At Nueva we have a lot of special names and terms.  Here is a guide to orient new community members to some of them. If you hear something around Nueva that you don't understand, and that's not on this list, email Matt, and perhaps we'll add it.

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Academies - Opportunities for students in grades 4 through 8 to pursue an area of interest, to explore a new subject, learn a new skill, or to develop an individual project. They are goal-oriented, with a developed curriculum, and led by students, faculty, staff, or parents. Academies meet on Fridays from 2:00 to 3:25 pm.

Advisories - Led by a faculty member, an Advisory is a small group of mixed-grade Middle School students who meet regularly to review organizational strategies and set personal goals. The mixed-age groups give them opportunities to share experiences and to mentor younger students. Advisory groups discuss issues pertinent to their growth as students and individuals. The advisor also serves as a vital communication link for parents with questions and/or concerns.

After Care - Child care offered after the school day in the GCC classroom, from 3:30 - 6:00 pm. See also Extended Day.

Annual Fund - see Nueva Fund.

Art Helpers - Volunteers who support the Art Specialists in the Lower or Middle School by working in the classroom, hanging art, or preparing materials.

Art Showcase - A school-wide exhibition of art from all grades. It is held annually, usually in springtime.

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Before CareChild care offered before the school day begins, it is held in the 4th grade classrooms from 7:45-8:20. See also Extended Day

Benefit Auction - An annual celebratory fundraising event featuring both live and silent auctions to raise money for operating expenses and Nueva's endowment. Lots of volunteer opportunities and tons of fun!

Benefit Auction Chairs - Volunteers who design and implement components of the annual Benefit Auction.

Book Fair - Annual book sale for parents, teachers, and students; proceeds support the library and literacy programs.

Buddy Program - There are actually two Buddy Programs. One links current Nueva families with newly admitted families to welcome them, provide them with a connection, and to assist them with getting to know the community. The other pairs older and younger students for special events and activities during the school day throughout the year.

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Cafe - The Café is located on the Hillside Learning Complex and serves lunch to students, teachers, and visitors.

Class Benefit Auction Reps - Volunteers who work on behalf of their class in support of auction activities. Sign up!

Class Reps - Volunteers who work on behalf of their class in support of activities in the classroom. Sign up!

Class Social Reps - Volunteers who work on behalf of their class in support of activities that promote class community and cohesion through social activities. Sign up!

Common Ground Speaker Series - A lecture series, founded by Nueva and currently organized by 17 independent schools, featuring prominent speakers on a variety of parenting and educational issues.  See

Community Service - Volunteer activity on behalf of a community, also called Service Learning. Middle Schoolers participate in various community service activities with their Advisories during each school year.

CRISP - Curriculum Related Independent Study Project. A 4th grade program of choice homework that allows student to pursue learning about an interest and to share that interest with the class.

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Elective - Course selections that offer students choice among alternatives. In Middle School, students are offered choices of various arts and music courses to fulfill their arts course requirements. Some examples are Steel Drums, Making the Band, Video Art, or Sculpture.

Enrichment - Courses held after school that offer learning opportunities on topics not covered in the classroom.  Each semester, Nueva offers a full slate of exciting after-school enrichment classes such as Fencing, Chess, Jewelry Making with Gemstones, PicoCricket, Soccer, Art Explorations, History's Mysteries, Mandarin Pinyin, and Spanish.

Extended Day - a group of programs for students before and after the school day. They include Before Care, After Care, Enrichment Classes, and Homework Club.

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FUR - FUR stands for Facilities Usage Request, and is currently a hardcopy form that must be completed and submitted to Nueva Operations to reserve a campus space for an event or program. Use of this form reserves the space and also gives the necessary instructions to Operations regarding attendance expected, equipment needed and setup requirements. As of the 2009-2010 school year, this will be done online.

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GCC - Gymnasium Community Center is Nueva's indoor athletic facility and theater. You will also find the Admissions Department at the west corner of the building, and many meetings are also held in the GCC Lobby.

Gifted Learning Difference Committee - This committee helps educate Nueva parents via Nueva Notes columns, parent support groups, and seminars to promote understanding of learning differences among gifted learners. Committee members meet to discuss learning differences and also host evening meetings, facilitate parent support groups, write Nueva Notes columns, and coordinate seminars.

GPSF - see Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day.

Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day - A community-building event designed to strengthen ties with students' extended families and friends. Grandparents and special friends are invited to experience firsthand what learning is like in a Nueva classroom during a morning of performance, classroom visits, and breakfast. It is a half day event held the day before Thanksgiving.

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Halloween Breakfast - A gathering of Middle Schoolers for breakfast on Halloween morning before the Halloween Parade.

Halloween Parade - On Halloween morning, the Halloween Parade gives students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to show off their costumes as they parade across the GCC stage. Music and traditional Halloween sing-alongs make it a treasured celebration.

Helping Hands - A program that helps parents, faculty, and staff within our community who experience an extreme medical crisis and find themselves in need of support.

HLC - Hillside Learning Complex.  This acronym refers to the three campus buildings opened in September, 2007, that includes the Middle School Classroom, I-Lab, and Administration Building, the Library, and the Café.

Homework Club - A teacher-supervised place and time to work on homework after school. It is held 3 days a week in the library.

Hospitality Committee - Provides hospitality for a variety of school events each year.

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Ice Cream Social - Annual ice cream festival for all grades, generally held close to the end of the school year. Students are invited to get ice cream from the mini ice cream stand adjacent to the athletic field and participate in sporting events on the field.

I-Lab - The Innovation Lab is located in the bottom floor of the classroom building of the Hillside Learning Complex. This hands-on facility provides the space, tools, and teaching to put Nueva's Design Thinking curriculum into practice. It is designed to extend learning opportunities for all grades.

ILC - see Innovative Learning Conference.

Innovative Learning Conference - A biennial conference, hosted by Nueva, featuring renowned experts, thought leaders, and practitioners on various aspects of innovation in education.

Intensives - Choice activities offered in 4th Grade for 2 weeks during the fall semester, ranging across the subject areas -- math, science, technology, art, writing, music, and humanities -- and also range outside the normal subjects, into crafts, games, etc.

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Japanese Exchange - For many years, Nueva has nurtured a strong relationship with a school in Japan, and each year, as part of the 8th Grade's Japanese language program, Nueva families host a number of Japanese students for one week. When our 8th graders make their culminating trip to Japan, they participate in "homestays" with families from this Japanese school.  Japanese Exchange week in the U.S. is a very social week, as Nueva students and their families give their visitors a taste of life at Nueva and in the Bay Area.

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Lit Club - Weekly book discussion groups for grades 2-8.

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Maker Fair - A two-day, family-friendly event, in which Nueva participates, that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It's for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things.

Math Club - Offered in 2nd and 3rd grades, Math Club provides opportunities for children to discover mathematical concepts through play, puzzles, and experimentation. There are typically four activities led by adult volunteers. Students circulate among the activity tables to work on the activities of interest to them. It is a chance for students to meet weekly in small groups to build, investigate, compute, visualize, create, and ask questions and pursue answers about mathematical topics. There is always something of interest for children of every skill level.

Math Day - A day of math activites in the Middle School that revolves around the annual Math Counts Problem Solving competition and includes an equal number of non-competitive alternatives as well.

Menuhin Program - Nueva's unique Menuhin-Dowling Music Program, founded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Helen Dowling, provides advanced training for 25 to 30 students selected annually by audition. Children in the program are exceptional music students who take lessons twice a week, study theory, form ensembles, attend field trips, and perform regularly.

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Nueva Fund - The major annual fundraising campaign that the School's institutional needs.

Nueva Journal - A biannual magazine of student art and writing, combined with thoughtful articles by Nueva teachers about aspects of our program.

Nueva Notes - Nueva's weekly newsletter, featuring school news, a calendar, upcoming events, and reminders. This is your main resource for finding out what's going on, and what's coming up, at Nueva.

Nueva Store - The Nueva Store offers clothing and other merchandise featuring the school's name.

Nuevawarts - See Halloween Breakfast.

Night at Nueva - This annual evening musical performance and fundraising event provides support for the school-wide music program.

NPA - The Nueva Parents' Association. Through the NPA, parents assist the faculty and staff in fulfilling the mission of our school.  All parents are members.

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Parent Education - From time to time, the NPA hosts parent programs featuring speakers addressing parenting or other education-related issues.

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SEL - Social and Emotional Learning, a program created at Nueva and now spreading all over the world, that teaches children the skills to examine their own thoughts and actions and be sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. Within the context of guided activities and peer feedback, SEL gives children the tools to be successful within the interpersonal domain. They learn to work collaboratively to create a vibrant, safe learning environment in which all members of the community are empowered to take responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Look here for more information

Sport Court - The Sport Court is located adjacent to the Sports Field on the Upper Campus, on the southern side.

Sport Field - The Sport Field is directly ahead of you when entering the campus.

Sports Boosters - Parent volunteers who help support the Athletic Director and Nueva's competitive sports teams.

Spring Musical - Musical theater production featuring students in grades 3-8, held in the spring.

Staff Appreciation - Activities that demonstrate parent and student support for teachers. These are led by a Staff Appreciation Coordinator.


Science, Technology, Engineering, & Technology (STEM) Fair - Annual school-wide fair providing explorations in the many fields of math, science, and technology issues. It is generally held in early spring, and the entire campus buzzes with hands-on activities led by both students, parents, teachers, and professionals in fields such as computer technology, biology, physics, mathematics, and more. In addition, students showcase their science experiments, and in recent years, have participated in a sponsored "Tech Challenge."


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Talent Show - Biennial, school-wide production featuring students, parents, faculty, and staff performing a variety of talents.

Tea on the Green - Annual welcome event open to all parents and held on the morning of the first day of school.

Tech Club - Held after school on Fridays, Tech Club offers students an opportunity to work on technology projects with other students, the Tech teacher, and parent volunteers.

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Wavelength - Biannual magazine featuring feature articles, alumni news, and articles about recent school events and activities.



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Hillsborough, CA 94010





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


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