Holistic Support and Services

Historically, we have always implemented a holistic model approach to supporting student success. The majority of Making Waves Academy’s (MWA) resource allocation can be characterized as a focus on “teaching and learning”. And, 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. This section provides information on the ways MWA supports the whole student.

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.


All Upper School students are assigned an Advisory group to participate in with a faculty advisor. Advisory meets daily and during it, students hear school announcements, engage in curriculum on a variety of life and college-preparatory topics, and receive regularly scheduled grade checks for each of their courses. Students can also go to their advisors for general support on a range of issues.

Restorative Justice and School Discipline

Making Waves Academy (MWA) 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.

Special Education (SPED)

Making Waves Academy (MWA) receives services from West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD). WCCUSD assigns staff to address and stay in compliance of IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) for students. In addition, MWA employs a school-wide SPED Coordinator to oversee the progress of students with IEPs, to aide faculty in the implementation of common best practices to support those students, and to ensure fidelity to the 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 after the Core Day has ended 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.