NuVu is a collaborative project-focused school for middle and high school students, where they ‘learn by doing.’ They do not have regular daily hour blocks of courses, subjects, classrooms or grades. Some students come for a semester [even during the summer], others for four years full-time. They focus on one project for two weeks at a time, and on working as a team — and being adaptable. Some students have created robotic arms, others sustainable clothing.

The 2018 AAIE Dr. Keith Miller International Innovative Leadership Award was earned by NuVu in February at the annual conference held in New York. Candidates for this award are judged based on leadership, creativity, culture, delivery, and impact. AAIE is a non-profit, membership based international organization that partners with educational institutions and associations worldwide to exchange international ideas, resources and research that help develop and improve international education and diversify and expand school leadership capacity.


Here are some questions our KDSL Global Intern Kate O’Neil recently asked Karen Sutton, Director of Operations at NuVu, about the organization.


NuVu is highly effective at transforming the lives of high performing students. Does NuVu have any programs specifically for students who do not come from the best schools, and are at a disadvantage?

The curriculum model provides an opportunity for all learners, from all backgrounds and education. What makes NuVu different is there are no courses, no subjects, no classrooms, no one-hour schedule, and no grades.


Is there a focus on including minorities and women, given the broad school focus on engineering?

Yes, we have several ways in which we focus gender and ethnic diversity. With our small enrollment, we take each admitted student on a case-by-case basis, meaning that if parents request financial assistance, we try to contribute what we can to make enrollment possible. We do this with siblings, too. And with our partnership with Beaver Country Day School, our diversity (both gender and ethnic) varies from term to term. We make a concerted effort make our school known and have had many conversations with BPS, in particular Dearborn Academy and Boston Day and Evening Academy.


If students have an idea that requires the assistance of an adult, doctor or engineer, is it possible for them to work with one? Or are all projects self-contained to each small group enrolled?

Yes, coaches are adults, Ph.D.’s, engineers, and experts of their fields, working as mentors/guides. Projects are student-driven; students work in pairs so that there is a consistency of collaboration and feedback.


To learn more about:

NuVu visit



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