One of Nueva's unique hallmarks is the Trips Program and the global-learning opportunities the school provides. The program truly embodies our school motto of "Learn by doing, learn by caring." Like other curricula, the program is a spiral one in which children gradually increase their independence.
Trips are also a tool for building independence that will be crucial for when students embark on their college education. Growing more independent through trips ultimately results in an eighth grader being able plan and carry out a backpacking trip and to operate as a self-sufficient traveler when abroad for two weeks.
Returning Nueva alumni often remark that their trip experiences are among their most memorable and important experiences at Nueva. Teachers affirm that trips were some of their great childhood joys.
The value of the Trips Program is twofold: First, educators consider trips a very important extension -- and often a focus -- of classroom curricula. These trips provide indispensable hands-on learning experiences. For example, they may include opportunities to investigate organisms that live in freshwater habitats or tide pools, observe firsthand effects of fire on an ecosystem, experience what it's like to work as an archaeologist, or gain understanding of another country's culture and history.
The second and equally important benefit is children's personal growth through trips. Students are supported in their social and emotional growth before, during, and after these trips through the Social-Emotional Learning Program, which has always been an important component of a Nueva education since the school's founding in 1967.
The many moments, such as when children spontaneously help each other, listen respectfully to each other in discussions, work as a cooperative group in a game, help defuse disagreements, or provide support for homesickness all contribute to personal growth. On trips, children can extend what they learn in school about their interactions with each other and about their own self-images, which are empowering experiences.