Coronavirus Updates and Resources
Numerous factors within our own community—limitations in human resources, challenges in transporting students and employees across multiple counties, and the increasing level of health concerns among different stakeholder groups—led us to the conclusion that the NuevaFlex model, a robust hybrid approach to learning that predominantly involved most of us on campus for large periods of time, was no longer feasible. We will begin the new school year online.
For these reasons, Nueva will begin the school year with a mostly remote approach to learning as we begin on Monday, August 24.
September 11, 2020: Update on the Lower School Waiver and Reopening Plan
Nueva Leadership Team
August 21, 2020: Nueva's Remote Learning Program 3.0
Lee Fertig, head of school
July 24, 2020: Important Message from the Head of School
Lee Fertig, head of school
Eighth-grade biology students have dived straight into an exciting study of genetic variation. One of the major themes of eighth-grade science is to understand humanity’s relationship with the living world. So, the teachers asked their students to grow Wisconsin Fast Plants to discover for themselves why plants produce offspring with variation. This led to a discussion about how humanity has modified species for food and other purposes.
About one month into this unprecedented 2020–2021 school year, we sat down with new interim head of the middle school, our own Nuevan Swiss Army Knife, Karen Tiegel, to hear her thoughts about the start of the year, learn a bit more about our continuously evolving middle school electives program, and provide a space to reflect on moments—both past and still to come—that are at the heart of her Nueva experience.
Since remote learning began, students have been faced with a multitude of challenges that are unique to the times. Dedicated weekly social-emotional learning (SEL) classes for students in 1st through 12th grades (SEL is integrated into the curriculum in preK and K) have proven to be particularly valuable during this time, equipping students with the tools needed to develop resilience, confidence, and well-being.
In the spring, lower school SEL specialist Lisa Hinshelwood noticed there was a need for third and fourth grade students to develop executive skills, such as skills around organization, planning, and prioritization.
Nueva middle school teachers are excited about student-led tutorial sessions this year. Introduced last fall to help students to get caught up after absences, ask questions about assignments, and ask for more challenging extensions on their work, tutorial has expanded to offer far more during remote learning.
With the move to remote learning, and the challenges teachers face of being able to meet one-on-one with their young students, reading specialist Liza Zassenhaus introduced the lower school faculty to Literably, a reading assessment tool that provides teachers with information on student accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.
The upper school student council (colloquially known as STUCO) is a group of elected upper school students who work together to support the relationship between the student body and the Nueva administration. This year’s elected co-leads of STUCO are Willow T.C.Y. ‘21 and Andrew C. ‘22 sat down to discuss their backgrounds, their hopes for their roles, and how remote learning changes their priorities.
For more than two decades, Nueva's lower and middle school students have gathered together weekly during assemblies to share ideas, entertain each other, and be entertained. While assemblies look different in remote learning, Division Heads Megan Terra and Karen Tiegel still see great value in assembling together. So during the first week of school, they made sure their students gathered on Zoom.
On July 20, the California Interscholastic Federation announced that high school sports would not resume until December. We reached out to Nueva Athletics Director Chris Wade to see what that will mean for Nueva sports and athletes.
For the first time in 10 years, Nueva families and students were not able to participate in the parade as it and many other Pride events throughout the world were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. While members of the Nueva community were certainly disappointed, the support our students, faculty, staff, and parents have for the LGBTQ+ community remains strong.
By Anouschka B. '22: This year’s new tenth-grade biology project—“Deep Dive”—is certainly one for the history books, with students creating projects ranging from desserts filled with clouds of chocolate mousse and oozing raspberry coulis to Zoom-made music videos.
For environmental educators, the pandemic creates a unique opportunity to engage with students in real time and on multiple fronts. Teachers can bring their disciplinary lens to examining the environmental effects of the pandemic with questions such as “What are the changes, where do they occur, and how do we measure them?”
Quest, a signature Nueva program in the Upper School, is a journey of self-discovery, perseverance, and growth as students explore their own paths to purpose. This year, with all routines thoroughly disrupted, we had an opportunity to innovate how to celebrate Quest.
In the spring of their seventh-grade year, students dive into a semester-long humanities study of nature. They explore nature and adventure, nature and connection, nature and commodification, and nature and activism.
It’s more important than ever to harness the power that art and music have to bring our community together. I was one of the student organizers for Coffeehouse, and we really wanted to emphasize the communal aspect of the event.
On a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago, families of migrant workers lined up outside the Half Moon Bay library for bags of food and supplies. They also were given 50 vibrant, patterned masks made by Nueva students.
Whether together on campus or spanning the globe, Nueva alumni share a unique and tight knit communal bond. That connectedness was most recently demonstrated by an outpouring of support for the Class of 2020.
Ask a student, teacher, or parent what makes Nueva so special and, more often than not, the answer you will hear is “The community.” This community has demonstrated in ways great and small what it means to come together during a time of great need to support one another, as well as the greater community around us.
The power of the written word is extraordinary, and the Nueva community is lucky to have a group of students who firmly believe in its power and the responsibilities that come with it.
It is important to remember that "diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American” (Source: CDC). Please help stop rumors, fear-mongering, and discrimination from spreading by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.