SUMMER ART INSTITUTE for Nevada County Educators

BE THE SPARK! Ignite Your Core Through the Arts

SAVE THE DATE — NCSOS will be hosting a Summer Arts Institute for Nevada County classroom teachers entitled: BE THE SPARK – Ignite Your CORE Through Arts Integration!  The desired outcomes of the institute are to inspire & empower teachers to integrate the arts with ease into their core curriculum and build their confidence to do so. 

The intention is for teachers to experience arts integration workshops and to leave with practical ideas to do so, no matter their grade or content area. Please be a part of building the capacity of our county teachers to engage the creativity and curiosity of their students which promotes academic achievement and social emotional well-being. 

The institute will be held Tuesday, June 13 at Nevada City School of the Arts. Breakfast and lunch are included. Registration opens May 1.

The Nugget Newsletter

August 2022

A message from Superintendent Scott W. Lay:

scott w lay

Welcome Back!  With the close of the Nevada County Fair comes the beginning of a new school year.  I hope you were all able to relax and recharge your batteries over the summer break.

The 2022/23 school year holds the promise of looking more like a normal school year than we have experienced over the past 2+ school years.  There is a lot of work to be done by us all to meet the needs of our students’ emotional well-being as well as their academic success.  I have no doubt we will be able to meet these challenges and take our students to new heights. 

My office welcomes that challenge and plans to be with all of our schools every step of the journey.

Take care,

Scott W. Lay's Signature

Previous Issues of The Nugget
















December 2009

School Safety

Safety Information for Parents

Nevada County school administrators and staff have worked diligently to focus on school safety and to reassure parents that plans are in place in the event of an incident, emergency, or disaster at their child’s school site or in the community.  Collaboration between law enforcement, first responders, and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office has improved familiarity with responding agencies, enhanced and updated Comprehensive School Safety Plans, and solidified effective and efficient drills for public, private and charter schools in our county.

Know Overdose Nevada County Campaign

Like many communities across the state and country, Nevada County has seen a rise in overdose deaths in the past few years. This has largely been a result of synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, entering the local drug supply. Know Overdose Nevada County is a local campaign to increase knowledge and awareness about drug overdose risks and harm reduction strategies to help prevent overdoses and overdose deaths. Learn more about the campaign and how to access key information and resources by reviewing the campaign one-pager or by visiting the campaign website at

Schools Protocol for a Covid-19 Free Environment

Please follow the schools protocol for a COVID free environment.

  • Please complete the morning health check protocol with your child before entering the school premises.
  • Maintain Social Distancing at all times. 
  • When in close proximity to other people, please wear a face covering.
  • Wash hands regularly. Before and after every interaction.

Opiate Overdose Alert from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office

Recently the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous reports of opiate overdoses. So far this year 20 of these reports have resulted in death. By comparison 6 deaths occurred by opiate overdose in all of 2019. After numerous thorough coroners’ investigations and reviewing toxicology reports, we have learned that several of these overdose deaths have been directly linked to fentanyl.  

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is like morphine, but it is 50 to 100 times more potent. In some cases, pure powder fentanyl the size of a few grains of salt can be fatal. There have been numerous cases where law enforcement officers across the Country have unknowingly come into contact with the drug and overdosed themselves as it can be absorbed through the skin. 

The Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit has been investigating the overdose cases and has learned that many of the fentanyl overdoses have been caused by the user ingesting counterfeit prescription pain pills laced with fentanyl. The pills are made to resemble true and legitimate pain medication such as Percocet or Dilaudid and the fake pills even have the same shape, color, impressions, and size. The users sometimes ingest the pill(s) not knowing that they are counterfeit and, in some cases, have inadvertently ingested a and a lethal dose of fentanyl causing death. 

The forged pills are not constructed in a legal, permitted, or licensed laboratory; they are pressed using antiquated methods by either drug cartels or street criminals with generic binding agents and sometimes lethal doses of fentanyl.  

Between June 2020 and August 2020, medical and law enforcement units responded to over thirty overdoses within Nevada County and administered over 75 doses of Naloxone (Narcan) to try and revive the victim. Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. 

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office wants to alert the public to the dangers surrounding taking pills that are not prescribed by a physician or obtained by anyone that is not a licensed pharmacist. Do not take any prescription pills unless they are prescribed to you and you obtained them from a licensed pharmacist through a valid prescription.  

For more information visit the United States Drug Enforcement Administration

Can you spot the fake pill?

Cyber Safety

During these challenging times many of our students, staff and community at large are trying to navigate new ground. With an increase in screen time, cyber safety has become a new area of concern. It is important for families to have conversations regarding cyber safety and what to do if a student views disturbing content,  The FBI Sacramento Field Office recently offered “Internet Crimes Against Children and Online Safety”, a virtual presentation for parents and students in middle school and high school who reside within our area. 

For younger grades, the FBI offers FBI-SOS, a free, fun, and informative program that promotes cyber citizenship by educating students in third to eighth grades on the essentials of online security. You can access the FBI-SOS site and program information at:

Talk to your student about safety:

It is important for parents to be well informed about the safety practices at their child’s school site. Conversations with your children following scheduled safety drills are essential to help families and students prepare for emergencies whether at school or some other venue. Understanding the expectation of safety protocols helps to reduce fear and build a trust for the systems in place. Open conversations between parents, teachers, support
staff and students build upon the processes and strengthen the response plan.

Be Alert: “If you see something, say something!”

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools “NCSOS” promotes this quote,
and encourages students, parents and staff to be proactive in reporting any concerns for safety to school administrators or appropriate first responders. Reports of concern should be made directly to Law Enforcement if there is potential for imminent danger or harm.

Communication During An Emergency

Administrators and first responders acknowledge the need for communication before, during, and after an event.

Information is disseminated when it is safe to do so and after it has been verified by responding agencies.

This week, the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services officially launched a new zone-based evacuation technology to complement the ongoing Ready Nevada County tools and strategy.  It is important that you KNOW YOUR ZONE for your school site, home, or residence of a loved one.  Please go to Zone Haven to search your school’s address and see what zone you are in.  Record it, remember it, share it with your staff and encourage them to do the same for their home, work, or the residence of a loved one.  In the event of a wildfire or other emergency situation, law enforcement and fire agencies will issue evacuation warnings or evacuation orders nothing the zone of the impacted area.  Authorities will use zone names in CodeRED and Nixle Emergency Alerts, media releases, and social media to quickly notify residents which areas are affected.

In the event of an emergency at NCSOS our communication will be via phone call/text/email/social media. Please be sure the school has your current emergency contact information (i.e. phone number(s), cell phone, and/or email.

  • Parents are encouraged to wait at home and anticipate updated information as it becomes available.
  • Mass texts and phone calls to students personal cell phones may alert intruders – please refrain from doing so
  • Mass texts and phone calls to students personal cell phones may tie up the system and prevent safe and effective response – please refrain from doing so
  • Family members proceeding to the school site may block roads and prevent First Responders access – please do not report to the school site unless advised to do so
  • Unverified social media texts may cause confusion and misinformation; please use discretion when using social media


In compliance with California Education Code, NCSOS will hold required drills at NCSOS school sites throughout the school year. Some drills may be unannounced to provide an opportunity to review effectiveness and response of staff and students in a simulated event. Some drills may include oversight from law enforcement and/or fire services. Please have conversations with your students following drills to reinforce the safety protocols in place.

If there is an emergency at NCSOS staff have been trained, and will react quickly to protect students and fellow
staff. The following procedures are in place and practiced:



If there is an earthquake, students will duck, cover, and hold on until the shaking stops, and then will evacuate the
building to the Evacuation Area, if it is safe to do so.


If the emergency is a fire, students will evacuate to their Evacuation Area until authorities determine that it is safe
to re-enter the buildings. Students will not return until the buildings have been inspected and are determined to
be safe to enter.


Lockdowns may be initiated by law enforcement or school administrators. Lockdown procedures are based on information received and will vary dependent on incident. Lockdowns include locking doors, covering windows and silencing cell phones. If there is an imminent threat to the school site, additional procedures are implemented, such as evacuation, if it is safe to do so. In addition to covering windows and locking doors, barricading classroom doors may be done if evacuation is not a safe option. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has confirmed that the Run, Hide, Fight standard for personal protection during an active shooter attack is reasonable and appropriate (Cal OES Enforcement Division, 2/18); school staff is trained in this response.

Shelter in Place

If there is a hazard outside such as a report of criminal activity in the area, a nearby chemical spill, weather hazard or dangerous animal on campus, students will be brought inside where the building itself will help protect them from danger. Schools will act to protect students and are prepared to shelter the students inside classrooms for hours if necessary. If students are held for a lengthy period of time, there are procedures in place for emergency food, medical and restroom needs – these procedures vary depending on the nature of the danger to students.

Reunification off site

In rare instances, where more distance is needed to ensure student safety, students may be relocated to another site for reunification with parent/guardians. This includes during a threat of wildfire or other threat to the safety of staff and students. Parents will be advised of reunification sites through phone call/text/email/social media. For your safety and the safety of students, staff and first responders, please:

  • DO NOT REPORT TO THE SCHOOL – procedures are in place to safely and efficiently reunify students with parent/guardians.
  • Have persons authorized to pick up students LISTED ON STUDENT EMERGENCY CARD. No student will be released to any other adult, if not listed on the current emergency card.
  • Be sure your student’s emergency card is up to date with emergency contact names and numbers.
  • Have a photo i.d. at the reunification site; it will be required at the time of pickup.

Independent Studies

Our goal is to stay connected digitally and support student learning through quality resources that extend beyond the classroom walls. We are excited to provide opportunities for continued learning and enrichment.

Click on the grade level or resources below to get started!

Trending Right Now!

To share additional learning resources please contact Andrea Marks. Refer to staff directory for contact info.


Public, charter and private schools, along with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office (NCSOS) are teaming up with Nevada County Public Health Department to provide students, families and the public with the most accurate information available regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Nevada County.


Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent

August 3, 2021

Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #12

June 1, 2021
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #11

January 29, 2021
Educators Vaccination Clinic Thank you letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay

January 8, 2021
Nevada County Public School Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #10

November 20, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #9

November 12, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #8

Nevada County Public Information Officer Communication 11-10-20

July 14, 2020
Public Health Guided Return to Site-Based Classroom Instruction

June 15, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #7

May 13, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #6

April 2, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #5 | Español Comunicado

March 30, 2020
Message to the Community regarding mental health resources from Superintendent Scott W. Lay

March 27, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #4

March 19, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay #3 

March 16, 2020
Nevada County Public Schools Advisory Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay 

March 12, 2020
Letter to families from Superintendent Scott W. Lay

March 6, 2020
Coronavirus Guidance Letter from our California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond

March 5, 2020
Coronavirus Letter from Superintendent Scott W. Lay

STEAM Expo 2023

nevada county steam expo logo

We look forward to STEAM Expo 2023!

Combining science, technology, engineering, art, and math the Nevada County STEAM Expo highlights the talents of our students through a countywide competition and project showcase. The Nevada County STEAM Expo will be hosted in a virtual space on the zFair platform.

This year, our scientific inquiry competition is the qualifying event for Nevada County students that demonstrate outstanding scientific inquiry skills in the California Science and Engineering Fair. In addition to winning our local competition, the top six student projects will advance to the CSEF prestigious statewide event, also being hosted through zFair.

On Saturday, March 25th, 2023 from 1-2pm competition winners will be announced on Students interested in the categories of scientific inquiry or STEAM art must register projects at before 5pm on Wednesday, March 23 to be eligible to compete.

Hosted in early March, the TechTestJr. is an individual and team math competition for grades 5-8 held at individual school sites. For more information please visit NevCo Expo Tech Test Jr.

Participant Information & Schedule of Events

Wednesday, March 23rd – Project Registration Deadline

Register all projects on the zFair platform for judging by Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 at 5pm.

Thursday, March 24th – Virtual Judging & Project Review

Judging of STEAM Scientific Inquiry Projects and the Art Competition 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Friday, March 25th – Virtual Showcase Event

► Student Project Showcase & Virtual Art Gallery from 9am – 2pm ONLINE

► STEAM activities and class challenges (posted on that you can host in your own class with your students

► Awards Ceremony: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Virtually announced via video and emailed/posted on site to share with all participants countywide. Announcement of Tech Test Jr., Da Vinci Art Competition, and Scientific Inquiry winners and Nevada County CSEF nominations.

Young at Art 2023

Young at Art Graphic

March 14th – May 25th, 2023

Sponsored by the County of Nevada, Nevada County Arts Council and Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office 

Young at Art is an annual celebration of the national program recognizing Youth Art Month, which officially takes place the month of March. Young at Art is a public testimony to the value of the arts in education. Every year Eric Rood Administration Center personnel express great joy in this large exhibition of student work.

Artwork will be displayed at the Eric Rood Administration Center March 14 – May 25, 2023. Installation of student artwork will take place on March 9th, 10th and 13th from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 pm. NOTE: Hanging of artwork cannot take place on Tuesdays. Second floor hallways and wall panels in the second-floor landing are available on a first-come basis.