Nueva’s Upper School was buzzing with excitement this month as students returned from break and started the new year and term with an assortment of “amuse-bouche” explorations from baking to bioethics. The first Intersession – an event more than two years in the making - enabled students to dive deep into passions, explore new interests, and engage with experts and peers on a variety of topics and educational experiences over the first two weeks of the new year.
More than 30 sessions, many of which were led by Nueva parents and alumni experts in their respective fields, were offered for students to select. (Please click here for the full Intersession catalog)
“Nowhere else have I found such an inspirational combination of motivated students, passionate teachers, and innovators all collected in the same room, so eager to delve into whatever it may be they are passionate about,” said one Upper School student.
This distinctive program stemmed from the outstanding work of the 21st Century Task Force. The task force, chaired by Claire Perry with nine subcommittee chairs, involved more than 100 members of the Nueva community as well as many outside experts. Kate Bloch and Sandra Lee, co-chairs of the subcommittee that developed this concept, along with parent volunteer Linda Yates, joined with faculty and staff to bring the vision of Intersession to life.
“It was so inspiring to witness our Nueva families and alumni share their knowledge and expertise. It was an incredible gift not just for our students but also for us as educators to welcome these innovative leaders into our classrooms,” said Head of School Diane Rosenberg.
"January terms at many schools are often fun, but this one was a uniquely vibrant and dynamic entity. We hosted everything from live animals to former Buddhist monks to bio engineers and documentary filmmakers. So many people were so generous with their time and their offer of helping our students explore new possible passions or deepen existing ones," said Assistant Head of School Mark Schoeffel.
Nueva Intersession also provided an opportunity for students to further explore areas directly applicable to their experiences at Upper School – both in and out of the classroom. Whether building on their knowledge of mathematical or scientific concepts in real world applications or conversing about the ethics of high school problems in real world situations, sessions provided unique learning opportunities in a variety of on campus and in the field formats. Many participated in field trips and unique site tours, including the De Young Museum, Flexus Biosciences, PG&E, Stanford’s National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), and Jasper Ridge and Stanford Solar Decathlon House.
“Intersession is not only a time to follow your passions, but also to discover them. The classes that I’ve attended are a mix of both; one is delving deeper into a passion I had established pre-intersession and the other is a completely new experience for me. After just six hours in the new class, I feel both well equipped to continue with and passionate about the new subject. Intersession has definitely helped me explore –well –me!” said another student.
We again want to thank all those who volunteered and generously donated their time, including the parent drivers and chaperones. Additionally, we thank the parent and alumni volunteers who conducted sessions and shared their valuable expertise.