VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) - Some kindergartners could soon spend more time in the classroom.

Chief Academic Officer with Virginia Beach Public Schools Amy Cashwell said in the budget there's a proposal to add full-day kindergarten to 12 schools, which could benefit both students and teachers.

She said, "A lot of times in our half-day program while teachers want to meet with every student individually, that can be challenging. So they will provide whole group lessons and utilize teacher assistants."

Cashwell said the exact schools haven't been chosen just yet. A lot of research goes into choosing them like benchmark and socioeconomic data.

Last Fall, Virginia Beach Public Schools had 11 elementary schools start the full-day kindergarten program. Previously, 12 schools also had full-day kindergarten because they are a Title One school.

Cashwell said the full day has been great. She said they want to continue moving forward, and have all kindergarten classes in Virginia Beach a full day.

"Whether it's helping the child extend if they are excelling or help a student who is struggling with a concept. It will help them reach their goals sooner than they would in a half-day program," Cashwell explained.

Many parents love the idea. They say it makes life easier, because the half-day program is hard for working moms and dads.

"You have to be there at the bus stop to pick up your child. You just can't just have a child go home," explained parent Christine Ross.

The school board will hold several meetings over the next couple of weeks to discuss the proposal.

In addition to the planned full-day expansion, the proposed school budget would:

  • add 28 full-time instructional positions to help reduce class sizes
  • set aside money to provide each student with a Google Chromebook
  • give teachers a two percent pay raise

The school board is expected to make a final vote on the budget in March before it heads to city council.