Sierra School of Sacramento2024-03-22T09:23:15-04:00

Sierra School of Sacramento

Sierra School of Sacramento is a nonpublic, special education school that serves students from K – 12th grade (ages 5-22). We utilize unique education models, an effective positive behavior management system, and multiple mental health techniques to increase academic awareness, develop social skills and cultivate proper classroom behavior in each of our students. Our goal is to work along side the student to improve academic and social success so that the student can return to a least restrictive setting. Our dedicated staff and teachers are committed to the growth and safety of each student.

View our School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

  • (P) 916.930.6189
  • 9738 Lincoln Village Drive, Suite 100
    Sacramento, CA 95827
Home > Our Locations > Sierra Schools of California > Sierra School of Sacramento

Our Students

Students are referred by their school district to attend Sierra School and are generally in grades K–8 (aged 5 to 14). They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including Autism, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Speech and Language Disabilities, Other Health Impairments, Speech and Language Impairment, and more.

Our Staff

We are proud to employ certified special education teachers, marriage and family therapists, a speech therapist, and provide occupational therapy.

By focusing on key areas — academics, behavior modifications, support services, and transition / life planning services — we are able to meet the individual needs of all students through these varied approaches to instruction. Through collaboration with a student’s IEP team, we are able to choose the most appropriate learning model based on a given student’s present levels of performance, social capabilities, motor coordination, and ability to learn in a group setting.

Utilizing four specific instructional rotations, students are assessed academically, gain self-regulation skills, learn with district-aligned academic curriculums, and utilize integrated technology.

Serving students with significant autism and developmental disabilities, our model takes learned skills and practically applies them to the multiple environments in which a student would use those skills. Students spends portions of their day rotating through different modalities of instruction, the length and the frequency of each rotation is individuality designed for each learner and based on their current skills and future goals.

Each student enrolled in the model has individualized behavior programming which is driven by Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA). We aim to identify the behaviors that continue to disrupt our student’s ability to access their environment and learning. We then use the data collected from the FBA and classroom data to device strategies that get to the root function of the students disrupted behaviors.

Our PALS (Partial Academic and Life Skills) model is an individualized hybrid of our Academic Rotation model and our BEST (Broad-Based Educational Services and Therapies) model. Students in this model receive customized instruction and programming based on their individual needs. For example, some students focus more on academic instruction, while others may require more intensive BEST programming involving life and social skills. Depending on their assessments and individual needs, students will always receive a combination of both models within a PALS learning environment.

There are many Responsibility Club offerings at the Sierra School, among them: Student Government, Auto Club, Art Club, Lawn & Garden Care Club, Yearbook Club, and the Sports League. Clubs take a break over the summer, but they resume each fall, with participation levels higher and higher each year! Responsibility Clubs provide our students with a great opportunity to learn new skills in an area of personal interest to them while also allowing them time to get to meet and socialize with students from classrooms other than their own. Students can belong to a maximum of two clubs at one time and must be on green or blue level in order to attend the bi-monthly meetings. All clubs are interactive and designed and planned to accommodate the needs of our specialized populations.

The clubs also build a sense of community within the student body. Student Government, for example, is responsible for planning our monthly “Big Event,” whereas the Art Club might be responsible for providing the decorations. The different clubs therefore work together to accomplish a joint goal, and this kind of interaction and collaboration provides limitless—and priceless!—opportunities for our students to learn and grow. Overall, the Sierra School’s Responsibility Clubs give Sierra students a chance to participate in enriching activities while joyfully exploring their own personal strengths and preferences. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Sierra’s goal is to build the confidence and competence of children facing learning, language, and social challenges through personalized academic interventions. Sierra is committed to achieving success with each student even in the face of obstacles, challenges, and excuses. The program is geared toward preparing youth to become responsible adults who are able to participate in their communities and lead self-fulfilling lives. We aim to build each student’s skills and self-esteem to a level that allows them to return to a mainstream school and become fully functioning members of society. In order to achieve this, Sierra has developed the following expected school-wide learning results. Sierra students will be:

Healthy individuals who:

  • Effectively maintain appropriate peer relationships
  • Take responsibility for their own physical and emotional heath
    Demonstrate healthy life choices

Technologically literate individuals who:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various computer programs
  • Utilize a variety of current technology tools
  • Demonstrate awareness of assistive devices that will allow them to better access academic curriculums

Independent individuals who:

  • Develop strategies to set specific and attainable goals
  • Set priorities and manage time effectively
  • Develop a plan for the future
  • Develop their ability to have acceptable work habits

Academically competent individuals who:

  • Read, write, and speak effectively
  • Practice learned strategies to effectively problem solve
  • Complete assignments, display organizational skills, and practice study skills
  • Access and apply learned information and utilize notes on assigned curriculums
At Sierra School, we believe it is never too early to create a concrete plan for generalizing the learning that takes place on campus to the greater community! Because a “transition” can happen at any time in a student’s life, all students participate in our Work Experience Program.

Our Work Experience Program encompasses many areas: classroom instruction, community-based instruction, links to support services. Specific examples include but are not limited to fieldtrips, guest speakers, independent living skills instruction, cooking, budgeting, organizing/cleaning, college tours, industry tours and much more! After being in our Work Experience Program, our graduating seniors leave with a transition portfolio, encompassing all their successes in this program.

Our Work Experience Program provides practical experiences and skills through on-campus jobs, in preparation for off-campus employment. Having firsthand work experience under their belts is a critical component of teaching students what is required to be a good and productive employee. For the 15th year in a row, Sierra was awarded a WorkAbility 1 grant to support our transition efforts.

Listed below are current/past on campus job opportunities:

  • Sierra Café/Culinary Program
  • Candle Shop
  • Sierra Clothing Line
  • Student Store
  • Gardening
  • Van Crew
  • Janitorial Services
  • Special Events Organizing & Planning

WorkAbility 1 Program

WorkAbility 1 (“WorkAbility”) is a state program that was established in 1981 as a result of a successful two-year pilot study to help special education students gain work experience and skills. Its mission is “to promote the involvement of key stakeholders including students, educators, employers, and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services that will culminate in successful student transition to employment, lifelong learning, and quality of life.” Sierra Schools began to participate in WorkAbility program in 1997 because of our similar philosophy – taking a holistic approach to educating students, and assessing each one as a whole, helping student reach their goals both on and off the school campus. As part of the WorkAbility Program, each student has a transition binder that is kept in the on-campus transition department. The binder holds a collection of transition-related documents and work that each student can use as a tool and take with them after they leave Sierra and enter the workforce.

What exactly is the WorkAbility all about?

WorkAbility promotes independent living and provides comprehensive pre-employment, employment, worksite training, and follow-up services for special education students who are making the transition from school to work, postsecondary education, or training. Specifically, WorkAbility provides special education students (aged 16–22) with the opportunity to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills.

How is WorkAbility funded?

WorkAbility is funded by a federal grant administered by the California State Department of Education.

How does Sierra School personnel offer assistance to the students in the WorkAbility Program?

The school provides the following staffing in the form of a Vocational Education Team (VET) to implement the program: Transition Coordinators, Special Education Teachers and Job Coaches.

What does WorkAbility offer prospective employers?

  • Students who have been screened and prepared for employment
  • Ongoing monitoring provided by Sierra personnel
  • 30–90 hours of training that can be subsidized by Sierra
  • Future trained employees who have proven themselves

What are the advantages to our students?

  • Job development/placement services
  • Support and encouragement from staff
  • Pay for job training
  • Opportunity to gain work experience
  • Assessments of vocational interests and skills

What are the possible outcomes/goals of participating in WorkAbility?

  • Students will obtain competitive employment
  • Students will become successful, productive, and contributing members of the community
  • Students build self-esteem through reinforced positive behavior
Our Therapy Department provides individual and group counseling for students struggling with emotional and behavioral management. Sierra School therapists are trained in a number of different modalities in order to best treat the mental health needs of our students. The goal of counseling in the school is to help students process strong emotions, gain insight, and teach skills that will assist them in achieving success in the academic environment.

Students attend groups focused on anxiety, anger management, social skills, art therapy, self-esteem, and music therapy. These groups, in conjunction with individual support, benefit a wide spectrum of disorders and disabilities. Our therapists work as a collaborative team with parents, school personnel, and outside agencies to best serve our students.

Student Spotlight


Quenice Davis
Sierra School of Sacramento
2022-2023 Regional Winner

Felicia Facio
Sierra School of Sacramento
2022-2023 Regional Winner