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Fundamental to Nueva’s student-centered pedagogy is that students have a voice in choosing where to dive deeply in many areas of their education depending upon their interests. 

Many opportunities for artistic experiences are offered through:

  • Choice, grades 1-3
  • After school Enrichment, grades K-8
  • Academies, grades 4-8
  • Activities & Clubs, grades 9-12
  • Electives, grades 7-12
  • Recital Project and Quest, grades 8-12.

Arts electives theatre



Many Nueva students are passionate about Musical Theater and participate from grades one through twelve. In addition, each year there are a variety of unique opportunities including classes with the Oberlin Dance Company, Opera a la Carte, and visits by accomplished musicians and artists as part of our Assembly programs.


After taking weekly classes in visual arts and music through sixth grade, students choose electives in an array of arts options starting in seventh through twelfth grades. These classes, taught by practicing artists, enable students to follow their individual artistic passions throughout their time at Nueva. Arts Elective offerings span visual, music, performing, and literary arts, and continue students' development in technique, expression, and performance.




Visual Arts
Mixed Media Mash-Up
Paint Like the Masters: Painting Your Way Through the 19th and 20th Century Art
Art, Sculpture, & Social Change
Fabricating Your Artistic Vision


Steel Drum Band
Roots of Rhythm Percussion Ensemble
Science Rap Academy: The Elective
Groove Workshop


Performing Arts
Musical Theater
Dancing through History


Literary Arts
Magazine Journalism
San Francisco, 1967: The Summer of Love in Visual Art, Rock and Roll, Politics and More
Creative Writing
Adventures in Journalism, Photography, and Design: Yearbook


Visual Arts
Graphic Design
Mixed Media
Modern Filmmaking
Agar Art

Classical Composition and Ensemble
Steel Drums
Jazz Ensemble
Music Design and Production

Performing Arts
Musical Theater
Play Production


Design Thinking, Engineering, and Computer Science **
Advanced Architecture 
Advanced Fabricating your Artistic Vision
Object Oriented Programming: More Art, Animations, and Games

* This is a partial list of electives. Classes can be semester long or full year, and may be offered in alternating semesters. In addition, students can take an Independent or Collaborative Study in any of the above artistic disciplines in grades 9-12.

** A cornerstone of the Nueva curriculum, it is common for our elective courses to be both a deep dive into specific subject areas while also staying true to Nueva’s mission to integrate across disciplines including STEM, arts, and humanities. We present our Upper School Design Thinking electives so you can see a sample of integrated courses.



10 arts elective Dec2016

Steel Drum Band is a performance-based ensemble that explores and learns the music of the Caribbean Islands, Brazil, and American jazz and pop. Class members rehearse selections from this vast repertoire while learning music theory, stick control, and rhythmic concepts used in calypso, soca, Cuban cha cha and mambo, samba, and reggae.



11 arts elective Dec2016

Painting is a studio class covering color, light, space, and the handling of paint (acrylic and oil), in addition to exploring the beauty of forms and color. Students paint images of people, places, and things, explore ideas about abstraction, representation, and expression, and reflect on their own lives, experiences, interests, and hobbies as inspiration for their work.



12 arts elective Dec2016

Several elective offerings in engineering and fabrication allow beginner and advanced students to utilize the tools and processes of design thinking and the I-Lab through an artistic lens. Beginning students develop skills through guided mini-projects and tutorials, while experienced students receive dedicated space, time, and expert support for their projects. Nueva students come in with an open mind, a growth mindset, and a respect for tool safety, and often find they develop an insatiable desire to spend all their free time in the I-Lab!




6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010





131 E. 28th Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94403



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