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The Colt

The student news site of Arlington High School

The Colt

The student news site of Arlington High School

The Colt

Principal shares insight into changes on campus as new year begins

Justice Cook
The addition takes shape at the corner of Cooper St. and W. Park Row Dr. It will house the main office, a new library, fine arts areas, and new classrooms. Construction is due to be completed in August 2024 when the first class of Fine Arts-Dual Language students starts at AHS.

With the start of a new year, “The Colt” met with Principal Stacie Humbles for a State of the School conversation. Covering topics from construction to campus safety, Humbles gave us an inside look at her side of AHS.


The Colt: Please give us a quick construction update.

Stacie Humbles: We’re in the second year of the two year project. The soccer/football field and track have been redone, they have remodeled the wrestling gym and the bathrooms by the field, and they have turned Gym C into the band hall. Finally, the new three-story building has also been started and the tunnel is now demolished.

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TC: Where are we in the process?

SH: We’re supposed to be halfway. They’re currently working on electrical and internet, framing The Cube and building out into the alley, and revamping the softball field so it will be ready by the spring.


TC: What big thing is happening next?

SH: Once The Cube is completely built we’ll move band into it and Gym C will become the dance/cheer room. The library will be moved into The Cube and that space will be turned into classrooms. Orchestra will also move into The Cube and choir will move to the current orchestra hall.


TC: When should it all be finished and ready to use?

SH: We should be in the new building this time next year, yet the process most likely won’t be done by then.


TC: In the end, what new spaces will we have?

SH: We’ll have 16 more classrooms here in the original building along with a ton more space in The Cube. The first floor will be used for band, orchestra, offices, and the brand new library. The middle floor will be full of classrooms and labs along with a few dance rooms. Lastly the top floor will be for art. There will also be old spaces that will be moved/used/converted including the band hall, choir room, bathrooms, and the wrestling gym. In addition to all the new spaces, next year we’ll get around 170 new Fine Arts-Dual Language freshmen, and then around 150 more each year for the next three years. In four years we’ll have added about 1,000 more students bringing us to 3,500 students total.


TC: Now to talk security, why did y’all make changes to the security protocols this year?

SH: Schools are required to have metal detectors because of a district mandate. Each district was given money from the state to use for safety so we [AHS administration] met, discussed and decided to buy new and better metal detectors. Last year we had two entrances with metals in the morning, this year we have three entrances in the morning and two during the day which makes it a lot easier to keep us safe.


TC: Why are some halls blocked in the mornings and during lunch?

SH: Certain halls and entrances are closed in order to make sure everyone goes through the metal detectors and for better flow for the students.


TC: Do you think these changes have made/will make a difference?

SH: These changes already have made a difference. We can tell right away when kids come in upset so we pull them aside and take care of it before they start their school day. Also, students are bringing different materials and teachers requiring less metal supplies which makes the issues in the school decrease greatly.


TC: How have students/teachers/parents reacted to the new security protocols?

SH: There was some push back at the very beginning but everyone is used to it now. We were expecting some negative responses from parents upset that their kids might be late to class or counted absent because of the long lines at the metal detectors but when they talk to parents from other schools where it takes longer, they realize we aren’t too bad.


TC: Have there been a lot of students testing the waters?

SH: There haven’t been too many complications, students have been very understanding and cooperating so far. We have a ton of cameras everywhere to keep an eye on the school and students have been doing a great job using the hall passes.


TC: What are the consequences for not following the new protocols?

SH: Consequences vary depending on the action of the student. They could be written up, sent home, or sent to Turning Point. Offense starts with “coming in an unauthorized entrance” and then escalates to “failure to follow directions” and then on up to “evading metals”. Students can get up to 15 days in Choices for evading metals but each case is looked at separately and is based on the student’s history.


TC: Why do all the classrooms have the tape line on the floor?

SH: The “lockdown line” is there in case the school is placed on lockdown. I actually did this at my old elementary school where I also worked as a principal and it was so much help for the little ones to actually see where to go. The main reason for us here is for subs to know where students should go for a school emergency. It helps whoever is in the room know what area will keep them safe and hidden.


TC: Why were passing periods extended to nine minutes this year?

SH: We changed period passing time to nine minutes because of route changes made by construction and to work around metal detectors.


TC: Will they still be 9 minutes next year since the building will be bigger?

SH: Passing period will most likely stay 9 minutes even after construction because of how much bigger the building will be. However, the amount of time between periods depends on how well behaved students are in the hallways. Usually we reduce time when students start acting up. As long as behavior in the hallways is good I want to keep the longer passing periods.


TC: Why is there such a focus on making connections this year?

SH: At the end of every year I ask teachers to fill out a survey about what things we need to work on and things they need to improve. At the end of last year, teachers were most concerned about tardies. Initially we thought to add more punishments and call parents more but then we asked ourselves “why are kids not tardy to some classes but tardy to others?” We decided we needed to make better connections so kids want to be around their teachers and in class. This year is mainly focused on making connections so the school can be a happier, friendlier place. I believe this is working as students who respect their teachers don’t want to be late or absent.


TC: Is this why students can’t have their phones out in the hallways?

SH: There were many students who would get distracted in the halls while using their phones, which caused them to be out for long periods of time. Many students would also meet with their friends in the hall which is also very time consuming. Last year, the school tried to fix the problem by saying no more phones in the hall, however, a student expressed concerns over the fact that they would be fearful to not be able to have their phone with them in case of an emergency, like a lockdown. Our new rule now is that students can have their phones in the hallways, they just can’t be using them nor can they be visible.

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