A Commitment to Safety – YubaNet

In Nevada County, keeping students and schools safe is a top priority for every school administrator, law enforcement agency, and local fire department. As we return for another school year, families ask questions about school emergency planning and preparedness, as well as prevention efforts. Local education agencies, in conjunction with the Office of the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, have developed strong partnerships between schools, law enforcement, fire departments, and school community partners to improve the campus and community safety.

In Nevada County, there are nine school districts that oversee several schools, as well as several charter and private schools. We are fortunate to have the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Grass Valley Police Department, Nevada City Police Department, and California Local Highway Patrol serving and protecting our community and schools. Additionally, several local and state fire departments make up the response team in Nevada County.

With guidance and technical assistance from law enforcement and fire service partners, and the Emergency Management Preparedness Technical Assistance Center for Schools, Public and Charter Schools in the County of Nevada have developed school safety plans that are regularly reviewed and updated. Plans include procedures for lockdowns, evacuations, active shooters, wildfires, earthquakes and more. Each campus maintains plans tailored to its site and responds to the critical, incident-specific, and site-specific needs of that campus. Safety plans include communication protocols for connecting with law enforcement and messaging families. Plans are formally reviewed annually to ensure current security requirements are met and best practices are implemented.

Fire and containment drills are scheduled throughout the school year to ensure students and staff know what is expected of them in the event of an emergency. Law enforcement and other public agencies held active fire drills on several school campuses to familiarize themselves with the campus layout and the school’s safety plans. Agencies work collaboratively to develop relationships with the county office of education, school districts, and charter school sites.

All schools strive to create a healthy school climate where students feel welcome and connected. The collaboration with Nevada County Behavioral Health and other community partners aims to provide resources available to students and families.

Students and families play an important role in keeping our school campuses safe. They can be among the first to recognize the warning signs of someone at risk of hurting themselves or others. We encourage students and families to speak to a teacher, counselor, school resource officer, or other trusted adult for help or to report concerns.

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools has partnered with the Nevada Joint Union High School District to host a safety summit for the Nevada County community. Local law enforcement officials, firefighters, and Office of Emergency Services personnel will present a safety summit at the Bear River High School Theater on Monday, September 12, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Nevada Union High School, Don Baggett Theater on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Resource tables will be available at each event with additional agencies represented. Please help spread the word.

In conclusion, we would like to assure the community that we have protective systems in place, that we are ready to react and that we will continue to be proactive in our prevention efforts to keep our schools safe.


Scott W. Lay, Superintendent of Nevada County Schools
Chris Espedal, Director of School Safety (NCSOS)

Jonathan Molnar, Bitney Prep High School

Katie Kohler, Chicago Park Elementary School

Carolyn Cramer, Clear Creek Elementary School

Peter Sagebiel, Forestry Charter School

Andrew Withers, Grass Valley School District

John Baggett, Nevada City School District

Holly Pettitt, Nevada City School of the Arts

Dan Frisella, Nevada Joint Union High School District

Melissa Conley, Penn Valley Union Elementary School District

Rusty Clark, Pleasant Ridge Union School District

Richard Young, Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning

Scott Mikal-Heine, Twin Ridges Elementary School District

Jennifer Dearduff, Twin Ridges Home Study Charter

Andy Parsons, Union Hill School District

Denis Hill, Yuba River Charter