In the Spring of 2016 Arroyo West Active Learning Academy was named a California Gold Ribbon School, an honor awards to just over 700 schools in the entire state. In May of 2016 teachers from AWALA joined other schools and honored guests at a celebration in Los Angeles. During this ceremony schools were recognized for their unique model programs, and for the difficult work they are doing in California schools today. Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Schools quoted one of AWALA's favorite African Proverbs by stating "If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together". This was a theme AWALA teachers and staff lived by this past school year, and in the years previous, as we implemented our model program of Growing Active Thinkers and Lifelong Readers and Writers. We could not be more proud of the students, the staff and the community for earning this amazing honor.
In 2016, Arroyo West also received a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award. Gold Ribbon Schools that are also Title I schools were recognized as Academic Achieving Schools. This distinction is given only to schools receiving federal Title I funds that aid in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty level.
In the fall of 2010 Arroyo West School was awarded a Magnet School Assistance Program Grant that provided over 1.5 million dollars to implement an Active Learning Magnet theme at the school. The main goal of this grant was to reduce minority isolation while increasing academic achievement for all. The school immediately implemented new curriculum that was student centered and actively engaged students in their learning. The school built on its already existing relationship with Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to implement the Reading and Writing Workshop into every classroom at Arroyo West. Trainers from the South Coast Science Project and consultants from Harvard Project Zero trained teachers on how to use hands on science and visible thinking strategies to teach science and social studies in an engaging and hands on way. The grant has helped purchase books and other supplies necessary to keep the active learning model alive in the classrooms.
In the spring of 2006, Arroyo West School earned the California Distinguished School Award. The State of California identifies and honors some of the state's most exemplary and inspiring public schools with the California Distinguished School Award. The Arroyo West School community is honored to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.