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  • Writer's picturescott kim

NUEVA (1984)

SYMMETRY. Reflection about a vertical axis. This image looks the same when seen in a mirror.

INSPIRATION. Created for the Nueva School, a private prekindergarten through eighth grade school, founded in 1967 in Hillsborough, California.

STORY. I have long been a fan of this outstanding school. Having been appalled by my own grade school education -- although excellent by conventional standards -- I like being around a school that shows me a better model.

The various parts of the school feel more like university departments, with devoted teachers, remarkable curriculum, and a strong sense of making every aspect of the school better every year. Very high parent involvement is certainly a big part of the school's success, as it is with most outstanding schools.

A high school teacher of mine who received students from many different intermediate schools including Nueva reported that students from Nueva were more self-confident and much less likely to take a statement as true just because an adult said it. Reports from friends who went to Nueva are that it can be hard to enter conventional high schools after attending Nueva.

I am especially interested in the math teachers at Nueva, who include Mary Laycock and Peggy MacLean. Their well-developed methods around using physical manipulatives in the classroom result in an entire school population that takes math confidence for granted. I hope to bring some of their thinking to software one day.

This mirror image design, inspired by one of my first visits to Nueva, has been popular on t-shirts, tote bags and other items sold by the school.

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