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Making Waves Academy (MWA) is a public charter school in Richmond, California currently serving nearly 800 students in fifth-twelfth grades at its Middle School and Upper School divisions. Many original members of the faculty and staff who joined in 2007 and 2008 are still members of the MWA team. The various reasons staff are drawn to and remain at MWA are: the alignment with the mission, the connection with the students and families, and the dedicated resources to support academic achievement and intervention and social-emotional supports for students.
Making Waves Academy serves primarily socio-economically disadvantaged students of color (97%). Our Wave-Makers primarily identify as Hispanic/Latino (87%) or African-American (10%). About 83% of our families meet the eligibility requirements to receive Free or Reduced Price Meals (FRPM). MWA offers class sizes of between 18 and 28 students and a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Our students enroll through a lottery process that prioritizes siblings, children of current employees, and students who qualify for Free or Reduced Priced Meals.
Making Waves Academy employs effective teachers who have spent an average of five years in the classroom, and our current faculty has a range of diverse national and international experience. Over half of our teaching faculty are self-identified people of color, and several of our founding teachers are still on staff. MWA teachers prepare students to enter and graduate from college not only through rigorous academic instruction, but also through social-emotional education and coaching. Our teachers promote literacy across disciplines and collaborate to assess student work, design curriculum, and improve their personal practice; they also drive the weekly professional development sessions on Friday afternoons. Many of our teachers have a history rooted in the arts, and several lead teachers recently piloted blended and online learning programs that integrate technology to more effectively develop 21st century leaders. As we grow, opportunities continue to expand; during the 2015-16 academic year, the Upper School increased the number of advanced placement (AP) course offerings from one to five. Our full instructional workday for teachers is from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Making Waves Academy is growing! With the launch of a five-year strategic plan in 2015, we opened a charter management organization home office (Making Waves Academy Schools, or MWAS) to oversee our expanding school. We plan to double the size of our middle school beginning in the fall of 2018 and are seeking talented individuals to apply for roles across the organization, particularly in the following areas: instructional leadership, operations, counseling, program management, data analysis, outreach, strategy, technology, and administrative support.
Making Waves Academy offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. This include options for 100% employer-paid medical (for eligible employees and their spouse/domestic partner, or the employee and their eligible dependents), dental, vision, chiropractic, acupuncture, and group term life insurance. We also encourage employees to participate in a flexible spending account, 403B retirement plan (while matching options after one year for non-teaching faculty), CalSTRS (for teaching faculty), and an employee assistance program. Our Academy observes 14 national holidays and offers sick and personal time to all exempt staff; we also offer vacation days to our non-teaching staff.