COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – The public meeting was a way for parents and guardians to express their concerns and ask questions about school safety, resources, programs and more.

“One of our biggest concerns is that we want our child to be engaged in school for the entire time,” said Nathan Jolles, a Columbia County parent. “They’re not watching a movie, or they’re not having downtime where they can spend time on their cell phone because that’s not what we’re sending them to school for.”

Jolles was reassured by Superintendent Dr. Steven Flynt’s responses and suggestions.

“Try to encourage our daughter to be involved in clubs and sports at the school, to look at different things the school has to offer,” he said.

Dr. Flynt also presented a school year update and plans to build and expand schools to accommodate growth.

He said his goal for the future of the school system is to lead the nation in educational excellence.

“With a five year strategic plan, we’re looking at how can we maximize student achievement by benchmarking against some of the other great districts across the nation, not just in the state,” Dr. Flynt said. “Looking to some of the best practices that we can implement in the years to come and the way to do that so it benefits our students.”

There are also plans to incorporate cyber and technology education into the K-12 curriculum through a partnership with Fort Gordon.

“With Fort Gordon and all of the partners in the area, the cyber center, we have some of the nation’s best right here with us,” Dr. Flynt said. “So we’re leveraging that to make sure that we get the right content at the right age.”

And because of the great turnout, the district wants to have more of these events in the future.

“It shows that they are genuinely wanting to hear from the parents, and I think that’s the way the school system improves over time,” Jolles said.