Students are referred by their school district to attend Sierra School and are generally in grades 8–12+ (aged 13 to 22). They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including Autism, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disability, Other Health Impairments, multiple disabilities, and more.
We are proud to employ Certified Special Education Teachers, Staff trained in Pro-Act, OT, Speech, PT, family therapy, Individual therapy, group therapy, and more.
Sierra School of Eastern Extension is one of the oldest nonpublic schools in the greater Sacramento area, founded in 1968. Our mission has always been in line with that of our parent company, Catapult Learning: to build the confidence and competence of our students through personalized academic interventions. The Sierra School believes in educating our students from a dual perspective. Thus, integrating mental health and support services with special education classes addresses student needs in a systematic and holistic fashion. We couple this two-part approach with an effective system of behavior management, and within the safe and structured learning environment this creates, students are better able to focus and perform academically.
In serving our students, the Sierra School follows all IEP (Individualized Education Program) mandates and adheres to California State Standards for curriculum, scope, and sequence of required subjects and areas of learning. As a California State Department of Education certified nonpublic school, we can issue both diplomas and Certificates of Attendance, with the ultimate goal being to transition as many students as possible to a less restrictive program individually prepared for each student. To facilitate our efforts, our full-time therapist delivers comprehensive services, meeting with students in both group and individual settings to assist with behavior modification and to nurture our students’ self-esteem, emotional self-worth, and overall well-being. Carrying out such an important mission requires Sierra’s highly talented and strength-based multidisciplinary staff consisting of credentialed special education instructors, a licensed psychotherapist (LCSW/MFCC), and BA- or BS-level teaching assistants.
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
Our Mission Statement: To educate and train young exceptional learners, so they can transition to adult life and become productive members of society.
This Mission Is Accomplished By:
- Participation in community-based instruction.
- Receiving specialized education instruction, training, and support.
- Learning competency-based functional skills for continued development in daily living, personal social, and career preparation skills.
- Taking part in career exploration and development.
Three Tiers of Transition Services:
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.
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.
The Sierra Upper School of Sacramento has partnered with All About Equine to give students the opportunity for an exceptional experience, equine therapy. Once a month, Sierra School students will arrive at All About Equine, a horse rescue. Sierra students learn about horse behaviors, horse ownership responsibilities, basic handling and care, the rescue situation, and much more. The students will select a horse they feel connected with and will learn about their specific horse’s life and how their specific animal ended up at the rescue. Students will observe demonstrations and participate in feeding and cleaning as well as grooming. This is a unique, hands-on experience that is exclusive to the Sierra School.
They changed his life. They gave him a chance. They helped not just him, but they helped our whole family. They changed his whole life — his whole future.
— Celia, Angel’s mother
Before coming to our school, Angel’s behavior was erratic, destructive and oftentimes violent, putting himself and those around him at risk. After being removed from nearly 10 programs, no one would accept Angel, so his struggles and shortcomings were, unfortunately, not being addressed effectively.
The faculty and staff knew that earning Angel’s trust, fostering positive social interactions and getting him involved in academic activities that resonated with him would ensure his focus and attention and reduced disruptive outbursts. Watch more about Angel’s story and hear from staff, Angel’s teacher, and his mother.