CLAS School of Distinction

Teachers in the arts program at Collins Intermediate School are, from left, Betsy Parks, who teaches art; Matt Brewer, who teaches drama and Allison Haley, who is the band director and music teacher. Collins was recently selected as a CLAS School of Distinction due their outstanding programs such as the arts. The school will be recognized in May  at the CLAS Awards Luncheon, and the banner school for each school district will be named at that time.

Collins Intermediate School has been selected as a CLAS(Council for Leadership in Alabama Schools) School of Distinction.  Collins is one of 31 schools chosen for this honor from over 1,600 schools in Alabama.

“We are thrilled to be selected!” said Collins Principal Jason Hass.

“We feel this distinction recognizes the dedication and work all of our teachers and students do on a daily basis,” Hass added.  “We have a great school!  We try not to keep that a secret!”

Scottsboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jay Reyes nominated Collins as a CLAS Banner School back in the fall. He nominated Collins due to their Project Lead the Way engineering/biomedical program and the music, drama, and art programs.

Collins will be recognized at the CLAS awards luncheon in May. At that time the  CLAS Banner School from each State School District will be announced.  The CLAS Banner School Program was created in 2001 to recognize Alabama schools that demonstrate outstanding programs and service to their students.   

 “It feels wonderful to be recognized for having done a good job with something that often doesn’t even feel like work,” said Betsy Parks, Collins art teacher.  “Teaching art at Collins has been and continues to be the best job I’ve ever had!  The icing on the cake is having other fine arts teachers here that are not only my team members but also my friends.”

In addition to Parks, there are two other teachers in the arts program at Collins.  Matt Brewer leads the Drama Club, and Allison Haley is the band director and music teacher.

  Collins is one of the few elementary schools in Alabama to have such a rich array of options for students in the arts. This allows the students to be exposed to arts programs that will create enthusiasm for education while providing meaningful opportunities for enrichment.

 “We are proud to provide out kids with opportunities to discover what they are passionate about,” said Hass.  “We feel strongly that if we offer children a program they love, they will love coming to school.”

The Collins Drama Club continues to grow. The program which started out with 32 students has now tripled in enrollment.  Members include students at Collins as well as junior high students.  The main goal of the Drama Club is to provide the students with an all-around theatrical experience through productions. 

The Drama Club has increased the number of performances offered to the community as well as school performances.  They were honored in 2019 as being the host for the first North Alabama Youth Theatre Festival sponsored by the Alabama Conference of Theatre based out of Montgomery. Drama has been added as one of the electives for the students.

Daily attendance has increased by 1.6 percent at Collins.  Hass attributes this to greater classroom engagement and fun with student learning.  Collins was named as the People’s Choice Best Elementary School in Jackson County in 2019-2020.  The school system has been named by as one of the top 25 school systems in Alabama.

During the 2019-2020 school year at Collins every CIS subgroup made greater gains on the Renaissance Star 360 Assessments than the majority group in both reading and math.  

Hass said, “Programs such as drama help our students maintain enthusiasm and interest in their education, thereby helping our students show achievement in routine assessments.”

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