Here in East Central Illinois many school districts are in the final days of the 2008-09 school year. Here at PHS we are actually making up for five weather related emergency days we had to take during the winter months. I would like to say that what we are doing these last days is educationally sound and we are making the best of the tax payers money being spent on salaries, supplies, and utilities. We hold finals during the last three days of the year so there are some high stakes evaluations for students, but I am sure that the anticipation of nearly 80 days off from school is negatively affecting attitudes and efforts! (I saw a letter come home announcing the countdown to the end of the year in LATE FEBRUARY! grrrrr!) Next year we will open the doors to a fresh new year and spend at least three or four weeks getting the school term up to speed. A lot of crucial review will be done, making up for lost ground over the summer. (or is it that school, the way it is done, slows down the learning processes that occur at work and at play in summer?) School does not have to end this way. A full year calendar that adds several weeks to the now outdated agrarian calendar should be considered. Let’s spend some of this stimulus money (if we have to do it) on modern school buildings that are air conditioned and equipped for 21st Century learning. Let’s revolutionize schools and make everyday meaningful and engaging for both teachers and students by integrating technology and modern skill sets into every corner of our curriculum…..well better get back to my stimulus shopping catalogue….only so many days to spend it, then I need a few months off!