Writing &
Research Center

FPO

Welcome to the San Mateo Campus Writing & Research Center

As the name suggests, this Upper School learning hub emphasizes the practices of writing and research, as well as providing thoughtfully curated fiction, nonfiction, and reference collections. We empower students to be strong, discerning researchers in any post-secondary context, and we help every student develop a clear, confident writing voice. More broadly, the WRC nourishes our community’s culture of curiosity. Our friendly, two-story space welcomes students with comfortable places to read, study, or collaborate with their classmates.

Research Skills and Resources

The world of research opens up to our students as they embark on their interdisciplinary studies at the Upper School. Our research librarian works closely with faculty to build our collections of digital and print resources, ensuring our students have both broad and deep access to the information they need. While creating a library for our students and faculty, our staff selects resources focused on the division’s specific curricula and special projects. These options include:

  • Nonfiction and reference materials, including specialized encyclopedias, primary and secondary sources, magazines, and newspapers

  • On- and off-campus access to 20 academic databases, offering thousands of articles from scholarly journals, as well as court cases, historical documents, and more

  • Access to e-books and audiobooks via OverDrive

Our librarian joins classes to coach students in research skills and also works extensively with students in one-on-one meetings during their course projects, guiding them in research strategies, source evaluation, and citation.

Writing & Research Center Team

Jennifer Paull - WRC Director
Jennifer Perry - Middle School and Upper School Writing Teacher and Advisor

Writing Support

Individualized coaching is a signature of the WRC’s writing program. Students can meet one-on-one with a writing specialist at any stage of their writing to review their ideas and drafts for any academic or creative project.

Whether reviewing a research paper, a piece of fiction, or a college application essay, students consider both the work at hand and their overall writing process. With their coaches, students strengthen their writing’s clarity, argument, and structure; refine their tone and voice; and learn new techniques to match their writing needs. Our writing specialists also offer in-classroom student workshops and consultations to faculty.

Peer Tutoring

The WRC hosts the Upper School’s peer-tutoring program, an initiative that exemplifies Nueva’s culture of collaborative learning.

Students apply to train as peer tutors; then selected applicants spend several weeks discussing and practicing their coaching skills before offering one-on-one appointments with their fellow students. The program began with student support in math and writing, and now also offers help in Mandarin and computer science. Students from any Upper School grade can book a session with a peer tutor.

This type of academic support supplements the work a student may do with their teachers and the WRC staff — students may feel more comfortable talking with a fellow student. Peer tutors, meanwhile, pick up new coaching techniques, which often dovetail with their SEL skills, and gain experience with different learning styles. Throughout the academic year, peer tutors have regular check-ins to discuss their practice.

 

Special Programs and Events

We regularly participate in local and national events that promote our culture of reading. Examples of past programs include:

  • Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
  • Poetry readings
  • Creative writing during National Novel Writing Month in connection with NaNoWriMo
  • Banned Books Week in cooperation with the American Library Association
  • Author visits
  • Summer reading 

Nueva News

Starting from Scratch: Nueva Computer Science Program Builds Confidence and Creativity

From fourth grade through eighth grade, every student takes classes in the Hillsborough campus I-Lab, where they practice hands-on prototyping, use tools and machinery, and learn coding and computer science—all within the framework of design thinking.

“Our guiding principle,” said I-Lab Director Angi Chau, “is that the core computer science curriculum is meant to be accessible to everybody, whether or not they have done a lot of coding before.” 

Sharing Identities Helps Second Graders Build Class Community

As part of creating a beloved community, students in lower school classes begin the year by creating sets of class agreements and sharing things about themselves with their peers. In the second grade, students participate in an identity project, reflecting on who they are and what is important to them before creating their own self-portraits. 

From ‘Slimelapse’ to Mystery Bacteria, Students Create Curricula in Biology Internship Pilot

Last spring, Director of Internships Katie Saylor met with biology teachers Paul Hauser and Jehnna Ronan to explore ways to offer students hands-on internships for those interested in lab-based sciences here at Nueva. Out of their conversations came a new biology internship offered this summer, where students helped to design new lab experiments and to refine existing experiments in the 10th grade biology curriculum.

Karen Tiegel and Steven Channan honor Sin-Tung on stage

On Sunday, May 22, community members past and present gathered at Hillsborough and, through Zoom, around the world to celebrate 30 years of brilliant teaching and music-making by our very own Sin-Tung Chiu. If you were unable to attend, you can still enjoy the touching tributes and inspiring performances by the Nueva String Ensemble, current and former violin students, and Sin-Tung himself, accompanied by Nueva alumnus Dmitriy Cogan, on this professionally produced video. Log in to my.nuevaschool.org to watch here.

Mavericks Making Waves: June 2022

Mavericks Making Waves is our latest roundup of exceptional student and faculty accomplishments and activities happening beyond Nueva's walls. 

A Fairytale for Us: First Graders Reimagine Cinderella

How do our cultures shape the stories we tell? This was the starting question first graders in Emily Mitchell’s class explored when they read and dissected eighteen interpretations of the fairytale Cinderella from across the globe.