Students share priorities with new principal


Editorial Board

On Oct. 29, the Akins community breathed a sigh of relief when Tina Salazar, who previously served as the school’s interim principal, was appointed by the school board to fill the campus’ top leadership post permanently.

Salazar, who has served at Akins for 10 years as a teacher, coach, and assistant principal, before being elevated to be the principal, is well regarded and respected by students, teachers and other administrators.

The announcement helped bring a sense of certainty to the campus, which had been left without a leader with the authority to make big decisions for Akins since former Principal Brandi Hosack worked her last day in early June. Interim principals typically work to keep campuses running on their current courses and do not make big changes because their positions are temporary. Now that Salazar is here to stay, The Eagle’s Eye has made a list of what it deems to be the highest priorities of student concern for her to address.

Standards Based Grading

Standards-based grading (SBG) shouldn’t be a system of grading, it should be a system of teaching. Our current system is outdated, the way we do things has stayed relatively the same since the post-depression era. Standards-based teaching (SBT) is a departure from the workforce cultivating school system we’ve all grown accustomed to.

In order for SBT to work, the notion of student vs teacher needs to be dropped. The idea that moving in this direction would allow students to take advantage of a system that is being designed to cater to them doesn’t make any sense. Students aren’t supposed to kill themselves over these courses and teachers aren’t supposed to pride themselves in making their classes di cult.

This system of specialization and accommodation is what students need to succeed but it requires work from both sides. It is necessary for all teachers and classes to move to SBT. Mistakes and errors should not define students. Mastery over the material should take precedence. Pacing, workload, and assessments all need to be designed for the students to optimize learning. at’s what SBT/SBG should mean.

Photo ID Enforcement

With the new security measures, photo IDs are a way to quickly identify whether people on campus are current Akins students or outsiders with ill intent. The campus administration made a strict rule that everyone must wear their IDs at all times while on campus. However, over the past couple weeks, they have not been as strict on students about not having it. They either have the choice to get a temporary one or choose to just not care and stay in ISS all day.

There’s an easy solution if someone just happens to forget it one day, they should just be given a temporary one and be given a warning instead. If enforcing helps these students to have their IDs then let’s enforce it more so we don’t leave the campus open to a dangerous situation.

Portable Building Accessibility

With the large population of students at Akins, we have a necessity for portable classrooms on campus. The portables sit on the edge of campus typically blocked o from the rest of campus by the large black gates which remain locked for safety reasons.

Portable students are required to go to the cafeteria to use the restrooms and an entry point to the campus. This becomes an issue at times the cafeteria doors will be locked leaving the portable students with no way to use the restroom or access the campus and unlike in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math building, where they have passed to swipe students in and out of the building, portable students are just left without a restroom or access to the main building at all.

Another issue of accessibility comes from the gates that keep the main campus safe. With these gates being locked during classes you get passing periods in which the gates remain locked and in an e ort to not be late many students climb over or through these gates. This leads to more tardies and during a tardy sweep, it can lead to student injuries.

The locked black gates keep the main campus safe but the portables are left vulnerable. A lot of portable classroom doors open outward making some lockdown procedures obsolete. Not only that, but there is almost direct access to the portables from Old San Antonio Road leaving this part of campus essentially open to the public without the ability to check and vet as is done with any other entry point on campus. There are many steps that need to be taken to secure this campus: easier controlled-access to the building, a better system to unlock and lock to gates, electronic badges like in the STEM building and a way to block the portables from street access via Old San Antonio Road.

Focus on Campus Appearance

We hope that with a new principal there can be something done about the general sanitation from students who believe that they don’t have to worry about cleaning after themselves. It would be appreciated if there would be more enforcement on student recycling and composting to help the environment and keep the school clean.

The amount of litter in the hallways of water bottles, paper, and pencils that can be picked up by the students who dropped them shouldn’t be left there with the idea that another person is going to be cleaning after them. The bathrooms are the worst sometimes with students not flushing toilets and leaving paper towels all over the floor.

Overall, we know that these are hard challenges to face and are not going to be resolved overnight, but we would like to bring attention to these topics because we believe that they are some of the highest priorities when it comes to students.