Once Angel was enrolled, the staff ensured the classroom environment was conducive to his needs with Aaron directly supporting him both academically and personally on a daily basis. Earning Angel’s trust, fostering positive social interactions and getting him involved in academic activities that resonated with him, ensured his focus and attention and reduced disruptive outbursts.
“I know how it feels to have somebody give up on you,” said Aaron, “He’s a perfect example of kids who are always overlooked. Or kids who others lost faith in.” But for Aaron and his colleagues, giving up on Angel wasn’t an option. Lead by Aaron, staff developed a plan for Angel and adjusted the structure of their lessons as necessary to accommodate him. This included providing down time to allow him to get used to the new environment while also increasing outdoor time where Angel could complete his lessons.
“In the past 6 months, we decided we were going to push the academic component, and really try to get Angel engaged in figuring out who he is,” said Brittany Auernig. “It’s taken a group effort.”
The staff at Sierra School has worked tirelessly over the past 2 years to get Angel where he is now socially and behaviorally and the results are no more visible than to his mother. Earlier this year, Angel attended and danced at his mother’s wedding. Something that was inconceivable two years ago.