All-day kindergarten approved in Palo Alto

Kindergartners in Palo Alto will soon have a much longer day in class.

The school board voted 4 to 1 Tuesday night, to change kindergarten schedules to all day starting this fall.

The district has been experimenting with the longer format.

In some classes, half the students stayed for extended hours two days a week.

"Students who are in full-day kindergarten not only learn more, but their attention span improves," said Max McGee, Ph.D., Palo Alto Unified School District Superintendent. "They're able to solve problems with other kids and interact better... have better social skills."

Some teachers and parents who oppose the plan have signed a petition.

They are happy with the current schedule, and see no need to change it.

They are worried that the quality of education might also suffer.

Expanding kindergarten hours will cost the district an estimated half million dollars.