Friday at 7 p.m. was the last time Lyon County students would be in the gymnasium during regular school session; the senior graduation marked the end of the 2020-21 school year.

“The challenges that everyone faced as a result of COVID-19 were difficult,” said Superintendent Russ Tilford, in a memo sent out via email and social media channels. “However, as a school community, I am proud of the way we adapted and continued to provide services to students and families.”

The memo included material and commentary that were supplemental to the Lyon County Board of Education meeting on April 19.

Tilford announced that 100 days of in-person instruction were provided during the school year.

“There is value in having the certified professional educator guiding instruction, along with the social-emotional development of daily interactions with one’s peer group,” Tilford said.

The board of education anticipates returning in September to a normal in-person learning environment, of course, contingent upon state guidelines and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tilford highlighted the renovation plan for Lyon County High School and Lyon County Elementary School, which is currently budgeted at $6.07 million. The project started Monday of this week and is expected to be finished in November of this year.

“We are excited about this extensive facelift to our almost 60-year-old school building,” Tilford said. “This renovation will set the stage for the building to continue serving this community for many years to come.”

The high school will receive a substantial amount of work to modernize the HVAC system, lighting, ceiling and flooring, lockers, a refresh of the family and consumer science labs, restroom renovations, and other updates.

The elementary school will see new flooring, new windows, and a refresh of student restrooms. Pinnacle, Inc. is the contractor for the project.

Come May 10, the summer session will be held at the middle school, due to renovations taking place at other buildings.

The Summer Meal program returned this past Monday. Meals can be picked up between 10 to 11 a.m. on Mondays. Meals will be available until June 28 but may extend to July and August.

Participation last year helped purchase new cafeteria furniture and kitchen supplies.

In addition to the summer meal pickup program, the Lyons Cub Day Care will offer service beginning May 10.

This day care service is critical for families in the area. Multiple community-based agencies and civil advocacy research has underscored a need for affordable, accessible and available childcare services in Eddyville.

Tilford also announced the passage of Senate Bill 128. This bill offers the option for a supplemental school year. “Of course, schools have always had the means to retain students when appropriate. However, this law allows for students to participate in athletics during the year they are repeating.”

Parents have until May 1 to inform the district of their decision to participate in the supplemental school year, and the board has until June 1 to accept or deny the requests.

The board approved all fundraisers and school trips.

Bids for high school fencing and gate installation as well as gym door replacement and security improvements were approved.

“We’re glad to have this school year concluded because it’s been a unique year. So, the opportunity to have it completed a little earlier than normal is good for us,” Tilford said.

The next board meeting will take place May 17, at 6 p.m.