As we begin the new year, the Mid valley School District is grateful to our wonderful community for their constant support, patience and flexibility.

The district completed the first Trimester in the hybrid model of instruction on Dec. 8. As cases began to surge both within the district and locally, we transitioned to full virtual learning during the holiday period. On Jan. 19, the district returned to the hybrid model.

Throughout this pandemic, we made a commitment to the community that the district would provide as much in-person learning as safely as possible while still providing families the flexibility of high quality virtual instruction. We knew there would be times when our models would need to adjust based on the circumstances in our community. Our teachers and staff have accepted and embraced these challenges and while it has not been easy, everyone has done their very best for our students.

As we progress through our second trimester, we will continue to practice the health and safety protocols that have proven to be successful. We will continue to improve our practices with both the hybrid and virtual models by providing more live, or synchronous, instruction while still maintaining flexibility as best we can for families. With vaccinations on the horizon and as guidelines and conditions permit, we hope to transition to a more typical in-person model toward the third trimester.

Things may look different than they have prior to the pandemic. Regardless, our students continue to excel academically, in extra-curricular activities and in their community. Our students held a successful food drive helping dozens of families in the community. They held coat and toy drives for the holidays. They continue to achieve in their college and AP courses, their athletics, music and art programs and with their career and technical education. We could not be more proud.

Focusing on the district, the recent facilities project is nearing completion. Among many energy efficient upgrades, the project involved a complete replacement of the entire HVAC system in the Secondary Center and updates to the Elementary Center system including Bipolar Ionization and HEPA filtration. The Secondary Center Auditorium was renovated including replacement of seating, curtains and carpeting. The audio and video system was updated and aisle floor lighting was installed for safety and aesthetics. We are looking forward to getting our talented students back on the stage to provide high quality performances from our award winning arts programs.

Lastly, we are also looking ahead to the 2021-22 school year. We know that whatever the “new normal” will look like, our students will need support and interventions to help mitigate losses that may have occurred since the pandemic began. The district will continue to implement and enhance programming and supports for our students so that we can continue to address the educational, social and emotional health of all.

We look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. We appreciate the efforts of all of our students, staff and families and we will continue to do our best for our entire Spartan community.

Patrick Sheehan is the superintendent for the Mid Valley School District.