Academies - Opportunities for students in grades 4 through 8 to pursue an area of interest, to explore a new subject, learn a new skill, or to develop an individual project. They are goal-oriented, with a developed curriculum, and led by students, faculty, staff, or parents. Academies meet on Fridays from 2:00 to 3:25 pm.

Advisories - Led by a faculty member, an Advisory is a small group of students who meet regularly to review organizational strategies and set personal goals. Middle School students are in grade 5 and 6 are grouped together, as are 7th and 8th graders. Upper School students are grouped by grade. Advisory groups discuss issues pertinent to their growth as students and individuals. The advisor also serves as a vital communication link for parents with questions and/or concerns.

After Care - Child care offered after the school day in the GCC classroom, from 3:30 - 6:00 pm. See also Extended Day.

Annual Fund - see Nueva Fund.

Art Helpers - Volunteers who support the Art Specialists in all divisions by hanging and presenting art. In the Lower and Middle Schools, Art Helpers also work in the classroom and help preparing materials.

Art Showcase - A school-wide exhibition of art from all grades. It is held annually, usually in springtime.


Bay Meadows Campus - The campus at 131 E. 28th Avenue in San Mateo, which opened its doors in August 2014. The Upper School is located at the Bay Meadows campus. Also abbreviated in communications to BM. 

Before Care - Child care offered before the school day begins, it is held in the Library from 7:30-8:20. See also Extended Day.

Benefit Auction - An annual celebratory fundraising event featuring both live and online  and silent auctions to raise money for financial aid for students and professional development opportunities for our teachers, associate teachers and staff. Lots of volunteer opportunities and tons of fun!

Benefit Auction Chairs - Volunteers who design and implement components of the annual Benefit Auction.

Book Fair - Annual book sale for parents, teachers, and students; proceeds support the library at the Hillsborough campus and the Writing and Research Center at the Bay Meadows campus, as well as literacy programs.

Buddy Program - A program that links current Nueva families with newly admitted families with the purpose of integrating new students and families into the Nueva community over the summer.


Cafe – Nueva’s Cafés, one at each campus, serve lunch to students, teachers, and visitors. The Hillsborough Café is located on the Hillside Learning Complex and the Bay Meadows Café is located adjacent to the Blue Reception Desk above the parking garage.

Class Benefit Auction Reps - Volunteers who work on behalf of their class in support of auction activities. Sign up!

College Counseling - The team at the Upper School who advises and guides students through the college search process. 

Common Ground Speaker Series - A lecture series, founded by Nueva and currently organized by 17 independent schools, featuring prominent speakers on a variety of parenting and educational issues. See www.commongroundspeakerseries.org.

Community Service - Volunteer activity on behalf of a community, also called Service Learning. Middle Schoolers participate in various community service activities with their Advisories during each school year. Upper School community service opportunities exist both on and off campus.

CRISP - Curriculum Related Independent Study Project. A 4th grade program of choice homework that allows student to pursue learning about an interest and to share that interest with the class.


Elective - Course selections that offer students choice among alternatives. In Middle School during 7th and 8th grades, students are offered choices of various arts and music courses to fulfill their arts course requirements. Some examples are Steel Drums, Making the Band, Video Art, or Sculpture. In Upper School, students can choose two electives per year and offerings are in various disciplines, including STEM, humanities, and the arts.

Enrichment - Courses held after school that offer learning opportunities on topics not covered in the classroom. Each semester, Nueva offers a full slate of exciting after-school enrichment classes such as Steel Drums, Mad Scientists, Mathematical Puzzles and Game Design, Dance, Computer Science, Chess, Soccer, Dance, Theater, Art, and Nature. 

Extended Day - A group of programs for students before and after the school day. They include Before Care, After Care, Enrichment Classes, and Homework Club.


FUR - FUR stands for Facilities Usage Request, and is an online form that must be completed and submitted to Nueva Operations to reserve a campus space for an event or program. Use of this form reserves the space and also gives the necessary instructions to Operations regarding attendance expected, equipment needed and setup requirements. To initiate a FUR, please contact a Division administrative assistant for help.


GCC - Gymnasium Community Center is Nueva's indoor athletic facility and theater on the Hillsborough campus. You will also find the Admissions Department at the west corner of the building, and many meetings are also held in the GCC Lobby.

Grade Leads - Volunteers who work on behalf of their Lower School class in support of activities in the classroom as well as coordinating community building social activities for parents and families throughout the year. Additionally, they collect and manage funds from parents for December and End of Year gift cards for teachers. One of the grade leads per class is assigned the role of communicating about major grade, class or school-wide events. Sign up!

GPSF Day – see Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day.

Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day (GPSF) - A community-building event designed to strengthen ties with students' extended families and friends. Grandparents and special friends are invited to experience firsthand what learning is like in a Nueva classroom during a morning of performance, classroom visits, and breakfast. It is a half day event, with the one at the Hillsborough campus typically held the day before Thanksgiving, and the one at the Bay Meadows campus held two days before Thanksgiving.


Helping Hands - A program run by Nueva parent volunteers that helps Nueva parents, faculty, and staff who experience an extreme medical crisis and find themselves in need of support.

Hillsborough Campus - The campus located at 6565 Skyline Boulevard in Hillsborough. The Lower School and Middle School are located at the Hillsborough Campus. Also abbreviated in communications to HB.

HLC - Hillside Learning Complex.  This acronym refers to the campus buildings opened in September, 2007 including the J Building (Middle School Classrooms, I-Lab, and Administration), the Library, and the Café.

Homework Club - A teacher-supervised place and time to work on homework after school. It is held Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 pm in J211 and J212. After 5:30 pm, students who need to stay longer must go to After Care. .

House System - A system of four houses invented and created by Upper School students to increase cross grade friendships and create community spirit. Every US student is “sorted” into one of these houses. The four houses are: Aquila, House of the Eagle; Ursa, House of the Bear; Ceres, House of the Stag; and Lupa, House of the Wolf.


Ice Cream Social - Annual ice cream festival for all grades, generally held close to the end of the school year at both the Hillsborough and the Bay Meadows campuses.

I-Lab - Nueva has two innovation labs. One is located in the bottom floor of the J-Building at the Hillsborough campus and the other is on the first floor at the Bay Meadows campus. These hands-on facilities provide the space, tools, and teaching that enable students to put Nueva's Design Thinking curriculum into practice. It is designed to extend learning opportunities for all grades.

ILC - see Innovative Learning Conference.

Innovative Learning Conference (ILC)- A biennial conference, hosted by Nueva, featuring renowned experts, thought leaders, and practitioners on various aspects of innovation in education. The next ILC is October 19-20, 2017.

Intensives - Choice activities offered in 4th Grade for 2 weeks during the fall semester, ranging across the subject areas -- math, science, technology, art, writing, music, and humanities -- and also range outside the normal subjects, into crafts, games, etc.

Internship Program - The Nueva Internship Program connects gifted, passionate students with Bay Area organization for one to twelve-week engagements, spanning the fields of technology, research, politics, medicine, publishing, fine arts and more.

Intersession – A time between semesters for Upper School students to experience interdisciplinary exploration with real world experts. Generally held in early January, students choose from a curated catalog of over 150 seminars, intensives, activity session, and field trips offered during the two weeks of intersession, led by over 100 different presenters.


J-Building - The building at the Hillsborough campus that has the I-Lab, middle school classrooms, and administrative offices. It is opposite of the library at Hillsborough. 


Language Exchange - For many years, Nueva has nurtured a strong relationship with schools in China, Japan and Spain. Each year, as part of the 8th Grade's language program, Nueva families host a number of students from the exchange schools for one week. When our 8th graders make their culminating trip to China, Japan or Spain, they participate in "homestays" with families from the exchange schools.

Lit Club - Founded in 1982, the Lit Club curriculum provides students in grades 2-8 with opportunities to practice reading strategies and literary analysis in small groups that meet weekly.


Maker Faire - A two-day, family-friendly event, that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself mindset, held in the San Mateo County Fairgrounds, next to the Bay Meadows Campus. Nueva students and faculty participate with a booth displaying their creative products.

Mansion – A historic building that became the home of the Nueva Day School in 1971. Today it houses the Lower School classrooms and offices, beautiful grounds where students learn and play, and the Ballroom where many concerts, performances, and meetings are held. When driving onto the Hillsborough campus, continue following the road past the south parking lot and bear right downhill. The Mansion will appear on your right.

Math Circle - A joyful community event where guest mathematicians and math educators lead preK-10th grade students in engaging math activities or investigations.

Menuhin Program - Nueva's unique Menuhin-Dowling Music Program, founded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Helen Dowling, provides advanced training for 25 to 30 students selected annually by audition. Children in the program are exceptional music students who take lessons twice a week, study theory, form ensembles, attend field trips, and perform regularly.

Musical Theater - Musical theater production featuring students in grades 3-8 at Hillsborough and grade 9-12 in the Upper School. Please see Nueva Calendar for current year’s dates. 


NPA – see Nueva Parents Association.

Nueva Digest - A weekly email newsletter with highlights and stories from the Nueva School community. Each week’s edition also includes the favorite “Five Questions for…” featuring a new member of our faculty and staff. The Digest is the place to read about both recent happenings and important aspects of Nueva’s culture.

Nueva Fund - The major annual fundraising campaign for the School. Every dollar raised directly supports the exceptional people and programs that make Nueva so special. The funds raised are used for the current year’s operating budget and are vital for the School.

Nueva Journal - A biannual magazine of thoughtful articles by Nueva faculty and staff about aspects of our program, often including illustrations and/or excerpts of student work.

Nueva Notes Nueva's weekly must-read news bulletin featuring critical information, announcements, and upcoming events, often linking to your internal Nueva home page.  Nueva Notes is your main resource for alerts and other need-to-know information.

Nueva Store - The Nueva Store offers clothing and other merchandise featuring the school's name.

Nueva Parents Association (NPA) – The NPA is our organization that provides an avenue for parents to get to know one another and to work together on community programs and events throughout the year. The NPA works directly with the head of school, faculty, and administrative team, assisting in fulfilling the mission of our school. All current Nueva parents are members.


Parent Education - From time to time, the NPA hosts parent programs featuring speakers addressing parenting or other education-related issues.


Quest - The Nueva Quest gives Upper School students the unique opportunity to pursue their own interests throughout their four years of high school. Working with their advisors and teachers, students identify and craft their own personal in-depth inquiry in a self-selected area of evolving passion or in pursuit of a deep question. Students may elect to pursue one field of study over four years or to frame and complete a series of different Quests, each taking one or more years. 


Science of Mind - The Science of Mind program is where SEL is given shape at the Upper School, using a curriculum that adapts to meet the needs and concerns of high school students. In this four-year program, students learn foundational principles of psychology and neuroscience, bringing clarity to social-emotional best practices.

SEL – see Social and Emotional Learning.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)– A cornerstone program created at Nueva and now spreading all over the world, teaching children skills to examine their own thoughts and actions and be sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. Within the context of guided activities and peer feedback, SEL gives children the tools to be successful within the interpersonal domain. They learn to work collaboratively to create a vibrant, safe learning environment in which all members of the community are empowered to take responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Look here for more information.

Sport Court - The Sport Court is located on the Hillsborough campus, between the Sport Field and J-Building plaza.

Sport Field - The Sport Field is directly ahead of you when entering the Hillsborough campus.

Sports Boosters - Parent volunteers who help support the Athletic Director and Nueva's competitive sports teams.

Staff Appreciation - Activities that demonstrate parent and student support for teachers. These are led by the Staff Appreciation Committee.

STARPAP - A comprehensive 8th grade research project that explores the Science, Technology, Art, Religion, Politics, Architecture, and Philosophy of a specific time period in a city in either China, Japan or Spain, depending on which language the student is studying. By studying the cultural identity of the city in depth, students try to answer the question “How are beliefs made visible?” in the city of their choice. By completing the STARPAP project before they visit the country, students greatly enhance their intellectual understanding and appreciation of what they see and experience on the trip.

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Technology (STEM) Fair - Annual school-wide fair providing explorations in the many fields of math, science, and technology issues. It is generally held in early spring, and the entire campus buzzes with hands-on activities led by both students, parents, teachers, and professionals in fields such as computer technology, biology, physics, mathematics, and more. In addition, students showcase their science experiments.

SWI (sometimes called FWI or Word Study) - Structured Word Inquiry (or Forensic Word Investigation), Nueva's revolutionary, linguistics-based approach to Language Arts and Orthography, which incorporates Morphology, Etymology, and Phonology to enable students to investigate and understand the structure of the English language.


Talent Show - Biennial, school-wide production featuring students, parents, faculty, and staff performing a variety of talents.

Tea on the Plaza- Annual welcome event open to all parents and held on the morning of the first day of school on the Hillsborough campus. Not only is it a social event and a welcome to new families, but parents also learn more about the school’s priorities for the year and have the opportunity to sign up to become engaged in various school activities.

Trips Program - One of Nueva’s unique hallmarks which provides hands-on, global-learning opportunities for students so that they can “Learn by doing, learn by caring.” The trips program also helps build independence and develop other SEL skills.


Wavelength - An alumni magazine with feature articles, alumni news, and articles about recent school events and activities.

WRC – see Writing and Research Center

Writing and Research Center (WRC) - located on the second floor of the Bay Meadows campus and consisting of library books and reference materials, as well as access to research resources and a research librarian. The WRC is also a popular study and conference location throughout the school year.





6565 Skyline Blvd.
Hillsborough, CA 94010





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



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