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Nevada County Schools Rock!

Nevada County Schools Rock!

Nevada County Schools Rank High

The high quality of schools in Nevada County, and diversity of selection especially in Elementary Education, of is well known. Below we detail key grades given to our local schools in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, and surrounding communities as ranked by www.niche.com.

Elementary Schools in Nevada City, Grass Valley & Penn Valley.

Clear Creek Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley – K-8   Overall Grade A, 149 students, 19:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Nevada City Charter School, Public Charter, Nevada City – K-8   Overall Grade B+, 55 students, 21:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Alta Sierra Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley – K-5   Overall Grade B+, 289 students, 21:1 StudentTeacher ratio.

Cottage Hill Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley – K-5   Overall Grade B+, 474 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Deer Creek Elementary School, Public, Nevada City – K-4   Overall Grade B, 410 students, 21:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Yuba River Charter School, Public Charter, Nevada City – K-8   Overall  Grade B, 292 schools, 24:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Ready Springs Elementary School, Public, Penn Valley – K-8   Overall Grade B, 212 students, 24:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Grass Valley Charter School, Grass Valley, Public – K-8   Overall Grade B, 511 Students, 23:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Nevada City School Of the Arts, Public, Nevada City – K-8   Overall Grade B, 390 students, 23:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Bell Hill Academy, Public, Grass Valley – K-4   Overall Grade B, 201 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Sierra Montessori Academy, Public, Grass Valley, K-8   Overall Grade B, 100 students, 16:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Chicago Park Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley, K-8,  Overall Grade B, 121 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Twin Ridges Home Study Charter School, Public Charter, K-8,Nevada City, Overall Grade B, 118 students, 26:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Forest Charter School, Public Charter, Nevada City, K-12,  Overall Grade B-, 720 students, 19:1 students, 19:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Margaret G. Scotten Elementary School, Grass VAlley, Public, K-4,  Overall Grade C+, 500 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Union Hill Elementary School, Grass Valley, Public, K-6,  Overall Grade C+, 486 students, 26:1 Studnent/Teacher ratio.

Chicago Park Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley, K-8,  Overall Grade C, 52 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Grizzly Hill, Nevada City, Public, K-8   Overall Grade C, 91 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Union Hill Home Charter School, Grass Valley, K-8   Overall Grade B, 16 students, 7:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Williams Ranch Elementary School, Public,  Penn Valley, K-3   Overall Grade B, 218 students, 22:1 Student Teacher ratio.

High Schools



Nevada Union High School, Public, Grass Valley, 9-12   Overall Grade B-.

William & Marian Ghiddotti High School, Grass Valley, Public Alternative, Overall Grade A+. Ghiddotti High is a college prep high school component of Nevada Union High, considered by many to be one of the best High Schools in the state of California.

Bear River High School, Public, Grass Valley   Overall Grade B.

Niche.com has a wealth of information. Visit the site to view expanded grading categories and methodology the site uses to evaluate schools and assign grades. What is cool about this site is that it connects with Realtor.com to allow you to view houses in each vicinity and to gather neighborhood data.

Johnson & Geare’s Sierra Lifestyle team has personal experience with many of the local schools here and is happy to share experience and impressions with you. Please contact us with any questions.




Taking the “U” factor out of Lunches! 

Taking the “U” factor out of Lunches! 

Nevada County schools are back in session!

School in Nevada County is back in session! For my family, it’s the time of year that seems most busy. Between activities, homework, birthday parties, bedtime routine, and all the other things that go along with the nevada-county-schoolsbeginning of the Nevada County school year, I find myself stretched pretty thin. I had to find a way to take some of the responsibilities off my plate but still make sure my kids had the things they needed. I decided lunches were a good place to start.

Save time by teaching your kids how to make their own lunches!

One thing in our family we have done since preschool was have the kids help make their lunch. They started out helping by doing things like taking foods like carrot sticks or grapes out of the bag and putting it in a container. Then we taught them how to make sandwiches. Last year was the first year my oldest (7 years old) became completely responsible for making his own lunch. You may be thinking,”that is a dangerous thing to put your child in charge of his or her lunch”. (Like sending the fox to guard the henhouse) and the mess… No way!


First of all, we had to set some guidelines when we started this. Since preschool they learned about the 4 elements that need to be in their lunch for me to consider it a complete meal. They need a fruit, a vegetable, a protein and a fat. We talked about what each of these are. We made a list of foods they like under each heading (Protein, Fruit, Vegetable and Fat.) When they make their lunch, I will ask them what their vegetable is or what their fat is. After all elements are included, they can choose an extra. This could be a granola bar or a fruit leather, tortilla chips, etc.

Cleaning up the mess

The other part of learning to make their lunch is to clean up. They have learned over the years that they need to put dishes in the sink wipe counters (and floors sometimes) and if they miss some of the mess, it’s not a problem because I’ll just call them back to clean it up again. I do let their teacher know that they are learning to make their own lunch so if it looks “creative”, they can praise them on their hard work and daring flavor combinations (and also not to supplement their lunch if he decides he doesn’t want to eat it) I also double check to make sure all elements and correct portion sizes are included (a sprig of thyme does not count as your serving of vegetable!)


All in all it has been a success. I have children that are learning life skills and I have one less job I need to complete every night.


Here are some resources I found if you’re interested in helping your kids learn to make their own lunch:




Alta Sierra(GrassValley, CA) kids are preparing to return to school.

Kids around Nevada County are all asking….Where did the summer go?  School starts in most schools around Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley and Rough Ready on or around August 15, 2013.

This is a perfect time to make sure your home is in the school district you want your kids to attend and that you have enough room as they grow.

If you would like assistance looking for homes in Nevada County, please feel free to contact us.  530-559-4871 or alisare2012@gmail.com.

In the mean time here is the current bus schedules for Nevada County Schools.  Including Nevada Union High School, Bear River High School, Magnolia, Seven Hills, Lyman Gilmore, Union Hill, Cottage Hill, Alta Sierra Elementary, Deer Creek or Scotten School.(coming soon)