"Making Waves nurtured my drive to succeed and was committed to my academic goals by investing in my potential, so that I would not be deterred by environmental or financial limitations."
- Ajani Jackson, M.D., Making Waves alumni
Charter schools are public schools. Charter schools, by state law, are allowed to set their own programmatic vision and decide how they want to allocate their allotted budget under the oversight of a local governance structure (or board) as opposed to public schools within a school district whose program and some portion of their budget allocation is determined by the district. MWA’s charter authorizer is the Contra Costa County Office of Education. The authorizer provides monitoring and oversight to make sure there is adherence to specific guidelines and expectations laid out in the charter, allowing the school to use site-based management and governance while teaching to approved California State standards. Charters must seek renewal from their authorizer every five years. Authorizers are more likely to renew charters that are proven to be effective in helping their students meet both the expectations described in the charter and the statewide standards for student achievement. Like public schools, charters are measured by their academic performance on California state tests (which are published and open to the public on the California Department of Education website: www.cde.ca.gov), can be placed in Program Improvement for not meeting specific growth targets for all demographic subgroups, and must meet the federal guidelines for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation.
MWA aims to help students not only enter but graduate from college, with as little debt as possible, and provides financial resources, social emotional training, and coaching to help students achieve this outcome.
As a public school, charters receive a mix of state, local, and federal monies based on the number of students they have. Like other public schools, charter schools receive funding based on Average Daily Attendance (ADA). MWA, like many other charter schools, are also federally and state recognized not-for-profits, allowing people to contribute money and in-kind services while receiving a tax exemption for their gifts. While a significant portion of MWA’s funding comes from public funding, another significant portion comes from charitable contributions, public and private grants, and fundraising.
Yes. As a California public school, all teachers of core academic subjects at MWA must be properly credentialed and certificated.
Students currently in the 4th grade must apply to the lottery for entry to MWA in the 5th grade. Applications are announced and distributed in the spring. Students chosen in the lottery are either accepted or put on a wait list in the order in which their lottery number was called. Early rounds of the lottery give preference to siblings of current MWA or MWEP students and students attending Title I schools in Richmond.