Gulf Shores city schools prep for next year

(IMG: WPMI) Gulf Shores city schools prep for next year

Hundreds of students will be headed back to school in Baldwin County, and so will students in Gulf Shores but this will be the last time as part of the county school system.

Gulf Shores City Schools will start their school year in 2019 and as the first city school system to separate from the county they've got their work cut out for them.

Dr. Matt Akin may still be the only employee in the building but the Gulf Shores Superintendent is focused on the Fall of 2019. It will be the first day of school for the Gulf Shores City School System.

"It doesn't work if I come in and say "Okay these are the three things we're going to work on this year." It need to be the things we've decided we want for our kids in Gulf Shores," said Akin

It's all about the academics, and that's why Dr. Akin will hold a series of town hall meetings this Fall. He and the school board want to hear from the community. He sees the involvement already at board meetings.

"We had almost 50 people at that board meeting. Usually if 50 people are coming to a meeting it's because they are upset about something, but this was a "truly want to be involved"," said Akin.

Walking away for the Baldwin County school system hasn’t been easy.

"And it happened on my watch, I was the principal at Gulf Shores High School for five years. I hate that I've said it publicly, but I want it to be a model," said Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler.

Lawyers on both sides are hammering out the finanes and building purchases. The State Superintendent has given them a December deadline.

The city of Gulf Shores has committed to millions of city dollars to get the system on its feet, including paying for and keeping a trained school resource officer at every school.

Right now this city school system is looking at the number of students they'll have and the state funding that comes with that number.

"We know some students are going to Orange Beach. Orange Beach is building a new school, so we know some students that are currently here will be there, so I think it would be normal to expect a drop initially. We just don’t know how much of a drop," said Akin.

Superintendent Akin says projections show that the student population will grow quickly.

He and the city school board are working closely with city planners as more and more homes, apartment buildings, and infrastructure are on the way.

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