Curriculum and Instruction

Employing both the proven curricular strategies of Making Waves Education Program and the premier College Board SpringBoard curriculum in language arts and math, Making Waves Academy Middle School has a rigorous, holistic, academic approach that provides our students with the opportunity to complete an educational program that prepares them for high school, college, and beyond. The Academy’s instructional program is designed to empower youth to become analytical thinkers who can apply subject knowledge to solve real-world problems. Based on current knowledge of best practices that work for our targeted student body, we continually update the instructional program and curriculum content to ensure our students’ success.

CHOICE After-School Program

The CHOICE Program provides additional academic intervention, homework help, and extracurricular activities for students requiring additional support. The program operates from 3:30-6:00 pm daily. CHOICE is funded by the After-School Education & Safety (ASES) Program Grant.


At Making Waves Academy (MWA) we believe in the power of various forms of formative and summative assessment that inform both instruction and student efficacy.

  • Classroom-Based. At MWA, students take a variety of different formative assessments that help them prepare for their classroom-based summative assessments and end-of-year assessments. Formative assessments might include exit tickets (five minutes or less) or quizzes (half the period). For example, exit tickets are used to check for understanding tied to the learning objective for that class period. Quizzes help students and faculty know where students are in the process towards mastery of the subject. Summative assessments are an opportunity for students to show more comprehensively what they have learned. Students in the sixth-eighth grades take finals at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters – another opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery at a higher level.
  • CAASPP (CSTs & SBAC) Assessments. Our students in fifth-eighth grades take the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in Math and English as well as the CST in Science and History. Students practice for these end-of-the-year assessments through a variety of interim and benchmark assessments evenly dispersed throughout the school year. These forms of assessments not only provide students and faculty with formative data on levels of mastery attained for each student, but also provide a valuable opportunity for practice for the CAASPP.
  • PSAT/SAT. Students in the eighth grade begin preparation for both the PSAT and SAT by taking the PSAT 8/9 exam. PSAT 8/9 is developed by the College Board (the developer of the SAT and PSAT exams) to help assess junior high level college-readiness (eighth-ninth grades). The assessment data derived from this exam help students and faculty determine where individual students are with respect to college-readiness.

Professional Development

Making Waves Academy (MWA) commits to ongoing professional development based on instructional best-practices.

  • Site-Based. MWA schedules weekly professional development meetings every Friday throughout the school year. Students are released early on Fridays to allow for up to two hours of professional development.
  • Off-Site. MWA supports faculty, admin, and staff in attending professional development opportunities off-site at area, regional, state, and national conferences on topics that are content specific, instructional practices-based, and leadership-based.
  • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). PLCs are being developed in different areas to allow faculty to explore and develop instructional approaches and strategies that support coherent, standards-aligned and vertically-aligned instruction. Topics include issues like the use of technology for blended learning classroom strategies.

Saturday Academy

Select students are expected to attend Saturday Academy sessions over the course of the school year in order to receive additional academic intervention support. Saturday Academy hours are typically between 9:00 am and 12:00 Noon.