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A parent recently shared with Head of School Diane Rosenberg that after a long summer away from Nueva, their child reported feeling “schoolsick.” The joy of returning to Nueva was omnipresent on Monday morning as students arrived to our campuses in Hillsborough and Bay Meadows.

Within moments of arriving, our PreK–12 grade students were fully immersed in the world of things to come. In their new classrooms, advisory groups, and whole-school meetings, the energy of the students took center stage.


Lower School

On the last Friday before the start of school, the lower school faculty invited parents and students to campus to greet their new teachers and discover their new classrooms. Parents, children, and Nueva faculty gathered on the Ballet Lawn and had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new members of the community.

Friday’s introductions enabled students to come to Nueva on the first day of school and get right to work. Teachers guided the students through a morning full of activities aimed at familiarizing everyone with the landscape of their classrooms and providing a sense of what to expect in the days and weeks ahead. The entire community gathered before recess to participate in a sing-along with lower school music teacher Maggie Eggert and discuss recess locations and expectations with lower school SEL teacher Lisa Hinshelwood.






Middle School

Leading up to the first day of school, the middle school faculty welcomed all our new middle school students to campus on Thursday to meet their teachers and get acquainted with their new home at Nueva. On Friday, all new and returning fifth and sixth grade students and families came to campus for a few hours to get to know each other, spend some time in advisories, and have a barbeque lunch together.

The school year began with the year’s first middle school meeting — an opportunity to get to know the entire faculty and spend some time with advisories. As per tradition, students were then sent off to complete an interdisciplinary, cross-grade challenge that drew on their creativity and their experiences at and excitement about joining Nueva, and provided an opportunity for self-reflection about the year ahead.

This year’s activity was based on the Trinidadian phrase “all ah we,” which highlights the need for communities to come together as one. Moving through four stations in groups that included fifth through eighth grade students, everyone created a dance based on their relationship to the community, used Legos to build a representation of their learning style, and create a ZenTangle that creatively captured some of their favorite places around campus. The result of the students’ efforts will be displayed through the passageway between the library and writing annex over the next few weeks.





Upper School:

Back-to-school activities at the Upper School began last Friday, August 25, with a pre-term orientation day. For ninth and tenth graders, the highlight of the day was a group discussion of their summer reading, Make It Stick and Memory Is the Residue of Thought. Faculty members led students through memory exercises that demonstrate how making learning internal and personal improves recollection. Later in the afternoon, Upper School Division Head Stephen Dunn held a community conversation, asking students to reflect on what it means to be your best self. Many students shared that authenticity, not perfection, was key to being their best selves. The day ended with a school-wide popsicle social, where students chatted and played various activities.

On Monday, August 28, students took over the orientation process. Student council leaders welcomed their new classmates and outlined different ways for them to get involved in leadership activities on campus. They shared their goals for the year, which included being a zero-waste school and refining the pipeline between student voices and school leaders. In a group ice-breaker, students formed two concentric circles to facilitate conversations with classmates outside their grade. To conclude the welcome, upperclassmen offered raucous cheers to new students — and faculty — while inducting them into “house families,” a student-driven initiative to increase school spirit and interclass connection.




 September 1, 2017



6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010





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



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