Campus News

Dr. Richard Weissbourd Speaks at Nueva as Part of the Common Ground Series

WeissbourdOn November 15, Richard Weissbourd, EdD, spoke at Nueva as part of the Common Ground speaker series. Dr. Weissbourd is a renowned child and family psychologist, Harvard professor, and author of the book The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development,. The event was attended by hundreds of parents from more than 30 schools on the Peninsula.

During Dr. Weissbourd’s talk, “Raising Moral Children,” he challenged the audience to consider how we help children create a deep internal connection to the values that are most important to us.

He began by observing that many parents, sports teams, and schools teach the importance of values such as respect, honesty, and kindness. “We think that the more we chant these values, the more they are likely to stick.” However, Dr. Weissbourd believes that by the age five or six, children have learned that these values are important. Therefore, they often feel patronized when hearing about them over and over. He said that, at some point, children do not need more moral literacy but need opportunities to develop their moral identity.

Dr. Weissbourd believes we need to expand the metrics of success beyond achieving at a high level, being popular, or being athletic. Regarding our messaging around happiness and success, he said that there is “a rhetoric/reality gap between what parents are saying and what kids are actually hearing.”

Dr. Weissbourd suggested that parents’ emphasis on naming their children’s emotions from a very young age may cause children to be hyper-focused on themselves. He suggested instead, that we get them to tune into other kids on the playground. This may be one way we can help children cast themselves as allies in the future.

Dr. Weissbourd spoke at length about “the constant noise of praise.” He cautioned that praise should be tied to an authentic accomplishment. He said that children know when they have accomplished something significant and “that a child’s tank of self-worth and self-confidence grows by being known. Reflecting back an understanding of who a child is has greater value than praise.”

Weissbourd left the audience with the following challenges in their approach to parenting:

  • Make caring a priority
  • Practice caring and gratitude in your own life
  • Expand children’s circle of concerns — zoom in and zoom out
  • Discuss ethical questions — see children as ethical philosophers and practice reflective


For more information on Dr. Weissbourd and his work, please visit


 December 2, 2016

Read More

Antiracist Communications Strategy Sessions Sets the Foundation for Antiracist Storytelling at Nueva

Following the murder of George Floyd in May, we began to talk about how to ensure we were communicating on Nueva platforms in antiracist ways. We put out a statement, like many other institutions, affirming our school’s belief in the importance of antiracist work and working toward racial justice. But we knew that one statement one time was not enough; this was going to be ongoing work in which we needed to engage, a lens through which all of our work was put. 

Pride at Nueva

For the first time in 10 years, Nueva families and students were not able to participate in the parade as it and many other Pride events throughout the world were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. While members of the Nueva community were certainly disappointed, the support our students, faculty, staff, and parents have for the LGBTQ+ community remains strong.

Teachers and Students Participate in Environmental Citizenship Workshop

Nueva’s first internal Environmental Citizenship Curriculum Development Workshop was held virtually on June 22–26. Important topics included “What are the characteristics of an environmental citizen?” “How are we already developing environmental citizenship at Nueva?” and “How does/can environmental citizenship relate to your curriculum?”

Maverick Weeks

During the week of June 15, our parents and students met with teachers on Zoom for their end-of-the-year conferences. More 350 Nueva students, across all divisions, participated in nearly 45 online-classes hosted by our enrichment partners and visiting educators.

Alumna Audrey Chin '19 Reflects on Nueva Athletics

Each year, a Nueva alum is asked to speak at the end-of-year athletics celebration and reflect on his or her time as a Nueva student-athlete and what he or she learned through involvement in our program. This year, we were honored to welcome back Audrey Chin '19, freshman at Harvard University and a member of the Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving Team. Audrey shared these reflections.