I don't know if anyone knows how to fix this, but recently I had to reinstall my copy of windows. After installing the driver for my sound card, suddenly my taskbar disappeared. It seems it is still down there (tweaking the settings sometimes shows a HINT of it that I can right click on), but nothing I do will make it come back to normal.
I can think of a couple first steps: If the school uses computer labs, check what they are using. If you're interested in using them for school, you may want to have Windows machines or Macs...depending on what they use.