During the month of May, Nueva fifth- and sixth-grade students traveled east to immerse themselves in history and bring their respective year-long studies into real-world perspective.
At Nueva, every student learns to make choices that benefit the world.
Through our emphasis on Global Citizenship, one of the foundational pillars of the Nueva experience, we encourage students to engage with cultures and practices very different than their own. In our increasingly interconnected world, it is imperative for us to cultivate diverse perspectives. When they venture into the world, Nueva students lead with empathy, are civically astute, and use their unique voices to address the issues that matter to them.
Global Citizenship Is Woven into the Academic Curriculum
From PreK to 12, starting with exposure to and celebration of diverse perspectives, we prepare students to understand, communicate, and solve problems in this interconnected world.
In and out of the classroom, students develop self-awareness, understanding their own cultural identities and seeing other cultural perspectives, building authentic empathy. Our focus on Global Citizenship begins in Lower School, where students see themselves as contributing members in classrooms and collaborative teams while they practice community building and service. In Middle School, through studies that allow them to discover the complexities of human history and interdependence, they deepen their understanding of the world, and their experience in it, as an interconnected whole. When they enter the Upper School, students are awakened to the history, politics, economies, values, and beliefs of different cultures for deep insight into what makes people who they are. Across all divisions, they grapple with thorny global issues and are challenged to use Design Thinking to identify, initiate, and implement solutions.
A Nueva education fosters good citizenship, community, and democracy in the classroom. As students practice global citizenship, they will draw upon their SEL skills, gained through the rigor and richness of the SEL program. In stepping into the role of community stewardship, they develop awareness of their needs and their impacts on others.
"Nueva students relish different cultural perspectives. They immerse themselves in world cultures while suspending their own judgments and beliefs to understand and appreciate new views and values. This enables them to forge unique paths as coalition builders, healers, and diplomats with a broad worldview as context."
Hands-on Experience and Learning on
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead, American Cultural Anthropologist
We develop students who are courageous changemakers and global stewards. To that end, a Nueva education immerses students in new cultural experiences through dedicated school trips. For Nueva students, traveling on these trips is a time to fully engage, explore, and see everything as invigorating and possible. These transformative trips, extensions of the classroom curriculum, are planned and led by Nueva faculty.
Students learn independence, strengthen their connections to one another, and actively explore history, social anthropology, global studies, and environmental stewardship. They participate in conservation and scientific research in action. Nueva trips are not passive sightseeing tours; students are hands-on, learning by doing. They’re knee-deep in the sand at 3:00 am, catching eggs laid by a giant leatherback turtle, walking the land to observe firsthand the effects of fire on an ecosystem, and hiking deep into the forests of Peru to study the history and cultural anthropology of the Incan civilization.
The academic focus of each trip varies depending on the destination and the activities planned by the teachers leading the trip.
This summer, Marc Y. traveled to China where he visited remote towns and village schools to listen to children’s hearts to detect murmurs. Along with several volunteer interns, he furthered the efforts of Dr. Robert Detrano and the China California Heart Watch (China Cal), a non-profit that operates out of UC Irvine to provide free heart care to denizens of China’s poor and polluted Yunnan Province.
Eighty-seven students, twenty chaperones, six flights, six groups, five topics, one incredible adventure!
The trip began at the international terminal of the San Francisco airport at 4:45 am in our neon blue Peru G-Adventures t-shirts. Tired but excited students and chaperones started on the re-imagined Peru class trip, nearly eleven months in the making. In August of last year, a team of dedicated staff and faculty visited Peru to build connections and create a tailored, immersive experience for our “Mighty Ninety.”
We began our morning at Jamestown, touring the settlement and getting a sense of the day-to-day lives of the colonists and their Powhatan neighbors. We stretched a few deer hides, worked on a log canoe, and watched a shooting demonstration of a musket. One highlight of the morning was visiting the glassblowing workshop at the original site of Jamestown; kids got to see how the colonial glassblowers created their beautiful work.
“Late at night, our group walked down to the beach carrying bucketfuls of turtle hatchlings. Each year fewer and fewer turtles nest in Costa Rica, and biologists there must do all they can to prevent their extinction. We tipped the buckets over, leaving a mound of hatchlings strewn across the sand. Ahead of them were the glow of the bioluminescent ocean waves and the brilliant reflection of the moon and stars on the water. The natural light should have been a beacon to the hatchlings, drawing them forward and away from the predators of the coast. But despite all the help we’d given them, our turtles struggled to orient themselves. They veered left to face a new, manmade beacon: the city of Tamarindo.”
Chris Scott, Upper School Japanese teacher, and Hillary Freeman, ninth grade dean, took nine young ambassadors (Grades 9–12) to Japan for eleven days in February on an exchange program with Doshisha high schools
The tenth grade Costa Rica trip presents students with opportunities not only to discover rich biodiversity, but also to examine the complex issues surrounding protecting those rare species from survival threats such as climate change, human society, and habitat destruction
This year, Nueva music teacher Jim Munzenrider and middle school head Liza Raynal chaperoned an optional trip to Trinidad over February break for ten steelpan players ranging from 7th through 11thgrade. The last group of students who travelled to Trinidad are now in college and we were thrilled to return.
Nueva students in all divisions have been busy studying outside the classroom this spring on trips, both local and abroad.
Trips included camping at various Bay Area locations; learning about American history and U.S. constitutional history in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas; an outdoor program in Yosemite National Park followed by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; trips abroad to China, Japan, or Spain to further cultural comprehension and fluency in their language of study; and studying Incan civilization in Peru. The trips are an important part of the Nueva experience because they provide an intensive, immersive opportunity to enhance learning through direct, hands-on experiences.