoming out-of-school trips are discussed. From September through early October, schools hold sign-ups for after-school activities and clubs.

Activities include musical instrument lessons, foreign language instruction, sports activities, and craft classes like woodworking and ceramics. Many schools also offer clubs sponsored by organizations outside the school. Ask your child’s classroom teacher and/or check your school’s website for specific club registration and payment details since each school’s offerings are different.

Sept. 28: St. Wenceslas Day

An official public holiday to commemorate the patron St. Wenceslas and the formation of the Czech Republic. (The next public holiday falls on Oct. 28, which is a Saturday so schools will be closed anyway.)

Oct. 26–27: Autumn break for all Czech public schools

The following public holiday for Oct. 28 this year falls on a Saturday, so the break will shorter than usual but still adds up to a four-day weekend.

November–January: Open-door days

Open door visitation days and virtual tours for eight-year, six-year, and four-year gymnasiums as well as specialized high schools and vocational school programs. Check individual school websites for registration and dates.

Nov. 17: Day of Freedom and Democracy

This public holiday commemorates student political activism, first against the Nazi regime in 1939 and later against Communist rule in 1989. The student-led protests on Nov. 17, 1989, led to the Velvet Revolution.

Nov. 30: Deadline for high schools requiring talent testing

Students applying to upper schools, gymnasiums, or conservatories that specialize in drama, dance, music, art, and/or sports must submit their application by this date.

Dec. 23–Jan. 2: Christmas holiday

The official winter holidays begin Saturday, Dec. 23, and end on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Students return to school on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Jan. 1: Criteria for secondary school applications available on school websites

Criteria for application to eight-year, six-year, and four-year gymnasium programs as well as specialized high schools and vocational programs should be available on individual school websites by Jan. 1st.

Jan. 31: First semester vysvědčení (report cards) given

Students receive report cards with grades from their first semester. Some schools have a shortened school day although this differs from school to school.

Feb. 2: Half-term holiday

A one-day school holiday to mark the completion of the first semester.

Spring breaks by region

  • Feb. 5–11: Prague 1 to 5, Blansko, Brno-město, Brno-venkov, Břeclav, Hodonín, Vyškov, Znojmo, Domažlice, Tachov, Louny, Karviná.
  • Feb. 12–18: Prague 6 to 10, Cheb, Karlovy Vary, Sokolov, Nymburk, Jindřichův Hradec, Litoměřice, Děčín, Přerov, Frýdek-Místek, Havlíčkův Brod, Jihlava, Pelhřimov, Třebíč and Žďár nad Sázavou.
  • Feb. 19–25: Kroměříž, Uherské Hradiště, Vsetín, Zlín, Prague-East, Prague-West, Mělník, Rakovník, Pilsen-Mest, Pilsen-North, Pilsen-South, Hradec Králové, Teplice, Nový Jičín.
  • Feb. 26–March 3: Česká Lípa, Jablonec nad Nisou, Liberec, Semily, Kladno, Kolín, Kutná Hora, Písek, Náchod, Bruntál.
  • March 4–10: Mladá Boleslav, Příbram, Tábor, Prachatice, Strakonice, Ústí nad Labem, Chomutov, Most, Jičín, Rychnov nad Kněžnou, Olomouc, Šumperk, Opava, Jeseník.
  • March 11–17: Benešov, Beroun, Rokycany, České Budějovice, Český Krumlov, Klatovy, Trutnov, Pardubice, Chrudim, Svitavy, Ústí nad Orlicí, Ostrava-město, Prostějov.

March 1 Secondary/high school application final due date

The final due date for submission of student applications for eight-year, six-year, and four-year gymnasium, specialized high school, and vocational school programs. Applications are accepted by post or in person between Feb. 1 and March 1.

March 28–April 1: Easter holiday

For Czech students, the Easter school holiday includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Monday following Easter Sunday.

April: Zápis (Registration for first grade & preschool)/Request for delayed school entry

School attendance is mandatory from the age of 6 until a student has completed nine years of basic education. Schools are required to post all necessary information regarding school registration on their school websites. Parents and their prospective first graders attend an in-person registration during April where parents submit school applications and students perform school-readiness tasks. A child can register at any public school; however, children whose permanent residence falls in the school’s catchment receive priority.

Preschool registration occurs in April or May depending on the particular school. Although children are eligible to attend a public Czech preschool from the age of 3, preschool attendance is only mandatory for children from the age of 5. During this final předškolní year (the last year before first grade) monthly tuition is free for students. Preschool registration is also based on a parent’s permanent residence with priority given to children in the catchment.

During this registration period, parents may request a Delayed School Entry for children who have not yet demonstrated physical and/or mental readiness for school. Requests should be submitted to the school principal and are usually accompanied by a recommendation from a pedagogical/psychological center.

May 1: International Workers Day

A public holiday that celebrates workers and the working class.

May 8: Liberation Day

A public holiday to commemorate the end of World War II.

June 1: Children’s Day

This is not an official school holiday; however many schools take field trips or plan special cultural activities to celebrate the day. In 2024 it falls on a Saturday, so some schools may celebrate on another day instead.

June 28: Last day of school

Students receive their end-of-the-year report cards, and school officially finishes.

June 29–Sept. 1: Summer holiday

School is not in session.

Sept. 2: First day of 2024–25 school year

For the official organization of the Czech school year 2023–2024, see the Ministry of Education's website.

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