The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

A Recap of the Principal’s Chat

A Recap of the Principal’s Chat

Principal Balas Holds His Monthly Chat With Community

Ethan Gotsch

Editor

On October 27, Alexandria City High School Executive Principal Peter Balas hosted the first principal’s chat for the 2021-22 school year. After some brief introductions and announcements of upcoming events for the school’s sports teams, Balas got down to business, discussing major new developments and answering questions from parents.

Student behavior was a major focus. Only a few days prior, the student resource officers previously working at ACPS returned to Alexandria City High School. Balas said that since their arrival, student behavior has generally been improving, although he said it could be due to a variety of factors. Interactions and interventions between students and student resource officers, as well as any form of police officer or emergency service, will be recorded and compiled to the central office.

Additionally, ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings approved Balas’s request for more security officers, with the purpose of “securing the inside and outside of the building.” The King Street Campus will be getting at least four new guards, while the Minnie Howard Campus will receive at least three.

Balas also discussed the recent “reset assemblies,” in which students are called down by grade level and counselor to go over expectations on academics and behavior, as well as introduce them to different administrators here to assist them. For students who may still be having behavioral issues and need more intensive support, the school plans to bring back a peer mediation program, which uses “restorative practices” in hopes of “preventing harm” and “building community and relationships.”

Some of the most exciting news of the chat was the announcement of new WiFi networks at the King Street Campus. While Balas admitted the WiFi reception at the beginning of the school year was “less than stellar,” he said that the problem has been properly diagnosed and all students’ chromebooks have automatically switched over to the new network. 

“One of the issues became the passwords for the networks being shared widely with students and with staff, which was basically causing all kinds of devices to be put on our network, which then caused internet issues,” said Balas. As a preventive measure, staff would have to have their new network manually installed on their devices by the tech department, which would not tell them the password, thus preventing the new password from being leaked. 

The school is looking to increase cellular reception within the confines of the school building, as many students and staff cannot access the internet on their cellphones, although there is no set date for the completion as of now. A new online security system from Raptor Technologies will also be implemented, which will give phone alerts to students, parents, and staff in the event of a school emergency.

The status is still unknown for an upcoming winter formal, although the administration will be talking with student leadership in the future to come to some sort of consensus. Due to the time of year, the event will have to take place indoors, so finding a large space to socially distance may be an obstacle to the process of holding a winter formal.

The next principal’s chat will occur sometime in the second quarter of the school year, and any parents interested in attending can join via Zoom.

Photo courtesy of Alexandria City Public Schools

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A Recap of the Principal’s Chat