Questions abound in our lower school classrooms, and student inquiry is the driving force behind the yearlong theme in kindergarten. This theme of investigation provides a through line for a number of explorations that kindergarteners will engage in over the course of the year, the first of which is a focus on identity.
Nueva students learn by doing. They construct knowledge through hands-on engagement. As experts in project-based learning, teachers guide authentic and purposeful investigations that enable discovery while building the skills students need to be successful.
Our Lower School is a haven for young gifted learners. Our intellectually engaging and creative program incorporates the powerful and joyful elements of early education: deep investigation, inquiry, play, kindness, friendship, community, and essential connections to the outdoors.
The middle school years are a time of excitement, in which students find their voice and discover how they can make an impact on the world. Teachers use projects, trips, and activities and clubs to make the middle school experience rich with academic and elective experiences.
At the Upper School, the students’ experience is at the center of everything we do. We nourish their love of learning by providing each student unparalleled opportunity to chart their own pathway through high school.
- Project-based learning
- Social-emotional learning
- Design thinking and engineeering
- Global citizenship
- Differentiated curricula
- Spirit of inquiry
- Diversity of perspectives
- Community and connectedness
- Creativity and innovation
- Social justice, equity, and inclusion
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.
Nueva middle school teachers are excited about student-led tutorial sessions this year. Introduced last fall to help students to get caught up after absences, ask questions about assignments, and ask for more challenging extensions on their work, tutorial has expanded to offer far more during remote learning.
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.
A new addition to the upper school schedule this year is a block for special programming on Fridays. For the first in a series of special guest speakers, Dean of Student Life Hillary Freeman invited Black Lives Matter activist and local Bay Area native Kenan Moos to speak. In a conversation moderated by student council equity and inclusion rep Fiona T. ’22, Kenan shared not only his background and life experiences, but also how he became an activist and how Nueva students can step up to take action.
For more than two decades, Nueva's lower and middle school students have gathered together weekly during assemblies to share ideas, entertain each other, and be entertained. While assemblies look different in remote learning, Division Heads Megan Terra and Karen Tiegel still see great value in assembling together. So during the first week of school, they made sure their students gathered on Zoom.
The upper school student council (colloquially known as STUCO) is a group of elected upper school students who work together to support the relationship between the student body and the Nueva administration. This year’s elected co-leads of STUCO are Willow T.C.Y. ‘21 and Andrew C. ‘22 sat down to discuss their backgrounds, their hopes for their roles, and how remote learning changes their priorities.
By Anouschka B. '22: This year’s new tenth-grade biology project—“Deep Dive”—is certainly one for the history books, with students creating projects ranging from desserts filled with clouds of chocolate mousse and oozing raspberry coulis to Zoom-made music videos.
Quest, a signature Nueva program in the Upper School, is a journey of self-discovery, perseverance, and growth as students explore their own paths to purpose. This year, with all routines thoroughly disrupted, we had an opportunity to innovate how to celebrate Quest.