optical drives could eventually be abandoned by PC makers altogether.
And won't be missed.
That means prices will go down, right?
At first as the market searches for a new equilibrium. Later, at least one or 2 big name makers will exit the market. As the size of the market contracts, you'll see the price of HDDs per GB creep up a little, or at least stop going down ignoring the effect of the Taiwanese floods. But HDDs aren't going away. They'll be the cheapest highest density quickly accessible storage for many years into the future.
But I still dont' think it is a good idea for high school kids to have year round schooling. Once you get to that age, you have the maturity and ability to get summer jobs, or take summer classes for advanced high school or college credit. Despite hating school, one of my favorite summers was taking Geometry ahead of schedule over the summer at Rice University in 3 weeks. We went to class for 7 hours a day, would do a whole chapter per day and take the test on it the first thing each morning. It was the best time I had in school.
I want other kids to have the opportunity to work to save money for college, or take extra courses, without the additional stress of their regular schooling day. I feel like there is a lot of wasted time in schools taking roll, dealing with problem kids, doing route unnessary work. If schools would rethink their classes, I think an hour could be chopped out of the school day and given back to the kids to do homework, so they aren't going to class for 7 hours, commute for an hour or more, then be expected to do an hour or 2 of homework at night.