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access to 20 academic databases, offering thousands of articles from scholarly journals, as well as court cases, historical documents, and more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:
On a recent Thursday afternoon, a group of fifth and sixth grade students could be found screening short films, and not just any short films; these were short films written, produced, and edited by the students themselves.
We are excited to share Volume III, Issue I of The Mav Mind Journal of Art and Literature! The theme for this issue is growth. Students took this in many different directions; you can find poetry about nature, a nonfiction article about trees, and stunning art about personal growth.
Last week, Nueva welcomed educators from all over the country to our campuses for the biannual Innovative Learning Conference (ILC). We invite you to read what participants and presenters had to say during and about this meaningful two-day learning experience.
“Any elective is going to hopefully broaden students’ horizons,” says Upper School teacher Chris Scott, “and deepen their understanding of themselves as learners and human beings.”
Mavericks Making Waves is our latest roundup of exceptional student and faculty accomplishments and activities happening beyond Nueva's walls.
No matter the day of the week or the time of the day, there are always amazing things happening in the classrooms at the Upper School. Block 2 on Wednesday, September 21 was no exception. From discussing class consciousness to investigating bacterial lab results, exploring a variety of art media to critiquing forms of graphic design, Upper School students dove into their classes with excitement.
At the start of every school year, each Upper School class takes part in an overnight camping trip. These trips allow students to bond together and kick the year off, and is a great chance to for them connect or reconnect with their grade and advisory groups. We asked students to reflect on their top moment from the retreat.
The halls were abuzz on this week as Lower School students could be heard singing, playing, reading, and calculating! We invite you to learn more about a variety of class activities below.