On the last day of school in the rural town of Cairo, on the southernmost tip of Illinois, the fire truck ran its hoses so kids could cool off in the sweltering heat. The staff barbecued burgers and hot dogs.
It was a light-hearted anecdote to what had been another tough year.
After a precipitous decline since 2012, enrollment dropped by another 100 or so students. This year there were only 26 seniors in the graduating class.