Tuscaloosa City Schools Chosen for 2023 CLAS Little Red School House Award

Tuscaloosa City Schools has been awarded the prestigious CLAS Little Red School House Award for 2023 in recognition of their innovative summer learning programs, which aim to bridge educational gaps and provide engaging opportunities for students. The district's commitment to academic excellence and collaboration has positioned them as a model for other schools and systems in Alabama.
Jun 27, 2023 by Alyssa Godfrey, CLAS Director of Communications and Technology

MOBILE, AL -- June 13, 2023 -- The Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) is pleased to announce that Tuscaloosa City Schools has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious CLAS Little Red School House Award for 2023. This award is presented by the CLAS Board of Directors to recognize individuals, schools, or school systems that have implemented significant curriculum or instructional innovations with a positive impact on children's education. Tuscaloosa City Schools was nominated for their summer learning programs.

Little Red School House 2023 - Tuscaloosa City Schools

The Little Red School House Award is a symbol of outstanding educational achievement, and it is bestowed upon recipients at the CLAS Annual Convention in select years determined by the Board of Directors. While the Board is not obligated to make an award each year, it recognizes Tuscaloosa City Schools' exceptional commitment to innovation and academic excellence.

Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Michael Daria, Superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools, the district has embarked on an extraordinary initiative to address achievement gaps through summer learning. Dr. Daria, along with administrators and teachers, made the resolute decision in 2018 to prioritize summer learning as a core strategy. Now in its fourth year, the Tuscaloosa City Schools summer program is accessible to all students, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to engage in an exciting and stimulating learning environment during the summer months.

Tuscaloosa City Schools' summer learning programming is aligned with the National Summer Learning Model, designed to foster students' love for learning while bridging educational gaps. Recognizing the significance of collaboration, the district has forged a coalition with Tuscaloosa County Schools, the City of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County Commission, and the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. Together, they have established a summer learning "backbone" organization, fostering partnerships between school and community-based organizations throughout the county, promoting and expanding summer learning opportunities for all children.

Dr. Vic Wilson, Executive Director for the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), commended Tuscaloosa City Schools for their remarkable achievements, stating, "Tuscaloosa City Schools exemplifies the transformative power of innovative educational practices. Their commitment to summer learning is commendable and serves as a model for other schools and systems across Alabama. We congratulate Dr. Michael Daria and his team for their remarkable leadership and the positive impact they are making in the lives of students."

About CLAS

CLAS, the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, was founded in 1969 by a small group of school leaders to provide targeted professional learning and support for Alabama’s public school administrators. CLAS now serves twelve affiliates representing each type of public school/school system leader. CLAS provides the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support. CLAS is the premier professional learning provider for administrators in public schools in the state of Alabama.