APA’s Board of Educational Affairs gave Clover its first “Golden
Psi Award,” a $1,000 prize that recognizes schools that use
evidence-based psychological science and measurement to
facilitate students’ academic, social and emotional growth.
The award recognizes schools that use effective and innovative
environments for student learning and development, says Tammy
Hughes, PhD, professor and chair of counseling, education and
special education at Duquesne University.
“It’s about how psychology can help schools measure what
is working, what is not working and then help educators make
adjustments at the individual, classroom or program level,” says
Hughes, who chaired the BEA task force that developed the award.
BEA plans to give one award per year to a school that best
exemplifies those criteria, says Hughes. Each year, the school
will be chosen from the same region that hosts APA’s Annual
Convention. That way the application process will have a local
feel and will enable BEA task force members and other APA
representatives to invite local educators to highlight the award
and share ways APA can help schools meet their goals, Hughes
Affairs’ Golden Psi Award recognizes K– 12
schools that use psychological knowledge
to foster children’s academic, social and
Clover Avenue Elementary School in West Los Angeles was the only one among more than 650 schools in the L.A. Unified School District to receive a 2012 National
Blue Ribbon Award, a U.S. Department of Education accolade
that recognizes K– 12 schools that show significant student
achievement or improvement. Its test scores tell why: 97 percent
of fifth-graders in 2011–12 scored “proficient” or above on
California’s standardized math tests, and 90 percent did equally
well on reading tests.
Academic prowess is just part of Clover Elementary’s success.
The school also prides itself on supporting the whole child. It
offers mentoring programs where older kids help younger kids
with basic skills, reading and play. It offers a team approach
to teaching and academic activities. It encourages a high level
of parental involvement. And it promotes community-service
activities for children, like getting them involved in recycling.
“When kids start to see that being successful includes the
social and emotional side of things, it gives them a deeper sense
of themselves, and they’re more receptive to learning,” says the
school’s principal, Sharon Fabian.
In recognition of those characteristics and more, this year,
BY TORI DEANGELIS