Welcome to Nueva Summer!

July 8–August 2, 2019
Nueva's San Mateo Campus
131 E. 28th Avenue, San Mateo
9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday


The Nueva Summer team is thrilled to announce the return of our Expedition program designed to spark student creativity and inspire learners from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Join us to deeply explore literature, art, debate, design thinking and engineering, and math! Nueva Summer’s Expedition program is a fun, multidisciplinary camp experience designed for high-ability learners entering grades 1-12. It is led by Nueva teachers and visiting educators and incorporates Nueva’s teaching practices developed over more than 50 years of experience.

Enroll in one week of enriching, hands-on activities, games, and learning, or join us for all four weeks! Our extensive selection of classes allows you to have a new experience each week.

Camp is hosted from July 8–August 2 between the hours of 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Yummy lunch offerings, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, are included in tuition and provided daily. Families of students entering grades 1–8 can register for Before- and After-Care, which begin at 8:00 am and end at 6:00 pm daily.


Please visit our FAQ page for more information.

 Browse the Course Catalogue and Register by Grade

Registration Information

Registration Information

The application process is now open to all interested families.  Please apply for the grade level your child will be entering in the fall of 2019. Thank you so much for your interest in Nueva Summer!

Apply for Lower School Expedition

Grades 1-2

Grades 3-4

Apply for Middle School Expedition

Grades 5-6

Grades 7-8

Apply for Upper School Expedition

Grades 9-10

Grades 11-12

Application and Registration

All families are invited to apply for Nueva Summer! If you are new to Nueva, or if you are applying from a school outside of Nueva, you must include the following documentation with your application on Moment. 

Option #1: Recent standardized test score

We look for students who have scored in the 90th percentile on any recent standardized test. A .jpeg or .PDF document must be uploaded to Moment at the time of application.


Option #2: One letter of recommendation and a recent school report card

Please have your child's teacher use this Google Form to submit their teacher recommendation. In addition to the completed teacher recommendation, you must submit a .jpeg or .PDF copy of your child's recent report card through the Moment platform at the time of application. 


Tuition and Financial Award

Enrollment in Nueva Summer is priced at $730 per student per week. Before and After-Care is available to students entering grades 1–8. Before-Care is $45 per week; After-Care is $90 per week.

Financial awards are available for families who qualify. To apply for financial award, please complete the Nueva Summer Financial Award form for each child you wish you enroll. You may submit the completed forms to fasummer@nuevaschool.org


Visit our FAQ page for more information. 


Lower School

Lower School Expedition (Grades 1-4)

Entering its third year, Lower School Expedition is expanding so that we can welcome more students for more of the summer! Each week, a team of Nueva educators will learn alongside our campers as we embark on thematic, interdisciplinary study designed to be immersive and fun while providing skills that campers can add to their life-long learning toolbox.

The program consists of four unique weeks of content, rooted in Literature Club, Art/Engineering Challenges, Community Building, Math Games, Scientific Deep Dives, Design Thinking, and Dance/Movement. Our camps are held Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. A delicious (and nutritious) hot lunch is included in the cost of tuition. We provide before- and after-care to all interested families beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 6:00 pm.

Please note: Our Grades 1–4 Programs are now fully enrolled! If you are interested, we encourage you to apply.  We will add all accepted applicants to the waitlist. Thank you for the incredible support of this program!

Meet the Lower School Expedition Team

  • Lora Saarnio (Expedition Team Leader, LS Math, and Computer Science Specialist, The Nueva School)
  • Damon Allswang (2nd Grade Teacher, The Nueva School)
  • Christina Braun (Shop Manager & I-Lab Engineer, The Nueva School)
  • Marissa Maimone (LS Associate Teacher, The Nueva School)
  • Maddie McGuire (5th Grade Teacher, Peralta Elementary School)
  • Cora Poe (LS Associate Math Teacher, The Nueva School)
  • Alyssa Richards (K-8 Physical Education Teacher and Athletics Coordinator, The Nueva School)
  • Nikolas Strubbe (Nueva Alum, Educator, and Circus Guru)



Week 1: July 8–12

Fantastical Structures

Through literature, engineering, and coding, we will imaginatively and physically explore the idea of fantastical structures. In past summers, we’ve designed physical and digital landscapes, planets, plants, games inspired by our reading for the week.

Grade 1–2 Program is full!
Grade 3–4 Program is full!


Week 2: July 15–19

Above and Below

What are the challenges and surprises that come with traveling into unknown spaces? Through literature, engineering, and science, we will explore the challenges of traveling into the unknown and meeting characters who are pushed to the outer limits of what is known and familiar to them. 

Grade 1–2 Program is full!
Grade 3–4 Program is full!


Week 3: July 22–26

Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe

Through literature, engineering, and coding, we will do a deep dive into science-fiction ideas that posit a future very different from our present-day life. 

Grade 1–2 Program is full!
Grade 3–4 Program is full!


Week 4: July 29–August 2

Time Travel

We will enter a radically different time, place, and culture as we dive deep into historical fiction. We will also use experiences with cooking, coding, engineering, and science to better understand the time period covered in our reading.

Grade 1–2 Program is full!
Grade 3–4 Program is full!

Middle School

Two Nueva Summer students partner together over an assignment

Middle School Expedition (Grades 5–8)

Our Middle School Expedition program is designed to be rigorous and engaging, showcasing the best of Nueva's "learn by doing" philosophy. Each offering aims to provide campers unique opportunities to explore academic passions in greater depth while working with Nueva teachers, students, and visiting college professors. Campers will experience Nueva's constructivist, project- and inquiry-based learning environment, and cultivate new skills and interests. 

Our middle school program is a full-day program, campers entering grades 5–8 will choose from one morning offering and one afternoon offering. Four weeks of unique content is available to all middle school campers. 

Browse our middle school program offerings or download a copy of the full catalogue.  


Week 1: July 8–12


Lee Ryan Miller 
Grades 5-6 (Afternoons) Class is full!
• Grades 7-8 (Mornings) Class is full!

Les Phillips
Grades 5-6 (Mornings) Class is full!
• Grades 7-8 (Afternoons) Class is full!

Nueva Summer teacher works one-on-one with a student

Week 2: July 15–19


Christine Braun
Grades 5-6 (Afternoons) Class is full!

Lee Ryan Miller
Grades 5-6 (Afternoons) Class is almost full!
• Grades 7-8 (Mornings) Class is full!

Nueva Summer students actively listen while a fellow student reads her creative writing piece

Week 3: July 22–26


Lee Ryan Miller
Grades 5-6 (Afternoons) Class is full!
• Grades 7-8 (Mornings) Class is full!

Lissie McAlvey
Grades 5-6 (Afternoons) Class is full!
• Grades 7-8 (Mornings) 

Two students smile as they work on a science experiment with a Coca-Cola can.

Week 4: July 29–August 2


Lee Ryan Miller
Grades 5-6 (Afternoons) Class almost full!
• Grades 7-8 (Mornings) Class is full!

Hunter Richards
Grades 5-6 (Mornings) Class is full!

Lissie McAlvey
• Grades 5-6 (Mornings) Class is almost full!
• Grades 7-8 (Afternoons) Class is almost full!

Upper School

Brian Cropper returns to Nueva Summer as an Upper School Expedition teacher

Upper School Expedition (Grades 9-12)

In this second year of Upper School Expedition, we are thrilled to offer two unique opportunities, led by Nueva faculty: Upper School Parliamentary Debate (July 15-26) and Interstellar Politics and Mutant Civil Rights (July 22-August 2.)

Participants can join either offering for one or two weeks. Our Upper School Expedition classes provide students entering grades 9–12 with an opportunity to take an immersive deep-dive inspired by Nueva’s mission to instill life-long learning skills in our all of our learners and community members.

Please explore the class descriptions and be in touch with any questions you may have!

July 15–26

Upper School Parliamentary Debate Camp

Sam Timinsky & Les Philips

Our Upper School Parliamentary Debate Camp is designed for upper school students (rising ninth through twelfth grade) who are interested in competitive parliamentary debate.

This one- or two-week program will give students rigorous training in debate research, the use of philosophical arguments in debate, debate theory, case writing, strategic thinking, and speaking tailored to both professional and lay judges. Newer debaters will spend more time developing foundational skills. This track involves a series of workshops, lectures, and practice sessions to drill specific skills, such as locating evidence and adlibbing refutation. More advanced debaters will spend more time in sophisticated reading groups, writing sessions, and mini-debates. They will also take part in mini-topic lectures and practice debates that emphasize strategy development. Students in both tracks will be divided into lab groups based on skill level.

Ideally, students will attend for the full two weeks. However, the course is broken into two week-long (five days of instruction) blocks, and students are welcome to sign up for either or both weeks.

Our faculty is gathered from several high-performing programs and comprises a mix of recently graduated competitors and senior coaches.

Nueva's Debate Coach, Sam Timinsky

Sam Timinsky is head coach of parliamentary debate at the Nueva School and will soon receive his PhD in East Asian history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He specializes in teaching research, writing, public presentation, and modern political and cultural history. Sam has taught debate and argumentation for nearly a decade and is formerly head coach of parliamentary debate at the University of Washington, where he coached several students to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

Nueva's lead debate coach, Les Philips

Les Phillips is the director of debate at the Nueva School. He has coached national champions in policy debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and public forum debate. Les has taught at more than twenty summer workshops and was the founding director of Stanford’s Public Forum Institute.  Nueva’s parliamentary debaters have distinguished themselves at major invitationals, including NPDI and the Parli TOC.

July 22–August 2

Interstellar Politics and Mutant Civil Rights: Science Fiction as Socio-Political Allegory

Brian Cropper & Arta Khakpour

Science fiction has always been a reflection of the traumas of the past and the anxieties of the present, as much as it is an imagining of the possible worlds of the future. In the 20th and 21st centuries, modern science fiction has grappled simultaneously with the geopolitical upheavals of a chaotic century — the Cold War, totalitarianism, imperialism/decolonization — and with the social and cultural challenges of a rapidly transforming world — othering of ethnic and gender minorities, class conflict, and individual rights. Science fiction creates dazzling — or dreadful — worlds for our imaginations to inhabit, and invites us to think of these worlds as allegories for the dreams and nightmares of our own societies.

In this course, we will embark on a multimedia, multigenre exploration of modern science fiction as allegory. We will explore texts as diverse as Star Trek: The Next Generation, V for Vendetta, and The Martian Chronicles as social and political allegory, and, in our daily writing workshop, practice producing our own allegorical worlds of speculative fiction.*

These classes are ideally taken as a two-week course — so that students can explore allegories of the individual and the collective — but can be taken as single weeks to explore how these nonexistent societies might inform our understanding of current events.

Nueva Upper School history teacher, Arta Khakpour

Arta Khakpour has taught courses in world history, international relations, and political philosophy at the Nueva Upper School since 2015. He earned a PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University. Arta grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation and space strategy games like Master of Orion, loves the novels and short stories of Philip K. Dick, and has been known to roll a twenty-sided die or two.

Nueva Upper School history teacher, Brian Cropper

Brian Cropper is an Upper School history teacher and Nueva alum. He teaches ancient world history, religious studies, and theology. Brian studied religion and politics at Occidental College and Harvard University and believes that the arts are a perfect vehicle for exploring how human beings organize themselves and make life meaningful — on this planet or beyond the far side of the moon.

*Content warning: Some of the films, short stories, and novels that we watch and read in this course will have mature content, which may include physical violence (generally of the fantasy/science fictional variety), war, drug usage, and other themes. At the beginning of each week, we will provide a detailed list of texts and a viewer’s guide to enable students to opt out of certain texts. We will be engaging with all texts from a thoroughly contextualized as well as literary point of view.

Week 1: July 22–26

Week 1, “Interstellar Politics,” focuses on science fiction allegories of modern politics. Among other texts, we will study Star Trek across three decades as a Cold War allegory; the Expanse as an allegory of great power politics, decolonization, and nationalism; and the “first contact” genre as an allegory for colonization as well as problems of perception/misperception in international relations.

Week 2: July 29–August 2

During Week 2, “Mutant Civil Rights,” students will meet characters who represent the great diversity of human experience and identities in both nightmarishly stratified societies and those not so different from our own. This week is concerned with sociocultural allegories for giftedness, prejudice, and “otherness” as they play out in the X-Men universe or as aliens and gods crash to earth.