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access to 20 academic databases, offering thousands of articles from scholarly journals, as well as court cases, historical documents, and more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.
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.
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:
Over the last week of the school year, the class of 2019 celebrated and reflected on their time at Nueva. From the “Lifers” who attended the school since early in the Lower School, to the seniors’ sentimental songs and speeches, it all culminated on Sunday, June 9 with a joyful ceremony to commemorate the twelfth-graders’ achievements.
In a joyful ceremony, eighty-five eighth graders reflected on their years at Nueva in traditional 100-word speeches.
It all started with a question: “Why is the ocean so salty?” Which led to another question: “What is salt?” What could have ended there with a simple explanation turned into a months-long study this spring for the inquisitive four and five-year olds in the Nueva PreK class where they learned about the elements that make up our bodies and the world around us.
At Nueva, gifted learners are encouraged to learn by doing, learn by caring, and to explore their passions inside and outside the classroom. It is this empathic spirit that has inspired students to take action to help make their communities and the world a better place.
In “Ocean Plastic Paradise,” sea animals navigate the perils of a habitat overrun with discarded plastic. Written and performed by Laraine Ray’s Kindergarten class, the film is the culmination of months examining the effects of plastic pollution in the sea.
Fourteen teachers embarked on Quests and quickly learned: From finding a mentor to meeting deadlines and milestones, Quests are hard work.
From early April to the end of May, students from grades 1 through 12 are travelers as Nueva’s Trips program provides a perspective beyond classroom life.
With a small and mighty crew of nine swimmers, the team placed sixth at the West Bay Athletic League (WBAL) Championship meet on Saturday, April 27 against teams with over 50 swimmers.
A bicycle-powered blender, a mixed media art portfolio, a time management app, a moving song about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida – Creativity and variety were on display at this year’s Recital Night on Thursday, April 11 when Nueva eighth-graders presented their inspiring and meaningful year-long projects to teachers, parents, and peers.