Changes to Catchment Areas in Karlín

Vít Hassan

In the Prague district of Karlín, the city council has approved changes to catchment areas for schoolchildren. The changes aim to ensure that further property development on Rohanské nábřeží will not be part of the catchment area for Lyčkovo náměstí primary and nursery school. The school exceeded its capacity during this year’s admissions process for first grade, leading to a random lottery selection process, which was met with criticism from locals.

The changes to catchment areas will involve the removal of eight streets from the ZŠ and MŠ Lyčkovo náměstí catchment area and three lanes from the ZŠ and MŠ Petra Strozziho catchment area. All eleven roads will be incorporated into the catchment area for ZŠ Palmovka.

The move comes in response to a petition by parents in the Karlín area calling for action to be taken to address the accessibility and quality of local schools. The petition suggested finding measures to enable children to receive continuous education in their residence and where they previously attended kindergarten or a preparatory year of primary school.

The decision to change catchment areas will require an amendment to the binding decree of the City of Prague No. 1/2023 on catchment areas for primary schools.

Earlier this year, the Lyčkovo náměstí school drew criticism when it was revealed that a random lottery would be used to determine which students would be accepted into the first grade to address capacity issues. The lottery was eventually canceled due to pressure from parents, and the school will open a fifth first-grade class in September, but this is only a temporary solution to the problem.

The changes to catchment areas are expected to address the overcrowding issue in local schools and ensure that children can receive education in a stable and reliable environment. These changes will also prevent further property development from exacerbating the existing capacity problem.