The Nueva Upper School offers an unparalleled high school experience specially designed to unlock each student's potential.

Launched in 2013 and relocated to its new, state-of-the-art campus in San Mateo in 2014, the Upper School offers rigorous college preparatory, interdisciplinary academics, an expansive catalog of academic electives, robust arts and athletics programs, independent study and internship options, and a balanced focus on student health and wellness. Our inquiry-based curriculum develops students who are resilient, thoughtful leaders and collaborators with robust problem-solving skills, and the creativity required for success in a rapidly changing global environment.

The Nueva School has expanded by one grade each year, becoming a PreK-12 school. This year we celebrate both our 50th anniversary and our first high school graduation in June 2017.

What Makes Nueva Unique?

  • Focus exclusively on the needs of gifted learners
  • A rigorous conceptual foundation in core, interdisciplinary, college-like academics
  • Inquiry-based and project-based learning
  • Pioneering work in social-emotional learning, design thinking, and engineering.
  • Exceptional faculty and subject-matter experts who team teach
  • Student interest-driven academic electives, allowing for extensive individual choice
  • Balanced focus on student health and wellness


In the Upper School, Nueva weaves core curriculum and advanced college preparatory academics with project-based, student-directed learning. Students discover and master foundational skills in traditional academic disciplines while also learning to think about the integration of knowledge, an essential skill for future success.

One of the central pillars of a Nueva School education, Design Thinking is thoroughly integrated, developing in the students a way of thinking, seeing, and doing that increases their effectiveness.

Extensive student interest-driven courses are offered to further ignite students’ love of learning:

Core and elective academic offerings can be seen in our Curriculum Overview.

 classroom ben

You, Unapologetically

Nueva offers an educational environment in which students feel safe to be themselves, to step outside their comfort zone, and to follow their passions. This is the highest form of both self-discovery and collaboration.

  • Quest: Design Your Own Learning: Students pursue their own interests in depth throughout their four years. Working with their advisors and Nueva Quest teachers, they identify and craft their own personal inquiry in a self-selected area of evolving passion or in pursuit of a deep question.
  • Science of the Mind: Students embark on a scientific, reflective study of psychology and neuroscience that develops self-awareness of their thoughts and actions, including how to adopt healthful practices and adapt to situations in daily life.

Global Citizens

Nueva students, armed with the skills of Design Thinking, are encouraged to learn about the world through active participation, identifying situations where they can make changes for the better and developing the personal and collaborative tools to take action.



Student Life

Support for student success extends beyond academics. Interscholastic and club sports offer the benefits of healthy competition and promote wellness. Activities and clubs provide opportunities for students to cultivate new interests and explore existing passions.


Learn by Doing, Learn by Caring

At Nueva, Learn by Doing, Learn by Caring permeates everything we do. Nueva teachers craft curricula that enables students to bring classroom learning to life by designing original experiments, running simulations, and solving real-world problems. Design Thinking guides the process and gives new meaning to the word “failure” as all outcomes, expected or not, are analyzed and appreciated for the deep learning that they bring. Learn by Caring means that Nueva students are given opportunities to expand their horizons and be exposed to issues on a local and global scale. They begin to trust that they are problem-solvers capable of making a positive difference in the world.




6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010





131 E. 28th Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94403