The ideal of Dr. King’s Beloved Community is near and dear to my heart. How truly fortunate I feel, then, to be living in this present moment and to witness in gestures small and grand the embodiment of this ideal. From my neighbors who daily ask our elderly friends if they need groceries to our very own Rob Zomber spending countless hours assembling mask-making kits to the activists, far and wide, clamoring for justice, for protection, for healthcare, for dignity, and for the building of a better world starting today. In the midst of all the uncertainty and fear, I confess to feeling a swelling of hope and a spark of elation as I see my fellow citizens wholeheartedly embracing our collective humanity. This is not social distancing. It is social solidarity on a scale I have never seen and I am humbled and deeply moved to bear witness to it.
Let’s choose to build stronger bonds between us. Let’s remember when this has passed what was laid so bare for all to see. Let’s make compassion our calling and community our road forward. Let’s be the people who they’ll write about—the ones who saw this as a crossroads, a turning point, the moment we decided to make real the Beloved Community. Let’s be brave and powerful, at times faltering, yet far-sighted and fearless in our dreams for this world, this planet, and ourselves.
– Alegria Barclay, Equity & Social Justice Director
There are big ways and small ways that members of our community have built our Beloved Community. We invite you to contribute to this page by clicking the image above and sharing a story of kindness, optimism, joy, and hope.
Click on the stories below and read about Nueva's Beloved Community.
We are excited to introduce our new justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) student support and programming coordinator for preK through sixth grade, B Garcia.
Kindergarten associate teacher Carrie Stouffer has been named Nueva’s first lower school environmental citizenship ambassador. The role of the environmental citizenship ambassador evolved from the school’s desire to build strong, responsive, and effective relationships with faculty and division heads in all three divisions.
Following his recent reelection to the California state legislature, Assemblymember Rob Bonta commemorated Filipino American History Month at an event organized by Nueva’s Filipino Club. Bonta shared how his identity as a Filipino American influenced his political career, which has been devoted to promoting social justice, inclusion, equity, and opportunity. As I listened to Assemblymember Bonta share his perspective on what it means to be Filipino, I reflected on my own Filipino identity.
This morning Upper School Division Head Liza Raynal and Tom Dorrance, upper school history teacher, led an all-division meeting to respond to yesterday’s events. They both presented reflections on what happened and affirmations of what we value as an institution, most notably democracy. Read on for a transcript of Tom’s speech.
November is Native American Heritage Month, a fact that often gets overlooked in the midst of parent-teacher conferences and Thanksgiving holiday planning. This year at Nueva, we wanted to focus more intently on Native American history and, specifically, our relationship to the land that Nueva rests upon and our responsibility as an institution to bear witness to the history of this soil.
At Nueva, social-emotional learning is embedded in everything we do and is the foundation of the Nueva culture. It is during usual times and unusual times—like the one we find ourselves in—when SEL is on full display. From SEL classes and advisories to math, humanities, and electives, here are ten ways that SEL supports Nueva students emotionally, at a distance and when adapting to new social norms in the classroom.
The story had all the makings of a Hollywood movie: a secret mission, an interview with the KGB, and the successful rescue of more than 2 million persecuted people. This was the true story shared by Adele and Joel Sandberg at an upper school Judaism Club event on the last Friday in October.
This month, students in Weixia’s class celebrated 中秋节 or zhōng qiū jié (the Mid-Autumn Festival), a traditional event celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian people. With their parents, students watched the full moon, recited an ancient poem, and gave their parents a handmade card of appreciation. These activities were part of their process of immersing themselves in Chinese culture, an important part of learning the language, and they also offered an opportunity for students to share their learning with their families.
My connection with my Latino heritage is very meaningful to me; however, this connection was one that I had to work to find. My grandparents did not always involve my parents in aspects of our Latino culture because it was often looked down upon in schools and in the world. With my parents being left out of many traditions, it made it harder for them to share this aspect of our identity with my sister and me. Part of this disconnect feels inevitable, as being third or fourth generation Americans means we associate more with our American history.
Founded in 1982, the Nueva Lit Club curriculum has provided middle school students with many opportunities over the years to practice reading strategies and literary analysis. This year, students have been faced with a challenging and changing world—in all of their classes, Nueva students have engaged in complex conversations and have raised important questions about race and social justice issues that were reignited this past summer.
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.
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.
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.
After learning about the rise in anti-Asian discrimination, Joshua K. wrote a song to remind us that we're "All the Same."
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.
Coming together as a community is critical in combating any kind of discrimination, particularly when it arises from fear and ignorance. As Asian American activist groups began to respond to this current manifestation of racism, I focused on new ways I could stand up for my community, against ignorant or hateful acts targeting Asian Americans.
Sophomore grade-level representative Andrew C. recognized the need to create connections between his sophomore peers and the senior class.
Nueva teachers from prekindergarten through twelfth grade have been learning by doing, adapting their curricula and utilizing digital technologies to bring their classes into an online space.
Our concert series, Succulent Sound Garden, is adapting to the times. We’re now Sofa Sound Garden! From living rooms to kitchen tables, backyards to garages, Nueva students and faculty will continue to share their love of music from home.
Rachel has been a trivia buff for many years, and she is sharing her love of knowledge with the Nueva community. Rachel recently hosted two trivia nights, one for Nueva seniors and the other for faculty and staff members.
Twenty-one Upper School Students, faculty and staff members participated in the WRC’s Poetry Aloud on Wednesday afternoon, a virtual poetry reading bursting with creativity.
Did you miss the One World: Together at Home concert? Here's your chance for another musical feast! Gather your family around our virtual stage and enjoy a community concert presented by the Menuhin-Dowling program.