RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says that all schools in the state should soon make in-person instruction available at least as an option.
Northam said Friday that school divisions should make the in-person option available by March 15.
And he noted the coronavirus pandemic's steep toll on children and families.
The Democratic governor also encouraged schools to offer summer classes. Northam said that nearly two-thirds of Virginia's 133 school divisions have demonstrated the ability to offer in-person classes.
But about 40 school divisions currently offer no in-person options.
He said that is preventing nearly 500,000 students from entering the classroom.
When asked if the guidance was a mandate, Northam said he was giving local school leaders "direction."