Nevada County offers school choice through open enrollment in elementary schools and high schools. The area has well regarded and innovative K-12 school systems, focused on continuous improvement, including numerous public charter schools. Click here to view the school directory.

Charter Schools:

Nevada County boasts the greatest number of charter schools per capita in California. A variety of educational offerings are available in each of the 12 charters.

National Blue Ribbon Schools:

Nevada Union High School, Alta Sierra Elementary, Pleasant Ridge Elementary and Cottage Hill Elementary were named Blue Ribbon Schools by the President for academic excellence. Nevada City School of the Arts is the first charter school in the nation to earn the Blue Ribbon award.

California Distinguished Schools:

Many schools throughout the county, in the past decade, have been recognized as Distinguished Schools by the Governor for academic excellence. Nevada Union High School, Bear River High School, Ghiodotti Early College High School, Magnolia Intermediate School, and Seven Hills Middle School were all awarded this honor.

The Nevada Joint Union High School District is a group of Innovative Educational Communities providing parents and families with a variety of choices to meet the diverse needs and interests of high school students.

Nevada Union has a number of small learning communities, which amongst others include:
  1. Nevada Union Partnership Academy of Telecommunications, which has a multimedia focus to many of the assignments with video production at its core.
  2. Engineering Design Pathway
  3. Green Academy which focuses on renewable energy.
  4. The humanities academy which focuses on the classical education with extra focus on world languages.

For a full list of High Schools click here.

In fact Nevada Joint Union’s High School District’s affordable home prices and strong academic performance makes it one of the best bargains among California’s school districts, according to a study by the number crunchers at

Truckee High in Eastern Nevada County offers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses including Introduction to Engineering Principles that is part of the Project Lead The Way program. Click here to go to the Truckee Unified School District website.

Community College


The local Community College, Sierra College – Nevada County has two campuses, one in Grass Valley and one in Truckee. Sierra College is among the top 1% of United States community colleges in awarding Associate Degrees – 4th in California.

Born in Auburn and raised in Rocklin, Sierra College has been a pillar of community and educational excellence since 1936. If you take the time to explore Sierra College’s history, you’ll find that it is drenched in innovation. From being the first community college to offer dedicated educational opportunities for wounded veterans to the first discovery of dinosaur fossils in Northern California to the number one community college in California awarding associate degrees, Sierra College has always been an educational leader.

With approximately 83 degree and 78 certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to 4 year Universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region.

Students of Sierra College have the opportunity to choose from traditional on-ground, online, and hybrid courses from each of its four campuses in Rocklin, Nevada County, Tahoe-Truckee and Roseville. Sierra also offers an extensive not-for-credit Community Education (Kaleidoscope) program, as well as a large variety of courses through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program for retired community members.

The Nevada County Campus (NCC) is a comprehensive college and high school campus that offers a wide-ranging complement of student services, academic supports and campus life opportunities within a variety of modern instructional facilities. NCC currently offers courses in all patterns of IGETC, CSU Breadth, and GE requirements for Associate degrees, as well as Community Education non-credit courses and Osher Lifelong Learning courses. Students may entirely complete 38 degrees at NCC, as well as many others by taking a combination of on-ground and online classes at NCC and Rocklin. Students may also take Career Technical Courses (CTE) in 10 disciplines that meet the needs of a variety of private and public sector organizations in Nevada County and the surrounding areas.

To learn more about Sierra College and what it can do for you, visit

The college prepares students bound for engineering majors through lower division required courses such as Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. Sierra College is proud to offer the Mechatronics program which is the study of electronics, mechanics, pneumatics, hydraulics through computer control in one cohesive hands-on, project-based program. The field of mechatronics includes robotics, industrial automation, industrial process control, and electro-mechanical systems. Sierra College offers a three course series in photovoltaic (i.e. solar energy) technician training. Numerous programs in the digital arts are offered such as graphic design, 3-D modeling, web design, video production and editing and interactive multi media production.