The Nueva School Reviews

Updated August 16, 2015
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Diane Rosenberg
3 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    So much potential!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Primary Cluster Teacher in Belmont, CA
    Former Employee - Primary Cluster Teacher in Belmont, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Nueva School full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful campus, students well-nurtured by their parents, creative colleagues!

    Cons

    It is almost impossible to satisfy expectations when you label yourself a school for "the gifted." I hope that every child who attends Nueva learns to value his/her uniqueness and has the confidence to define adult success and giftedness on his/her own terms. The children, parents and colleagues I met there so many years ago will always have a special place in my heart.

    Advice to Management

    Support your staff and help parents to see the uniqueness of their child! Any child who is appreciated for his own gifts and nurtured will find a valuable place in the world...It is a fine line between appreciating the contributions that the monied and influential parents can bring to all the children in an exclusive school and allowing those contributions to create a troublesome sense of entitlement for their children. Nueva is a very different place from the school that Karen founded all those years ago...something that is cause for both celebration and regret. You move forward with the good wishes and fond hopes of so many past faculty and alumni!


  2. Administration creates dysfunction and schemes like Macchiavelli

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Nueva School full-time

    Pros

    They have promoted some interesting ideas in pedagogy and teaching. They have gorgeous physical facilities and locations. Silicon Valley wealth pouring in.

    Cons

    The two top administrators are unethical, dishonest, and corrosive. I cannot recommend working here until the board of trustees (which has of recent been patsies for the head) dismisses or does not renew the head of school. Massive turnover and employee discontent is explained away. The quality of the education is like buckshot - sometimes parts of it hit the mark and other parts don't even come close.

    Advice to Management

    Leave


  3. Helpful (1)

    Interesting place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    brilliant teaching and brilliant teachers amazing campuses

    Cons

    dysfunctional administration no work/life balance not enough teachers and classrooms in the middle school

    Advice to Management

    replace the head of school


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  5. Helpful (1)

    MIcromanagement at it's best

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at The Nueva School full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful campus, friendly colleagues, additional time off for non-faculty employees who don't get summer vacation

    Cons

    Management micromanages as much as possible, is confusing, and communication is poor. Simple solutions to administrative problems take too much time to resolve, and too many back and forth emails. Professional development is only for faculty and not available to non-faculty employees. Management is "on" all the time and makes you feel like if you can't answer an email at any hour of the day, you aren't working hard enough. Faculty seemed to feed that they were better than others, which comes no doubt from the fact that Nueva only accepts highly intelligent children. Parents are overbearing and overly demanding - money talks.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees and don't over analyze everyday work issues. Treat faculty and non-faculty staff the same - provide the same benefits/treatment.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Thank goodness for lovely staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at The Nueva School full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great staff, the turmoils of the school meant that most staff come together and work well. Some know which side their bread is buttered on and just follow administration but on the excellent conversations with good people. Good campus in terms of amazing views. Some bright and hard working students. Some good project ideas.

    Cons

    Chaos at administration level. Decisions over turned, teachers were hamstrung, left ineffective. No transparency or fairness across how people were treated. Worst this all rubbed off on the students and made them unable to progress, espcially if they had messed up as kids do, instead of allowing them to face up and learn through their mistakes they walked all over administration. The school campus is beautiful but a mess, technology doesn't work, the ILab is shamefully abused and wasted. Equipment is absent or just generally not looked after, gross mismanagement of funds. Not multicultural which is fine, but instead they believe they are. They change their definition of gifted and talented all the time. Thier procedure to admission to the new High School is just horrific. Students who have been at Nueva or just arrived are not guaranteed a place, they have to apply, but some are told not to bother even applying, others are invited to apply (wink wink nudge nudge). It all depends on how much the parents have donated. The parents are horrendous, rude, swear, barge into classrooms, and there is never any consequence from administration. I was sworn at twice and there was never any support or administrations dealing with it. Money is the School.

    Advice to Management

    Look after your staff. Be a school, first and foremost not a business. Listen to your staff or one day they will get it together, they will come together and hopefully put an end to all this sadness, chaos and downright unethical school.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Nueva is where both children and adults are continuously learning.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Professional development is a focus and it is almost always meaningful. Teachers are really given a voice and agency in how their classrooms are run, what the school focuses on in terms of professional development, norms set for the school, etc. Teachers are given a lot of trust and are not expected to be perfect, although they are expected to work hard and keep the children's best interests at the forefront.

    Cons

    Many times, the school feels disorganized. If you need everything in a row, you will most likely be uncomfortable here. If you want room to experiment and create, though, it's great. Furthermore, the culture of wealth at the school (primarily among the students) can be a little overwhelming at times. That said, most of the children are very well-adjusted and the school focuses on fostering autonomy, so they're not dependent on daddy's trust fund.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Weak administration + overbearing parents = environment not conducive to effective teaching

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Math Teacher in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Math Teacher in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at The Nueva School part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    easy access to freeway for commuting bright students peaceful setting

    Cons

    had to spend my own money for supplies classroom was dirty and in disarray; had only 5 minutes to set up (no time for janitorial work) administration kowtows to parents who overstep their bounds difficult for teachers to set appropriate limits and boundaries lax rules for students who address teachers by their 1st names


  9. Helpful (1)

    Once Unique and Innovative Now Elitist and Delusional

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at The Nueva School part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The Nueva School is a private school for the intellectually gifted located in Hillsborough, a wealthy enclave of Burlingame. Situated on 33 acres of land and property donated by the estate of bank tycoon, William Crocker, the Nueva School is surrounded by trees, trails, and sweeping vistas of the Bay Area. The children that enroll into the school are required to take an IQ test and while the majority do not turn out to be geniuses in the true sense, most of them are extremely bright and well adjusted. They are often the progeny of doctors, professors, or prominent Silicon Valley executives. The curriculum at Nueva is unique in that no textbooks are used and the methods of constructivist teaching are held in the highest regard. Social Emotional Learning programs are used for early childhood sensitivity training. Written evaluations are used in place of grades. Faculty are equipped with Apple MacBooks and have the latest classroom technologies such as SmartBoards and document cameras. The Innovation Lab introduces students to modern day technologies such as 3D printers and laser cutters. Computers are prevalent in the Middle School where a One-to-One laptop program has been implemented. The year-end trips include travel to locales such as Japan, Spain, and China. Originally a PK-8 school, the Nueva School is expanding to high school grades beginning in the Fall of 2013.

    Cons

    The creation of the high school has mandated that enrollment in the Middle School be increased without the need to bolster faculty in kind. This increase in workload and poor compensation rate has lead to low morale and has decreased employee retention levels. Despite the prevalent wealth at the Nueva School, benefits are pedestrian. Faculty with families are presented with employee contributed health care costs that are exorbitant to say the least. Undeterred by the insistence that monies are limited and the low compensation is at the industry best, the Administration continues to fund unnecessary vanity projects, such as the Innovative Learning Conference, reconfiguring offices, and replacing natural grass with artificial turf.

    Advice to Management

    The Administration and Board of Trustees view all faculty as expendable and replaceable. They have fostered attitudes that are detrimental for any industry be it a shoe factory or an educational institution. The reputation of the Nueva School was built on the backs of talented, caring, and conscientious teachers and the failure to recognize them will have everlasting damage not only in the overall quality of the product but in the brand of the Nueva School.


  10. Helpful (1)

    miscommunication and lack of follow-through

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Math Enrichment Teacher in Hillsborough, CA
    Former Employee - Math Enrichment Teacher in Hillsborough, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at The Nueva School part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    beautiful location; easy access to highway 280 situated in the middle of my normal,work route students are very bright, eager to learn supervisor has amiable personality; very approachable

    Cons

    Enrichment Program A typical situation--kind of like a secret handshake--in this geographic area where the parents are the ones in charge of the school and the classrooms (sort of like animals marking their territory), and the administration allows it because of financial and political reasons. Aggressive parents are allowed to interrupt classes that are in session, and don't hesitate to criticize teacher performance--ironic as it seems--before the class even has a chance to get going. This leads to confusion on the part of the students, all of whom are bright and willing to cooperate, but who need caring, strong role models and reasonable, appropriate guidelines. [Classroom management is an unpopular topic at this school.] Administration has difficulties supporting their teachers, as they naturally have to take the side of the parents for the reasons mentioned above. And as a liaison between teachers and parents, administration has no idea of how to use diplomacy to get both groups to work together as a team. There are also problems with miscommunication and misinformation; there is no efficient flow of information from person-to-person and had to keep making the same inquiries to the same person over-and-over with either latent or no response; contracts were unavailable until the 2nd week; teachers have to provide all their own supplies, even down to pencils and construction paper; the classroom was a disaster area of spilled popcorn, wadded-up bits of papers, water glasses laying about half-full, etc. Not a healthy environment for me; I had to quit. I'll probably have to take them to court in order to get paid. A time-consuming, expensive investment for me with no return. I hope this helps someone else.

    Advice to Management

    Given your financial and political ties, work to have teachers and parents come together as a team . If you think there's even a remote possibility that a teacher might have some potential to be a positive influence on students, be discerning about how and how often you communicate parents' complaints to that teacher--especially if the teacher has only been teaching in the program for one day. :-) You can be diplomatic, and still hold your ground with parents. People will treat you and your faculty the way that you allow. Work on efficiency and follow-through in your own job duties.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Stimulating, Never dull, Amazing opportunities, but lacking focus.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    Wonderful colleagues and students and great professional opportunities.

    Cons

    Under valuing emplyees who are most capable and actually doing the good work of the institution

    Advice to Management

    Don't think the new shiny toys aka employees will be better than those who have been in place for a long time and who are competent and committed. Get rid of so many non-educator types and part time employees - stream line and reduce number of employees by at least 20%.



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