Academics

FPO

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.

At Nueva, learning is authentic, complex, and intellectually rigorous. Students do real work as authors, artists, inventors, explorers, athletes, and mathematicians. Giving students choice, autonomy, and high expectations for growth, we harness intrinsic motivation as the engine for academic excellence.

Through an interdisciplinary and inquiry-based program, students discover and master foundational skills in traditional academic disciplines while learning to grapple with the unknown, embrace multiple perspectives, and create novel solutions.

Lower School

Grades PreK–4

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.

Middle School

Grades 5–8

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.

Upper School

Grades 9–12

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. 

Nueva's hallmark programs feature:

  • Project-based learning
  • Social-emotional learning
  • Design thinking and engineeering
  • Global citizenship
  • Differentiated curricula

Nueva's culture honors and embraces:

  • Spirit of inquiry
  • Integrity
  • Diversity of perspectives
  • Community and connectedness
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Social justice, equity, and inclusion

Learn More About Our Campuses

Lower, Middle, & Upper School 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.

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. 

Ninth Graders Create Products Using Universal and Software Design Principles

What does it mean to build the courage to imagine and craft solutions to challenges? How can design thinking, systems thinking, data science, computer science, and design engineering be used to address societal issues around social justice and equity? In Design with Impact (DWI), a core course in ninth grade, students engage in projects that help them bridge the skills in these five key areas and design for others. 

Catching Up with . . . Emily Goldberg

Emily Goldberg began at Nueva in March, joining our community as the middle school counselor. We chatted with Emily about her hopes and goals in her new role, her path to Nueva, and what she loves about working with middle school students.

Third Grade Religious Studies Unit Provides New Perspective into Culture

The study of culture is deeply embedded in the third grade curriculum. As part of this exploration, third graders learn about two distinct civilizations: the Mali Empire and ancient Egypt. It was through these two studies that Erin and Priscilla initially recognized the need to include a study of religion to help students better understand their cultures. The religious studies unit has blossomed into an exploration of the foundations of the five major world religions: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Catching Up with . . . David Robinson

PreK teacher David Robinson joined the Nueva community in 2019. In this Q&A, David shares the benefits of emergent curriculum, how he consulted on an Emmy-award winning show, and his approach to anti-bias education in the pre-kindergarten setting.