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MVA’s Program


Mission Valley Academy (MVA), which opened in spring of 2019, is the newest of the schools under the umbrella of The Institute for Effective Education. Formerly the Foundations program at the COOK Education Center, a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited school, MVA is certified by the California Department of Education and is currently pursuing its own WASC accreditation.

Mission Valley Academy serves students from TK – 8th grade through the use of ABA and research-based curriculum and methods. Our programs are individualized to address a wide range of skills. Students learn in small groups as well as in 1:1 instruction as needed. We offer instruction in pre-academics and academics as well as more applied, functional skills.

Our school day is from 8:30 to 2:30, with the exception of Tuesdays, when school ends at 1:00. Most students take the bus to school, though some parents prefer to drive their children to and from school. San Diego Unified school district delivers school lunches daily for students who order it.

MVA’s program has many commonalities with the TIEE’s other programsEvidence-based instruction is essential

Our students require explicit instruction in small-groups with occasional one-to-one learning opportunities in order to make significant progress. Learning to mastery often requires that our students are shown how to perform tasks or solve problems and it also requires that they are provided many opportunities to practice with lots of positive reinforcement for effort and improvement.

Self-management and self-control

It is also common for our students to require specific instruction in how to organize themselves and their study space, and they often must be taught to interact appropriately with their teachers and peers. Some require intensive Behavior Intervention Plans implemented by highly trained personnel in order to consistently display socially appropriate behavior.

Emphasis on language and social skills:

Language and social skills are areas where the majority of our students benefit from ongoing instruction throughout the school day. In addition to explicit instruction in these key areas, students practice and are reinforced all day long for using skills they have learned. As a result of improved skills in these areas, our students become more independent, and have more social and learning opportunities.

A “Catch ’em being good” school

Mission Valley Academy is a highly structured, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) school. We teach our students how to do the right thing and we frequently catch them doing the right thing and praise them for it. It is common for our students to come to enjoy school, to make good progress, and to make good friends for the first time.

A richly inclusive school

Mission Valley Academy is a richly inclusive co-educational school, enrolling students across nearly the full age range of special education eligibility and nearly the full range of disabilities.

Make school as fun as possible
while emphasizing the achievement of IEP goals.
We “catch ‘em being good” all day every day!

"You have the most positive schools I've ever seen!" State Department of Education site reviewer