Da Vinci

What is the name of the school? Střední, základní a mateřská škola da Vinci
What is the address of the school? Na Drahách 20, 252 41 Dolní Břežany
School’s phone number and website? +420 608 333 567, http://www.skoladavinci.cz/en/
School’s EUDEC contact person and e-mail? Jana Němečková, jana.nemeckova at skoladavinci.cz
What is the legal status of the school? non-profit organisation (ŠPO), private school
When was the school founded? 2009
How many students are there? 178
Which student age groups are there? kindergarten (aged 3-5), primary (aged 6-10), lower-secondary (aged 11-15), upper-secondary (aged 16-19)
How many (full-time equivalent) staff members? 40
How many school hours per day and week? secondary - 30-35 lessons
Interested in hosting interns? YES
Interested in the EUDEC Diploma? We will see :)
Interested in the EUDEC exchange program? YES

Three-Word Answer
Further Elaboration, Clarification or Qualification of the Answer
Does applicable law allow your school to follow the EUDEC definition of democratic education? YES (partially) Da Vinci School is a learning community based on equality and mutual respect. Students at da Vinci School can choose their learning path as much as the state allows (cf. National Curriculum requirements below).
Do students have free choice of whether or not to participate in scholastic and other activities? YES (partially) To a certain extent, students can choose not to participate in learning activities. They, nevertheless, have to discuss this beforehand with the respective teacher/s. Again, we are limited by law.
Can students easily initiate and suggest scholastic and other activities? YES
Can students offer, lead and run scholastic and other activities? YES (partially) Students can offer, lead and run activities in cooperation with a supervising adult.
Can students ‘vote’ on the school’s rules? YES
Can students ‘vote’ on the consequences of breaking rules? NO Students can, nevertheless, express their opinions through the student council and during lessons with their form teachers, which are then passed on to the staff and management.
Can students ‘vote’ on the use of spaces? YES (partially) Students can express their opinions through the student council and during lessons with their form teachers, which are then passed on to the staff and management.
Are there any compulsory activities for students? YES The classes are compulsory but students can choose not to participate in them or to e.g. self-study, reading, or relaxation.
Who decides on the compulsory activities and who must participate? The teaching staff, according to the regulations of the state (Ministry of Education).
Can students ‘vote’ on accepting and expelling other students? NO Students can, nevertheless, express their opinions through the student council and during lessons with their form teachers, which are then passed on to the staff and management.
Can students be involved in the hiring and firing of staff members, including educational staff? YES (partially) Students are involved in the trial lessons which are a part of the admission procedure for hiring staff members. After the trial lesson they are asked to share their opinion.
Can students and staff equally participate in the decision making process? NO Students’ participation in decision making is limited to certain areas (e.g. school rules, learning and extracurricular activities and projects).
Does your school need to meet any curriculum imposed from outside of the school? YES All Czech schools, including private ones, are bound by the educational contents and “expected outcomes” of the National Curriculum. Therefore, we have to structure our school curriculum so that it follows the national curriculum. Furthermore, students have to take tests prepared by the ministry of education, including the upper-secondary school leaving exam.
How is student performance and progress monitored and graded? Students constantly receive feedback on their performance, both from their teachers and peers. At the end of each trimester they receive written evaluation and do self-evaluation; there are no grades. Primary school children also attend interviews with their form teachers to evaluate their progress.
Can students ‘vote’ on managing and deciding the budget? NO
Can students ‘vote’ on the infrastructure of the school? NO
Can students ‘vote’ on the management structure of the school? NO

School Description

How often do school meetings take place? Once a week - secondary school assembly meets on Monday mornings and the student council meets during lunch breaks. Primary school meetings take place less often.
Which decision making bodies are there? There are two levels of decision making. The first level is the management made up of headmaster, deputy-headmasters of the individual school sections (nursery, primary, secondary school, language department, extra-curricular activities), and staff responsible for budget. There is also the legal body (ŠPO) which takes legal decisions.
The second level is teaching staff of the individual school sections that decides on all matters related to teaching as well as on expenses.
Who decides who is in which decision making body? New members of the management are selected by current members of the management. The second level includes all staff members. Individual members of the school board are voted on by teachers, parents, and founders.
What is the parents’ role in school life? Parents are treated as members of the community and are encouraged to participate especially in social events of the school, some of which are organised by parents themselves. Furthermore, a substantial number of parents are members of the teaching staff which allows them to influence the school life directly. Finally, parents are represented in the school board.
What is the parents’ role in decision making? Together with school founders and teachers’ representatives, parents are represented in the School Board that makes legal decisions, in particular approves the school curriculum and economic decisions. Furthermore, parents can join the Parents’ club which meets every 2 months. Parents’ opinions are passed onto school management.
Who is financially and legally responsible for your school? The school is established as a non-profit organisation focusing on education (ŠPO), lead by the principal who is elected by the board of the ŠPO. This organisation is financially and legally responsible for the school.
Who makes financial and legal decisions? School management and School board. To a limited amount, individual school sections also make financial decisions regarding their own budgets.
What is the school building like? There is a new school building from 2015 with a big garden, swimming pool, gym, library, and cafeteria, which was added to a reconstructed older school building.
Is your school (partially or fully) a boarding school? No.
From how far do most students come from? Students come from various places, both locally and further away - some live within walking distance, others commute from as far as several dozens kilometers.
In what kind of area is the school located? Dolní Břežany is a small town located on the outskirts of Prague. It features standard facilities (restaurants, shops, post office). On the top of that, there is a castle, a microbrewery, and a cutting-edge laser center of the Academy of Science.
How is the school funded? The school is funded from public funds and tuition fees.
Can students get a degree/diploma? Yes, they are awarded a diploma for passing the upper-secondary school leaving exam (maturita).
Is there any curriculum planning? Yes, all Czech schools (incl. private schools) are bound to follow the National Curriculum - we plan the school curriculum accordingly.

Further Description and Comments:

We are currently looking for parents for exchange programmes, including class exchanges and other projects. We will be very happy to hear from you!
Da Vinci team