Holistic Support and Services

Making Waves Academy (MWA) has always implemented a holistic approach to supporting student success. The majority of our resource allocation can be characterized as a focus on teaching and learning, but a significant portion of resources are allocated to a variety of services, personnel, or programs aimed to support students in a variety of other ways.

Mental Health

Over its 25-year history, Making Waves has provided mental health support by licensed and experienced clinicians. At Making Waves Academy, mental health services are administered by a long-time service provider and takes the following forms:

    • Individual Counseling. Students identified as needing one-on-one support are seen by a licensed clinician for a specified number of sessions. If warranted, additional sessions can be added. Students are also able to receive support from our full-time social worker.
    • Group Counseling. Students also have the opportunity to participate in topical support groups to share and discuss common issues and concerns with their peers under the guidance of a licensed professional counselor.


Middle School students are assigned a Homeroom teacher who provides general support throughout the year. School-wide and spirit activities are organized through Homeroom and important announcements that impact the student body are made and discussed during this period.

Restorative Justice and School Discipline

Making Waves Academy adheres to a discipline system based on immediate logical consequences as well as opportunities to reflect on infractions of the student code of conduct. Deans are trained on strategies to help students reflect upon and assess whether their actions are aligned with their life goals by implementing Restorative Practices.

Restorative Practices are relationship-focused, student-centered, and emphasize changing social norms with the goal of creating a positive school climate that increases student engagement & academic achievement.

Restorative Practices represent a proactive and responsive philosophy that recognizes the importance of prioritizing the relationships and connections between all people within a school community and provides a framework for creating a thriving school culture.

The Deans also work to help all students internalize principles that will lead them to compete successfully in the 21st century global community. This is accomplished by developing life dreams, enhancing self-awareness, refining cognitive construction, practicing executive function skills, reflecting on personal values, improving decision making skills, and helping students to identify and meet the psychological needs of self and others.

Special Education (SPED)

Making Waves Academy (MWA) is in the West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD) Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). WCCUSD assigns staff to address and stay in compliance of Individual Education Plans (IEP) for students. In addition, MWA employs a school-wide SPED Coordinator to oversee the progress of students with IEPs, to aid faculty in the implementation of common best practices to support those students, and to ensure fidelity to those plans.

English Language Development (ELD)

Making Waves Academy’s (MWA) English Language Development Coordinator oversees and supports teachers with common strategies that support English Language Learners (ELL) continuing to progress in their English language listening, oral, and writing skills. The ELD Coordinator monitors school-wide academic achievement and progress for all MWA students. Our goal is to help all Middle School students successfully attain Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) status by the start of their ninth grade year. For remaining ELL students, the coordinator works with them to attain RFEP status as soon as possible.


Transportation is provided for a large portion of families. Three buses pick up students in the morning as well as take them home in the afternoon at First Dismissal at 3:30pm. Students apply for spots on the bus and priority is given to Middle School students and siblings. Buses pick up and drop off students at a variety of stops throughout Richmond, San Pablo, and West Contra Costa County. Currently there is no fee charged to students who ride the bus.