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NCSD School Sites Reconfiguration Information

NCSD School Reconfiguration FAQ



Thank you for your interest in the reconfiguration of our NCSD schools. To help parents, guardians, community members, staff and students better understand the reconfiguration process, please review our Frequently Asked Questions.  We value the input of every student and parent. If your question is not answered below, please visit our Question Not Answered link and submit your question. Don't forget to check out two important Seven Hills Flyers: Important SH People and Important SH Locations


Why are the schools changing?
Due to capacity issues at Deer Creek Elementary School, on October 8th, 2019, the Nevada City School District Board of Education approved the recommended plan to move our 4th grade students from Deer Creek Elementary to Seven Hills Middle School starting the 2020-2021 school year. This recommendation was not reached lightly and comes after thoughtful research, stakeholder feedback and consultation with a facility expert to discuss all possible solutions to the current challenges with the ultimate goal of supporting all NCSD students.

What was the process in determining a reconfiguration was needed?
Multiple solutions were thoroughly explored, including expanding the elementary school with additional walls and placement of portables; moving other grade levels, and even switching campuses. After careful discussion of each possibility, it was determined that they would diminish or take away from the excellent programs that are currently offered to our young scholars. Additionally, many of the proposed solutions would place an added strain on the support services that ensure the success of our students and teachers. The most viable solution was to focus on the available space at the middle school.

What will the bell schedule and transportation look like at the schools?
Start times and bell schedules for all school levels for the 2020-21 school year have not been finalized as a result of the  current COVID-19 Social Distancing Orders in place in California. All schedules, and bus routes and times are still in the planning phase. We will update this information as soon as more information is available.

How will Nevada City Schools address the different learning levels for students including special needs and highly capable?
The reconfiguration provides us the opportunity to offer more support services for our students.  Grouping the fourth and fifth grade students on one campus creates more resources allowing us to consolidate services previously divided among the schools.  As a result, we can be more flexible with scheduling and efficient in providing this support.  All students who qualify will still be offered access to remedial, special education and advanced programs with greater options.

How will Nevada City Schools ensure a smooth transition for students?
We will offer a series of transition activities for families to make them feel welcome at both schools.  Prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year, parents/guardians will receive updated information about transition opportunities available to their students at their new school. In addition, Seven Hills will provide a student and parent orientation and welcome activities for new families on August 13th at 12:00.

We are confident that this new approach to learning will continue the high quality of programs and services for students, parents, teachers and administrators.  We will continually refine the new instructional model and make the necessary improvements to enhance the student learning experience. The success of this change will support the high standard of learning for our school district for the long-term. 


Will the fourth grade teachers move with the fourth grade students?
Yes. Current teachers have all indicated that they will be returning for the 2020-2021 school year and will be moving to Seven Hills along with the fourth grade students for the 2020-2021 school year. 


4th and 5th Grade Questions

What will the class structure or instructional model look like for fourth and fifth graders?
The reconfiguration will allow us to better prepare your child for the next step in their education.  The structure will most closely resemble an elementary school model, but will increase the number of elective and enrichment opportunities your child experiences.  Each student will also take at least one elective per trimester. 

Will the 4th and 5th grade be similar to an elementary or secondary format?
The intermediate school will be most similar to an elementary school.  It will have designated recess times and lunches, similar to what elementary schools currently offer. Fourth and fifth grade students will have a separate lunch and recess from their 6th-8th grade peers. These grade levels will not have defined class periods.  Instead, teacher teams will be able to group and rotate students to best meet student needs.  Seven Hills Middle School will have brand new, age-appropriate playground equipment ready for school in August 2020 to accommodate the needs of their students.  The school will feature a variety of team and competitive play equipment, along with large motor and balance equipment.

Will fourth and fifth graders have elective/specialist choices?
Yes.  Many of the details of what options will be available and how they will be scheduled are still being finalized by the master schedule and COVID-19 committee.  However, some options may include music, art, PE, STEM and band will certainly be considered.  We will update this FAQ as more information becomes available.

How much interaction will the 4th and 5th grade students have with their upper grade peers?
At NCSD we understand that younger students have different developmental needs and interactions than their older peers. Several practices will be implemented to ensure that all students feel safe and are supported in engaging in social and academic activities with their age alike peers. Fourth and fifth grade classrooms will all be housed together in the D-Wing of campus. Separate recess and lunch times, as well as a separate bell schedule for passing periods, have been scheduled for fourth and fifth grades. Additionally, fourth and fifth grade students will have separate bathrooms on the D-Wing side of campus to use at all times. While we believe that maintaining age alike activities and locations is the best way to ensure that students are provided with the most developmentally appropriate engagement opportunities, we also acknowledge that there are wonderful opportunities for older students to act as positive peer role models and mentors to our younger students. Cross grade level opportunities to promote positive peer leadership and mentorship may occur.


What after-school opportunities will be available for fourth and fifth graders?
After-school child care will be available for all fourth and fifth graders. The structure and availability of after-school childcare are still being finalized by the master schedule and COVID-19 committee. We will update this FAQ as more information becomes available.