Thoughts of summer weren't just pipe dreams for West Yellowstone kids last week as they prepped for Thursday, marking the last day of the 2010-2011 school year.
Youngsters turned in their last batch of reports and projects, cleaned out desks, found seemingly lost gym locker keys and checked in library books.
Elementary students participated in a neighborhood cleanup on Wednesday. They had fun despite the rainy conditions and kids in kindergarten and first grade stayed closer to the school, filling bags of trash, while the older students went as far as Boundary Street and to mile marker 1 along Highway 191. Their bursting bags of trash waiting to be disposed sat along the highway and the city park.
Students then returned to the multipurpose room at the West Yellowstone School to enjoy an indoor picnic with outdoor treats like grilled burgers and hotdogs, veggies, chips and fruit.
West Yellowstone School Parent Teacher Association president Jamilee Ridenour rounded up parent volunteers to dish out food and watch children as they played games and bounced in a blow up funhouse in the school gymnasium. Kids signed a big banner spelling out a huge "Thank you" to teachers and staff.
Elementary school students spent Thursday morning watching a film at the Yellowstone IMAX Theatre and enjoyed lunch in the city park with the onset of sunnier weather.
High school students hosted their cookout on Thursday during lunch and got to spend the day getting ready to move up to their new grades.
A group of eighth-grade girls wore coordinating T-shirts and bandanas signed by their classmates, while younger students lugged bags full of schoolwork and projects out the door and safely carried them home on their bicycles or on foot.
All in all, it was a great conclusion to the school year.
"Overall it was a fun and productive school year. I heard a lot of laughter in the classrooms and that made me happy," school superintendent Lael Calton said.
Kids can enjoy participating in summer recreation programs, the West Yellowstone Public Library's summer reading program, working at summer jobs, exploring the outdoors and relaxing until the new school year begins in August.