VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Students at elementary schools in Virginia Beach will see more recess time starting next year.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools announced Thursday morning that time will be increased for full-time kindergarten as well as first through fifth grades.
Recess time is going up to 40 minutes from 20 minutes for Kindergarten – which represents a 100% increase. The boosted time will include 15 minutes of recess before or after physical education (PE) and 25 minutes away from PE, the district said.
Virginia Beach announced earlier this year that 14 elementary schools would be implementing full-day kindergarten.
Students in first through fifth grades will see recess time increase from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Much like the change for kindergarten, 15 minutes of that time will happen around PE.
The district said this change will make Virginia Beach the only district in the region to provide elementary students with an average of 65 minutes per day of active movement – which adds up to 325 minutes per week.
That is double the amount of time recommended by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Dr. Nicole DeVries, director of K-12 and gifted programs, said in a statement, “We are so pleased that our youngest learners will have more time for self-directed activity.”
The changes come after months of work by a committee of parents, teachers, principals and counselors.
The district said teachers will be working with administrators over the summer to develop schedules.