December 11, 2015

150 pi fairy talesInstead of reading published works for Literature Club, students in Eileen Horng, and Katie Lipka’s group read stories that their classmates wrote.

The leaders thought of the idea after the group read A Tale of Dark and Grimm, Grimm Fairy Tales, and Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

December 4, 2015

150 pi world math competitonMost people eat turkey and enjoy spending time with family during Thanksgiving break, but sixth-grader Jack A. was busy competing in a world math competition in Beijing, China.

“It was really powerful to me because it was good to know I was competing with more than 600 kids from all over the world who had a bigger interest in math like me,” Jack said. “It felt more like a gift that I was one of a couple people who was representing a nation in this math competition.”

June 19, 2015

The eighth grade graduation ceremony is a definitive milestone in the Nueva community. Steeped in tradition, attended by many, and reflective in nature, this year’s celebration was a joyous one that marked the end of an era. Enjoy a photo slideshow of highlights below.

Students got their last portrait taken as a Nueva middle schoolers.
It was an emotional scene as students said goodbye to the place that they have called their academic home, for many, since PreK.
Students gathered in front of the Mansion to take the class photo.
The eighth grade class of 2015.
After taking the class photo, students lined up outside the GCC, waiting for the graduation ceremony to start.
The sun was shining and spirits were bright.
Parents, grandparents, and special friends arrived early to get a good seat.
On cue, students filed into the GCC for the last time as Nueva eighth graders.
While guests waited for the ceremony to begin, they watched a photo montage of the graduates, from their very early years to the very recent past.
As the procession began, students passed the family, friends, and teachers who have supported them through the years.
United on stage, the Nueva eighth grade class of 2015.
Eighth grade Dean Cynthia Kosut.
Eton S. kicked off the graduation tradition of students introducing one another and reflecting on their experience at Nueva.
As one student introduces the next, the overlap is joyous as students offer congratulatory hugs.
One by one, the entire eighth grade articulates what their Nueva experience meant to them and their peers.
After the ceremony, it was time to say goodbye to the class of 2015. Good luck to all!

June 5, 2015

10SolarHouseProjectThe directions for the sixth grade Solar House Project are simple: build an affordable house for a family who lives in the country of your foreign language study.

As students develop the model, poster, brochure, and interview that are the final deliverables of the project, however, the complexity and richness of true project-based learning emerges.

May 12, 2015

Every spring as the school year winds down, the seventh grade class ramps up for culminating performances. Twice a week, for five weeks, students meet as a cast for three hours at a time to participate in either of two Shakespeare reproductions, a modern play, or an improvisation class.

Known as the Nueva Drama Conservatory, this longstanding tradition not only teaches students the skills and processes of theatre, it also prepares them to become next year’s leaders on the Hillsborough campus, Through dramatic arts, they develop skills that help build confidence, character, and accountability.

Working with local actors and directorsLocal professional directors introduce students to a variety of exercises and acting skills (stage combat, improv acting and singing, physical comedy, playwriting, and textual analysis) before the group breaks up to rehearse and perform four to five plays.

“The Nueva Drama Conservatory exposed my grade to a kind of art that is not traditionally a requirement in school,” recalls eighth grader Rose B. of the experience. “I got a lot closer with all of the people I was in the play with, and many of us were very self conscious. That unit felt like the first chance for us to shine.”

Casts are organized in accordance with students’ preferences and students are responsible for everything. Set design, costume production, and even writing supplementary lines become a responsibility of the entire cast and challenges students to tackle the project as a group.

Simultaneously, students take a dramaturgy course in which they engage deeply with Shakespeare's language through analysis and discussion and learn the art of rhetoric using classical models of form and codified rhetorical strategies. In the end, students have owned Shakespeare's language and are able to speak eloquently about his work and words.

The term ends with culminating performances and a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see professional productions of the shows the class performed. This experience amplifies the students’ sense of accomplishment, and puts into context the achievement that is possible through commitment, courage, and self-leadership.

Costume PreparationAside from character building, the Nueva Drama Conservatory also provides students with a challenge to develop the kind of study habits they will need in eighth grade and beyond.

“The two-to-three months I spent memorizing more than 300 lines for Richard III taught me to manage my time and helped me get ready for the 10-month Recital project in eighth grade,” said eighth grader David F.

The final performance and trip to Ashland are timed to occur during the last few weeks of the school year, allowing for the agency, accountability, and burgeoning sense of self that began on stage to reach full pinnacle before summer.


Said Rose of the second half of her seventh grade year, “I can honestly say that it was probably the best experience I have ever had.”

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