Sierra School of San Joaquin serves students in grades K-12. Our school offers a continuum of academic and social-emotional services for students with disabilities that include but are not limited to: Autism, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disability, Other Health Impairments, and Multiple Disabilities. Referrals are made by school districts.
We are proud to employ highly qualified staff that are trained in our Academic Rotational and Broad-Based Educational Services & Therapies (B.E.S.T.) Models and positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) strategies. Our staff includes certified Special Education Teachers, Therapists, a Behavior Specialist and Assistant Teachers.
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.
Sierra School’s goal is to build the confidence and competence of children facing learning, language, and social challenges through personalized academic interventions. We are committed to helping each student achieve success – 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 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. To achieve this end, Sierra School has developed expected school-wide learning results, in which our 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
Our aim is to educate and train young exceptional learners, so they can transition to adult life and become productive members of society. Sierra Schools gives students the opportunity to:
- Participate in community-based instruction.
- Receive specialized academic instruction, training, and support.
- Learn competency-based functional skills for continued development in career preparation and life skills.
- Take part in career exploration and development.
Sierra Schools provide a robust transition skills program with three tiers, outlined below.
Tier One: In-Classroom Independent Living and Job Training
- Classroom janitorial services.
- Meal preparation and distribution.
- Daily classroom chores.
- Functional activities- resume, cover-letter, budgeting, sample applications and post education research.
Tier Two: On-Campus Job Coaching
Our students work with local community partners that provides job coaching in the janitorial industry on our school campus.
- Vehicle maintenance and cleaning.
- Mopping, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning windows.
- Restroom maintenance.
- Trash disposal- classrooms, front office, transition office and counseling office.
- Customer service- Delivering snack shack, greeting staff and students at Holiday events.
Tier Three: Off-Campus Job Experiences
For those students who are 15 ½ years old or older, on level, have a 2.0 grade point average, and have completed the two previous tiers, are eligible for job training at an off-site business. Students are accompanied by a job coach from Sierra School. Students work an average of 4 hours a week and will collect bi-monthly paychecks. Students in this program are held accountable for their behaviors, dress code, attendance, and professional communication. Failure in these areas of competencies will reflect in their ability to work.
Founded in behavioral science, SESI’s CASE (Considerate, Accountable, Safe, Engaged) approach uses a multi-tiered, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS)* framework to increase socially appropriate behaviors for all students in our standalone schools and in-district classrooms, regardless of their behavioral needs. We define what it means to be considerate, accountable, safe, and engaged across all settings, and use these expectations to guide all aspects of behavioral support.
Students and staff are considerate of their environment, themselves, and each other. Everyone is treated with kindness, patience, and respect.
Students and staff are accountable for their actions and own their behaviors by taking responsibility for their decisions.
Students and staff are safe and engage in behaviors that keep themselves and others secure and calm.
Students and staff stay engaged and complete tasks and activities when asked. Everyone takes pride in their work and gives their best effort.
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.