Trinity to boost students into information age with new lab

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Claudia Stephens is on a mission to arm future graduates of Trinity Episcopal Day School with the tools they need to compete in the technology age.

Trinity plans to open a new state-of-the-art computer lab before January.

&uot;The information age has a huge impact on knowledge,&uot; said Stephens, information technology director for Trinity. &uot;People must know the way they can obtain it (knowledge) through the use of technology.&uot;

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Stephens rejoined the faculty this year to teach keyboarding and computer applications. &uot;When I arrived at the school in August, there was no lab and there were no functioning computers.&uot;

On Aug. 14, Stephens and her husband, Jack, visited the best public and private schools in Mississippi to see how their computer labs were set up. They also wanted to see &uot;how technology was being used as a ubiquitous tool, Mrs. Stephens said.

The couple formed a technology committee including Rebecca McGehee, Howard Jones, Robert Paradise, Curtis Moroney and Ann Siddall.

The committee came up with both short range and long range plans. They set up a temporary computer lab in the middle school with the older computers.

The software on the older computers was updated to Microsoft Windows 98.

Upon the opening of the new computer lab, the temporary lab will remain for use as a writing center.

&uot;Every child at Trinity will be affected before we are through,&uot; Mrs. Stephens said.

The new computer lab has been completely refurbished. It has new ceiling, lighting, heating and cooling system, wiring, and a state of the art security system, Stephens said.

Trinity has ordered 35 new Dell computers with 17 inch monitors. All the new systems will have Microsoft Windows 2000 and Office Suite 2000.

&uot;This will be the newest thing in Natchez, Mississippi,&uot; said Stephens.

The lab will have 25 computers along with a projector mounted on the ceiling, scanner, Hewlett-Packard laser printer, headphones and speakers. The library will have four new Dells, with additional Dell computers in the high school teachers’ lounge and the lower school teacher’s lounge.

All of the new computers located in the high school will have Internet access and will be networked with Miscosoft Server 2000. The networking enables the teacher to control what the students are working on, Stephens said. &uot;Every room in the high school is going to be wired for Internet and networking,&uot; she said.

&uot;I’ve never worked on a project I’ve been so excited about,&uot; Stephens said. &uot;The alumni of Trinity are putting their hearts and souls into making Trinity the very best school.&uot;

Stephens said not to worry, the lower elementary students have not been left out. &uot; The second and third grades are getting new computers and a digital camera.&uot;

The school is revamping the older computers for classrooms, so that every classroom in the school will have a computer.

Two extra computers will go on rolling carts with accelerated reader, &uot;and will be able to be moved from class to class,&uot; Stephens said.

Stephens said that she can’t wait to see a first-grader who goes all the way through Trinity with technology as a part of their education.

Stephens’ high school students are learning how to use Microsoft Power Point, an aid they can use in college or business presentations.

&uot;Trinity is a college prep school, so we must proved the students with the essential tools and the skills to use them so they may be competitive with those graduates of the nation’s very best schools,&uot; Stephens said.

Stephens says she owes much of her inspiration to Trinity Headmaster Dr. Delicia Carey, &uot;I’m not just working at Trinity, I feel inspired through her (Carey’s) leadership.&uot;