Students are referred by St. Vrain School District to attend Sierra School and are generally in grades K–12 (aged 5 to 21). They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including autism, serious emotional disability, specific learning disability, multiple disabilities, intellectual disabilities, other health impairments, and traumatic brain injury
We are proud to employee special education teachers and a school social worker, all of which are licensed through the Colorado Department of Education. We also have a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a team of ABA trained assistant teachers. St. Vrain School District provides related services such as Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. All Sierra School staff are trained in Handle With Care for crisis intervention.
Through our BEST Model, our approach is informed by the belief that it is common to find defined splinter skills in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related needs, as well as a large “gap” between receptive and expressive language skills—a gap that hinders social abilities and can lead to maladaptive behaviors. Consequently, the Sierra School consistently works to bridge this gap by expediting acquisition of skills and increasing our students’ awareness of their surroundings. To accomplish this, we employ a rotational model of instruction whereby students move about their educational space, alternating among specific learning modalities and diversifying their settings, all of which supports faster generalization of skills
Our Academic Model program is designed to provide consistent and predictable programming with highly individualized academic interventions for each student. For many of our students, school can be stressful or overwhelming, whether due to social or academic stressors. By providing a predictable and consistent environment, our students are able to confidently access academic interventions, develop social skills, and work through stressors. All students receive social skills instruction in individual and group settings and supported opportunities to practice these skills in the natural environment.
Sierra School works closely with the Envision and Imagine, the local Community Centered Boards (CCBs) to ensure that students have ample opportunities to explore potential post-secondary education and career opportunities. The high school BEST Model students access life skills and transition programming based on the Assessment of Functional Living Skills and other transition curricula.
We partner closely with St. Vrain School District to ensure that students are connected with all available district and community opportunities such as sports teams at the students’ home schools, the School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP), and the local Community Centered Boards (CCBs) and mental health providers. Additionally, Sierra School students in our high school Language Model class participate in weekly community outings.