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Intensive Site School
in Florida

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School Facts

Principal- Dr. Wendy Katz
Contact- Maggie Rieth
Grades: K-8
# of students: 1450
# of teachers: 94
classroom computers: 475
media center computers:30
computer lab computers:96
Internet connections: 120
Technology team: yes
Technology plan: yes


laurelnokomis.jpg (23551 bytes)
Laurel Nokomis School
1900 East Laurel Road
Nokomis, FL 34275

Laurel Nokomis School is a K-8 school located in Nokomis, FL, near Sarasota, FL. The school has about 750 elementary students and about 700 middle school students as a result of a merger of Laurel Middle School and Nokomis Elementary School. The two staffs have evolved into a single administration and are working together towards instructional improvement. The school draws from three rural communities that are described as "bedroom communities" to the nearby cities of Sarasota and Venice. The student population consists of approximately 7% minority students with about a third of all students receiving free or reduced lunch. The school is fully networked and has overcome initial technical problems by upgrading switches and wiring during the summer of 1998. Currently, there are over 400 computers for the approximate 1500 students and a new CCC lab has just been installed. Technology staffing at the school consists of two technical support personnel and one technology facilitator. For the 1998-99 school year, the school has adopted a goal for every child to have two pieces of technology-published work by the end of the school year.

A Story to Tell: Catching the Loose Ends
Merging two schoolsone a middle school and the other an elementary schoolis never an easy challenge, especially when technology is involved. The experiences of Laurel Nokomis School serve as an example. They are dealing with almost 1,500 students and 100 staff members, 400 computers, and a schoolwide network. There are many loose ends to catch with that number of users and computers in a newly merged school. One of the first crises has been a network overload problem. Adding additional wiring and two new switches has mostly eased that technical problem; however, the next issue has become network software as a growing number of students and teachers use the resources. Like many schools who have added to their technology resources as funds were available, they have several versions of the same software application and a mix of both networked and single-user copies. Students may use one version of ClarisWorks in the lab and another version in the classroom. This has also been a result of growing pains with their network. When numerous classes attempted to use the newest version of ClarisWorks on the network, the whole network ran so slowly that they have opted to use older versions on the classroom hard drives. So, the next "loose end" to catch will be standardizing on software applications and continuing to upgrade the network to keep up with the demands placed on it. As the technology personnel, the administrators, and the staff work together to resolve these loose ends and to implement technology as part of the ongoing school program, they are creating an example of how to deal with technology growth within a merged school setting.
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