Markers: Sarasota History
One of the area's oldest educational institutions, the Nokomis School, was built in 1924 on Nippino Trail. The photo shows the two-room Mediterranean Revival style school.
Originally, children in grades one through eight attended the school. A bus carried high school students to the only high school in the county, Sarasota High. In 1927, two wings of three classrooms each were added to the original structure to accommodate students from Laurel, Nokomis, Venice and Englewood in grades 9 through 12. In 1930, the first class of eight seniors graduated.
Those first eight seniors established a school newspaper and yearbook, boys' basketball and football teams, girls' basketball and track teams, glee club, and a Declamation and Drama Club. They competed in statewide contests.
Over the years a growing population led to additions to the campus. In 1953 the elementary students moved to a new and larger campus in Venice. Venice High School opened in 1955 and the Nokomis School closed. In the fall about 125 Nokomis area children were transferred back to the Nokomis School because of over-crowding at the new Venice Elementary. Concerned about their children returning to a neglected older building after having attended an up-to-date new one, and facing transportation issues, many parents objected vehemently.
From 1921 to the early 1940s, there had been an elementary school for African American students in Laurel. Thereafter these children were bused to schools in north Sarasota. When the County Board of Public Instruction launched a countywide desegregation program in 1963, all Nokomis and Laurel elementary students attended Nokomis Elementary School. In 1970, the original school building was demolished and replaced by a complex of prefabricated classrooms. Precipitated by a water supply crisis, the Nokomis School campus was closed in June 1992 and the school moved to the new modern well-equipped Laurel Middle School.