New Huntsville school superintendent meets with Columbia High Sc - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New Huntsville school superintendent meets with Columbia High School parents

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Matthew Akin met parents at Columbia high School. (Source: WAFF) Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Matthew Akin met parents at Columbia high School. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Some Huntsville parents got the chance to meet new school Superintendent Matthew Akin at a community meeting at Columbia High School on Thursday. Akin talked about his vision for the future and heard parents' concerns.

A major issue the school system is working to improve is transportation. Columbia was built to accommodate a growing city, both in population and in size. The size of the district creates obstacles, including long bus rides.

Nancy Roebke is the mother of a Columbia High School alumnus and a soon-to-be graduate. She said because Columbia's students come from different areas, the kids haven't grown up together in the same neighborhood.

"Some of the parents live 20 miles from the parents that come to the same school," she said.

Because District 5 is the largest in the school system geographically, many students have long bus rides to and from school.

"We are trying to work with some solutions, having a new superintendent, trying to brainstorm some solutions. Or maybe we have to come up with some of our own solutions as families," Roebke said.

Akin said he discovered early in his short time as superintendent that transportation is an issue that needs to be fixed.

"Long routes are part of it. And that, again, goes back to geography, that it's a pretty big district. So that's the number one thing we're looking at improving is how can we can shorter, more efficient routes," Akin said.

Roebke said the dimensions of the school's district affect more than transportation. She said it's been a challenge to establish unity. She hopes more families will get involved.

"There's just a lot of community and parental support that's needed, and it could be happening through the teacher-student association," she said.

The revived Columbia High School Parent-Student-Teacher Association is looking for more parents to be active in their child's education and for more involvement from the business community.

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