VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Most students and teachers in Virginia return to school Tuesday, and elementary students in Virginia Beach are getting more time on the playground this school year.

Virginia Beach Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kipp Rogers said the decision came after months of research and surveys from parents and staff.

“Physical activity is connected to social, emotional learning which of course give kids the opportunity to decompress from the rigorous learning that takes place during the school day," Dr. Rogers said.

For kindergartners, recess will be doubled from 20 to 40 minutes a day. Students in first through fifth grade will go from 20 to now 30 minutes a day. The school district touts that as twice the active-movement time recommended by the state. 

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“Recess will be split into two, with half happening because physical education class and the other half happening after physical education class," Dr, Rogers said.

Dr. Rogers said you won’t get an argument from educators that movement is good for students.

“I think long-term goal students will have more opportunity to be more focused in school," Dr. Rogers said. "They’ll have more opportunity to be more attentive while in class. We anticipate that misbehavior during class will go down.”

Students will have a choice for how they spend recess: Either playing with friends, walking, reading or just socializing. It can be held either outdoor and indoor, depending on the weather.

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