Dear Nueva Parents,

We are grateful for your patience as we have navigated uncharted waters in recent months. As you know, a lot has changed in recent days in terms of state and county guidelines for school operations. Naturally, all of us in the Nueva community are thinking about how best to begin the 2020–21 school year. Please know that the safety of our students, faculty, and staff members is our top priority. Although the complexity involved in tying together all the different pieces of this moving landscape is immense, our commitment to students and families remains as strong as ever. All of this warrants an update for the entire community, as there are only a few weeks left before the beginning of the school year. I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we consider what is best for everyone involved. 

A Decision Based on Compliance, Context, and Capacity
Many community experts anticipate that San Mateo County will soon be placed on the state’s monitored watch list, which is based on criteria being utilized by health officials. This move would prevent Nueva from implementing its NuevaFlex learning model that we have been preparing for all summer, one where all Lower School students would be on campus four days per week, while Middle and Upper School students would be placed in two cohorts that would alternate on campus every other week.

Even if this shift in county status does not happen, numerous factors within our own community—limitations in human resources, challenges in transporting students and employees across multiple counties, and the increasing level of health concerns among different stakeholder groups—have led us to the conclusion that the NuevaFlex model, a robust hybrid approach to learning that predominantly involves most of us on campus for large majority of times, is no longer feasible as a starting point in late August. For these reasons, Nueva will begin the school year with a mostly remote approach to learning as we begin on Monday, August 24. 

Please note this does not necessarily mean Nueva will engage in remote learning for the entire first semester. We will regularly re-evaluate the situation and will entertain the option of emphasizing more on-campus and in-person learning after a few weeks. We have already identified mid-October as a possible transition time to consider this.

What Are Our Next Steps?
Now that the decision to begin mostly remote has been made, we turn our attention to several other items intended to maximize student learning and growth within a safe and healthy environment. 

  • Pilot programs: We will continue to engage in small pilot programs on campus with volunteer students, teachers, and staff in order to learn what works best in a flexible hybrid approach. We want to be fully prepared to implement the NuevaFlex model when community health guidelines allow us to and safety permits. 

  • Child care: Acknowledging the fact that child care continues to be a challenging factor, regardless of whether we are mostly remote or mostly on campus, we are now urgently exploring ways in which Nueva might be able to creatively support faculty, staff, and parents who have young children. 

  • On-campus possibilities: We will work with community health officials to determine if any educational activities can take place on campus in small and limited ways. Although Nueva might not be applying for a full waiver for an entire division, we do want to seriously consider the possibility of bringing students on campus for certain community-building events, especially those that can be conducted outdoors. We will work with our faculty and staff to ensure we have enough adult supervision and guidance for any activities we offer on campus.

  • Differentiating based on need: As we all know, students and adults are impacted by this health pandemic in different ways, and Nueva’s decision to begin the school year in a mostly remote fashion will require much support for many in our community. In order to promote critical relationship-building for those new to Nueva or to a particular division, we are investigating the feasibility of providing some additional on-campus activities for certain groups of students and adults, as a strong sense of community for all is essential.

  • Division-specific details: As we move forward with our planning, each division will be communicating more details. Please be reminded that we are hosting division-specific Town Halls August 4–6, at which time additional information will be shared with everyone.

Once again, we appreciate your patience, understanding, and support. Even though all of us have a clear preference for in-person education, we are confident that Nueva is in a very good position to provide an excellent learning experience for all students, regardless of how much time is spent on campus. We are already capitalizing on the benefits of certain aspects of remote learning from our experience last spring. Please be assured that all of us at Nueva will continue to learn by doing and learn by caring in whatever models we adopt in the coming months. The Nueva Way is healthy, strong, and dynamic. I am confident it will carry us through these challenging times in ways that enable this community to continue to thrive.

I look forward to your ongoing partnership and support as we near the beginning of the 2020–21 school year. If you have questions or comments about this update, please feel free to submit them to so we can incorporate everyone’s perspectives.


Lee Fertig
Head of School

6565 Skyline Boulevard, Hillsborough, California, 94010

Update Profile/Email Address