Dear Nueva Community,


After several months of remote learning, hybrid learning, fire and smoke, political uncertainty, societal unrest, and an ongoing global pandemic, we have an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate for a few days as a Nueva community. On one hand, it is a great time to focus on ourselves, to relax, and to reflect. It’s also a wonderful moment to spend time with family and friends, whether it’s in person or virtually. It is also the season for thanks and giving, and I don’t want to let this opportunity pass without recognizing a few special features of our community.

A Community of Care and Wellness

I want to thank all of you for coming together as a community and co-navigating this ongoing COVID-19 landscape with us. It has, indeed, been an emotional rollercoaster—individually and collectively—and it probably will continue like this for some time to come. However,  the manner in which this community has designed, iterated, prototyped, implemented, adjusted, and celebrated a variety of learning models to keep students engaged, faculty and staff supported, and families involved is truly impressive. 


Thank you for your contributions in ensuring safety for all during these past few months. We are a community of thousands, living throughout a wide geographic area, and interacting with a multitude of others outside the Nueva bubble. Yet, the almost 2,000 COVID-19 surveillance tests we have conducted during the past few weeks have yielded no positive results. This is an amazing accomplishment, given how widespread the virus surge is right now in most of the country. It  is also a wonderful testament to how much we are caring for ourselves, each other, and our entire community. Thank you!


Please continue to be vigilant, especially during this holiday time that often involves travel. Remember to wear masks, practice physical distancing, sanitize hands, and limit large gatherings. If you plan to be onsite again as of December 7, you will need to be tested ahead of time to gain clearance to come back to campus. (Nueva is offering convenient testing services on both campuses December 2 and on the Hillsborough campus on December 3 as well. If you are traveling, it is important that you return no later than Saturday, November 28 to have the necessary five-day interim period before COVID testing.) As of now, we plan to have students back on campus for Nueva Flex the weeks of December 7 and 14. Families will be notified if there is a change to this plan. 

A Home for Diverse Perspectives

Underlying the care, generosity, and support ingrained in this community is the fact that we embrace difference and all that it offers. Just because we serve a specific, seemingly homogeneous portion of Bay Area residents—gifted learners—and we adhere to developing imaginative minds and fostering social and emotional acuity, it doesn't mean we don’t value diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and voices. Nueva has always been a place that strives to be a beloved community that treasures inclusivity. As you know, we have been diligently working on this during these past few months with student programs, faculty/staff training, and parent forums. It’s important to celebrate what we have accomplished, to express gratitude for what we already have in place, even as we recognize there is still much more work to be done in this area.


In our desire to genuinely value all perspectives in our community, there is an immediate need to better understand and respect the lived experience of Black community members at Nueva, a group that has recently articulated how Nueva sometimes falls short of fulfilling its ambition of being truly inclusive. Nueva’s African American Affinity Group recently shared a variety of concerns with the school’s leadership team and governing board, items that detract from their ability to feel like they fully belong to this community. These include matters around Black student, family, and faculty/staff representation, curriculum and learning issues, and overall culture. In addition to the recently established, board-endorsed Task Force on Racial Equity and Accountability, it’s important for the entire Nueva community to know that the school’s leadership team, faculty, and staff are actively and urgently engaged in the process of addressing these concerns. Much work is being done in the areas of admissions, awareness training, staffing, professional development, curriculum, and resource allocation in order to elevate our commitment to harnessing the strength in diversity. 

A Culture of Giving and Support

It is no surprise that this week is the official “give week” at Nueva. In our community, the notion of giving takes on a whole new meaning in all kinds of ways. Yes, it includes giving to the annual fund, as so many of you already have done and others are planning to do soon (thank you!). In  this special community, giving manifests itself in so many other important impactful ways. What our amazing Nueva Parent Association (NPA) has given to support the community these past few months is phenomenal! Social events conducted virtually, the recent book fair and math circle, parent workshops on the beloved community, welcome back treats for students and employees, and much more . . . I cannot imagine a more supportive and giving parent community. Even outside the official NPA channels, our parents and families have stepped up to generously give their time, expertise, support, and encouragement. Thanks to each and every one of you for being the active, involved, and resourceful partners we need to make sure the Nueva Way continues strong. 


Of course, Nueva would not be what it is without our incredibly passionate and dedicated faculty. Thank you to all of our teachers who give so much of themselves in time, talent, creativity, passion, determination, and grit. I also want to recognize the many unsung heroes behind the scenes. Our amazing facility and operations team, the steady and reliable IT Department, our very responsive catering partner (Epicurean), the energetic and creative advancement professionals who work in Admissions, Communications, and Development, our incredibly resilient administrative assistants in each office; and so many more . . . Nueva simply would not be what it is without your commitment, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness. 


As we prepare to take a short break from our daily activities at Nueva, and set out to renew ourselves with some rest and relaxation, let’s make sure we recognize and celebrate all we do for each other, especially our students. Giving and self-renewal indeed go hand-in-hand. Thanks to each and every one of you for all that you give to the Nueva community. In the wise words of Alice Walker,  “Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.” 


With gratitude,