Use the tabs below to see glossary entries.
Advisories | Middle School, Upper School — Faculty-led advisory groups meet regularly to help students build friendships, set personal goals, practice kindness and empathy through community service, prepare for grade-level trips, and develop relationships among the whole grade. Advisory groups are small to emphasize a family-like structure; these are safe spaces for students to practice self-advocacy and self-realization as well as to have fun! Advisors are advocates for the students and are a vital communication link between parents and the school.
Art Helpers | All School — Volunteers who support the art specialists in all divisions by hanging and presenting art. In the lower and middle schools, art helpers also work in the classroom and help preparing materials.
Art Showcase | All School — A school-wide exhibition of art from all grades.
Before-Care | Lower School, Middle School — Child care offered before the school day begins, from 7:30 to 8:20 am.
Beloved Community | All School — At Nueva, our vision for the future is rooted in the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who boldly declared, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
Benefit Auction | All School — An annual celebratory fundraising event featuring live, online, and silent auctions to raise money for financial aid for students and professional development opportunities for our faculty and staff. Lots of volunteer opportunities and tons of fun!
Book Fair | All School — An annual book sale where students, parents, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to choose from a large selection. Proceeds support the library at the Hillsborough campus and the Writing and Research Center at the San Mateo campus.
Buddy Program | All School — A program that links new students and their families with current Nueva families who support their integration into the Nueva community.
Café | All School — Nueva’s cafés, one at each campus, serve lunch to students, faculty, staff, and visitors and are gathering places for social events and meetings. The Hillsborough Café is located in the Hillside Learning Complex and the San Mateo Café is located adjacent to the Blue Reception Desk above the parking garage. Lunch is catered by Epicurean Group. Epicurean Group develops organic, seasonal, delicious menus that cater to both the dietary needs and wants of students.
Coffeehouse | Upper School — Started in 2018 by upper school students, the event aims to provide a time and place for members of the Nueva community to showcase their talents in music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and more. There are two events every school year, one in the winter and one in the spring.
College Counseling | Upper School — Nueva's College Counseling Team comprises industry experts prepared to advise and guide upper school students through the college decision-making process.
Common Ground Speaker Series | All School — A parent-education consortium co-founded by Nueva, this series features prominent speakers, topics, and special events designed to inform, engage, and inspire. Founded in 2002 with eight member schools, Common Ground now represents more than 30 schools with events held at venues on the Peninsula.
CRISP (Curriculum Related Independent Study Project) | Lower School — A fourth-grade program of choice homework that allows student to pursue learning about an interest and to share that interest with the class.
Design Thinking | All School — A process for creative problem-solving and a pillar of Nueva's learning approach. Design thinking—empathy-centered design—asks students to put themselves into someone else’s shoes in order to understand their needs and create meaningful solutions.
Design Thinking Institute | All School — The Design Thinking Institute (DTI) is our annual summer institute dedicated to sharing design thinking practices and processes with other educators.
Elective | Middle School, Upper School — Course selections that offer students choices among classes. In the middle school, seventh- and eighth-graders choose two electives each semester from a wide range of topics, including music; visual, performing, and literary arts; programming; robotics; and innovative courses spanning disciplines such as Science Rap Academy and Light, Sound, and Motion with Arduinos. In the upper school, electives are the vast array of classes giving students unparalleled choices to meet their graduation requirements while charting their personal academic journey through high school. From researching mechanisms of cancer and designing innovative products to creating student publications and sculpting ceramic figures, there are a plethora of opportunities students can choose from to fill their schedules.
Enrichment | Lower School, Middle School — 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 Steel Drums, Mad Scientists, Mathematical Puzzles and Game Design, Dance, Computer Science, Chess, Soccer, Dance, Theater, Art, and Nature. Enrichment classes are open to all Bay Area K–8 students.
Environmental Citizenship | All School — A pillar of Nueva's learning approach which draws on the sciences, humanities, and arts to understand complex environmental challenges and develop students’ mindsets as empathetic, innovative, and resilient solutionaries.
Financial Awards | All School — Nueva distributes over $5.5 million of need-based financial awards and is deeply committed to removing the obstacle of affordability for qualified students who would not otherwise be able to attend.
GCC (Gymnasium Community Center) | Lower School, Middle School — The GCC is Nueva's indoor athletic facility and theater on the Hillsborough campus. You will find the Admissions Office at the west corner of the building, and many meetings are also held in the GCC Lobby.
Global Citizenship | All School — One of the foundational pillars of the Nueva experience, global citizenship encourages students to engage with cultures and practices very different than their own. From PreK to 12, starting with exposure to and celebration of diverse perspectives, we prepare students to understand, communicate, and solve problems in this interconnected world.
Grade Leads | All School — Nueva Parents Association volunteers who work on behalf of their grade to coordinate community-building social activities for parents and families throughout the year. Grade Leads communicate regularly about major grade-, class-, or school-wide events.
Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day (GPSF) | All School — GPSF Day is an opportunity for students to share their extraordinary school with the special adults in their lives. Guests are invited to a welcome reception, followed by visits to classrooms and lively music and presentations by students and staff. GPSF Day is held immediately before Thanksgiving break.
Helping Hands | All School — A program run by Nueva parent volunteers that helps Nueva parents, faculty, and staff in need of support during an extreme medical crisis.
Hillsborough Campus | Lower School, Middle School — The Hillsborough campus, located at 6565 Skyline Boulevard, is home to the lower and middle school. The 33.3 acre campus features classroom buildings, an I-Lab, the new Science and Environmental Center, the Crocker Mansion, hiking trails, and more.
Hillside Learning Complex — The Hillside Learning Complex refers to the Hillsborough campus buildings opened in September 2007: the J-Building (which consists of middle school classrooms, the I-Lab, and the administration offices), the library, and the café.
Homework Club — A teacher-supervised place and time to work on homework after school. It is held Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. After 5:30 pm, students remaining on campus join After-Care.
Ice Cream Social — Annual ice cream festival for all grades, generally held close to the end of the school year at both the Hillsborough and the San Mateo campuses.
I-Lab — Nueva has two Innovation Labs: One is located in the bottom floor of the J-Building at the Hillsborough campus and the other is on the first floor at the San Mateo campus. These hands-on facilities provide the space, tools, and teaching that enable students of all grades to put Nueva's Design Thinking curriculum into practice.
ILC — see Innovative Learning Conference.
Innovative Learning Conference (ILC) — A biennial conference hosted by Nueva, featuring renowned experts, thought leaders, and practitioners on various aspects of innovation in education.
Internship Program — The Upper School Internship Program connects gifted, passionate students with Bay Area organizations for one- to eight-week engagements, spanning the fields of technology, research, politics, medicine, publishing, fine arts, and more. For more information about the program, click here.
Intersession — A time between semesters for Upper School students to experience interdisciplinary exploration with real-world experts. Generally held in early January, students choose from a curated catalog of nearly 200 seminars, intensives, activity sessions, and field trips led by over 100 different experts.
Language Student Exchange — For many years, Nueva has nurtured strong relationships with schools in China, Japan, and Spain. Each year, as part of the eighth-grade language program, Nueva families host students from the exchange schools for one week. When our students take their culminating trip to China, Japan, or Spain, they participate in "homestays" with families from the exchange schools.
Lit Club — Founded in 1982, the Lit Club curriculum provides students in grades 2–8 with opportunities to practice reading strategies and literary analysis in small groups that meet weekly.
Maker Faire — A two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the do-it-yourself mindset, held on the San Mateo County Fairgrounds, next to the San Mateo Campus. Nueva students and faculty host a booth displaying their creative products.
Mansion — A historic building that became the home of the Nueva Day School in 1971. Today it houses the Lower School classrooms and offices, beautiful grounds where students learn and play, and the Ballroom where many concerts, performances, and meetings are held. When driving onto the Hillsborough campus, follow the road past the south parking lot and bear right downhill. The Mansion will appear on your right.
Math Circle — A joyful community event where guest mathematicians and math educators lead PreK–12 students in engaging math activities or investigations. This is a Nueva community event that is open to the public.
Menuhin Program — Nueva's unique Menuhin-Dowling Music Program, established by Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Helen Dowling, provides advanced training for a limited number of music students selected annually by audition. Students accepted into the program demonstrate a high degree of musical potential. As part of the program, they take lessons twice a week, study theory, form ensembles, attend field trips, and perform regularly.
Musical Theater — Musical theater productions feature students in grades 3–8 at Hillsborough and grade 9–12 in the Upper School. Please see the Nueva calendar for the current year’s dates.
NPA — see Nueva Parents Association.
Nueva Fund — A major annual fundraising campaign. Every dollar raised directly supports the exceptional people and programs that make Nueva so special. The funds raised are used for the current year’s operating budget and are vital for the school. Learn more
Nueva Journal — A biannual magazine of thoughtful articles by Nueva faculty and staff about aspects of our program, often including illustrations of or excerpts from student work.
Nueva Notes — Nueva's must-read news bulletin featuring critical information, announcements, and upcoming events, emailed weekly to all members of the Nueva community. Nueva Notes is the main resource for alerts and other need-to-know information.
Nueva Parents Association (NPA) — The NPA is our parent organization, providing avenues for parents to get to know one another and to work together on community programs and events throughout the year. The NPA works directly with the head of school, faculty, and administrative team to fulfill the mission of our school. All current Nueva parents are members.
Nueva Store — The Nueva Store offers clothing and other merchandise featuring the school's name.
Quest — The Nueva Quest gives Upper School students the unique opportunity to pursue their own interests throughout their four years of high school. Working with their advisors and teachers, students identify and craft their own personal in-depth inquiry in a self-selected area of evolving passion or in pursuit of a deep question. Students may elect to pursue one field of study over four years or to frame and complete a series of different Quests, each taking one or more years.
Recital Project - The Recital Project is an Eighth-Grade rite of passage at Nueva. Recital was established more than twenty years ago as an opportunity for students to investigate and learn about a passion of their choosing. Many students continue to pursue their Recital Project's area of interest in high school in the form of Quest.
San Mateo Campus — The campus at 131 E. 28th Avenue in San Mateo, which opened its doors in August 2014. The Upper School is located at the San Mateo campus.
Science of Mind — The Science of Mind program is where SEL is given shape at the Upper School, using a curriculum that adapts to meet the needs and concerns of high school students. In this four-year program, students learn foundational principles of psychology and neuroscience, bringing clarity to social-emotional best practices.
SEL — see Social-Emotional Learning.
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) — A cornerstone program created at Nueva’s inception in 1967, SEL teaches students to understand themselves and others, to manage their emotions productively, to empathize with others, to forge healthy relationships, to work toward and achieve goals, to make responsible decisions, and to develop resilience, confidence, and well-being. Within the context of guided activities and peer feedback, SEL gives children the tools to be interpersonally successful. 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. Click here for more information.
Sport Field — The Sport Field is directly ahead of you when entering the Hillsborough campus.
Sports Boosters — Parent volunteers who support Nueva's competitive sports teams and provide assistance to the athletic department leadership.
Staff Appreciation — Activities that demonstrate parent and student support for faculty and staff. These are led by the NPA’s Staff Appreciation Committee.
STARPAP — A comprehensive eighth-grade research project that explores the Science, Technology, Art, Religion, Politics, Architecture, and Philosophy of a specific time period in a city in either China, Japan, or Spain, depending on which language the student is studying. By studying the cultural identity of the city in depth, students answer the question “How are beliefs made visible?” By completing the STARPAP project before they visit the country, students greatly enhance their intellectual understanding and appreciation of what they see and experience on the trip.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Technology) Fair — Annual school-wide fair providing explorations in the many fields of math, science, and technology. It is generally held in early spring on the San Mateo campus, and it buzzes with hands-on activities led by students, parents, teachers, and professionals in fields such as computer technology, biology, physics, mathematics, and more.
SWI Structured Word Inquiry is a scientific investigation of words that is an integrated element of Nueva's literary arts, English, and thematic curriculum. Students discover how word parts, structure, origin, and history come together over time to tell the story of what words mean, how words are connected, and how they are spelled.
Talent Show — Biennial, school-wide production featuring students, parents, faculty, and staff performing a variety of talents.
Tea on the Plaza — Annual welcoming event open to all parents and held at the Hillsborough campus on the morning of the first day of school. In addition to the social aspects of the event, parents also learn about the school’s priorities for the year and have the opportunity to sign on as participants in school activities.
Trips Program — One of Nueva’s hallmarks, an integral part of Nueva’s vision to empower gifted learners to make choices that benefit the world. Through our emphasis on global citizenship, we encourage students to engage with cultures and practices very different than their own. To that end, the trips program immerses students in transformative experiences that are extensions of classroom curricula.
WRC — see Writing and Research Center
Writing and Research Center (WRC) —Located on the second floor of the San Mateo campus, the WRC is a learning hub for Upper School students. In addition to thoughtfully curated collections, offerings include instruction in research skills and resources, writing support, peer tutoring, and special events and programs. The WRC is a friendly, two-story space with comfortable places to read, study, or collaborate with classmates.