VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Students in Virginia Beach will see a few big changes as they head back to school this year.
The most exciting of those might be an increase in recess times.
A new law went into effect in July that allows school districts to increase the time spent on the playground up to 50 minutes.
Recess time was originally 20 minutes for full-day kindergarten, but that time is now bumped up to 40 minutes.
Students in first through fifth grades will see recess times increase from 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
This change comes after parents started speaking out about the extra recess times, and the district sent out a survey asking for input.
Dr. Nicole DeVries, director of K-12 and gifted programs for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, said these are golden opportunities for students to develop social skills and improve overall fitness.
Kindergarten is another aspect that will see big changes in 2019.
Back in 2017, Virginia Beach schools announced they would be working on making a slow transition from half time to full-time.
The district said all but three of the district’s elementary schools will be making the switch from half-day classes to full day for 2019-2020. That’s a total of 52 schools that will now have full day kindergarten.
The remaining three schools — John B. Dey, Hermitage and Thoroughgood elementary schools — are being impacted by construction and will make the change at the start of the 2020 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence said in a previous statement, “Full-day kindergarten is a game changer for these kids and I am beyond excited that my administration, working with this School Board and community, have to been able to provide this opportunity for them, for their parents and for our schools.”
NOTE: Here’s another piece of information that may be helpful parents in the new school year — the Virginia Beach City Public Schools mobile app for buses has changed.
The new app is called Edulog Parent Portal Lite. It’s free on the Apple store and Google Play, and parents can use it to track their kids’ school buses.