PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III delivered the state of the schools address Wednesday, reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year while highlighting some of its programs and addressing staffing challenges.

Bracy highlighted the success of its career and technical education program and its nationally-competitive robotics team. Both are hands-on experiences that are preparing students for possible careers.

Portsmouth Public Schools is also looking ahead to future challenges.

“One of the challenges, of course,” is staffing,” Bracy said. “Finding teachers, instructional assistants, bus drivers, you name it. That’s a national issue. We are feeling it here as well, here in Portsmouth. It’s one of the things we’re focused on, trying to overcome those shortages that we have with staff.”

One solution being looked at in Portsmouth is the use of virtual teachers.

Bracy said students will still get what they need, just in a different format.

He said students are accustomed to technology and being in front of a screen, so a virtual certified teacher in the classroom, in real time, is better than not having a certified teacher at all.