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In our applied learning classes, we train students to use what they learn in school in their everyday lives.

This training helps them understand the relevance of English, math, science and social studies and develop skills that increase their performance in different environments and situations. Applied learning includes cooking and nutrition classes, garden science, shop and crafts.

Cooking and Nutrition

During cooking and nutrition classes, students learn about nutrients, mixtures and solutions, heat transfer, energy conversions, chemical changes and other concepts as they grill and roast vegetables and meats, make salads, soups, appetizers and side dishes, and bake delicious brownies, cakes and other treats for everyone to share. They also learn to follow health and safety procedures, operate kitchen utensils and appliances, follow recipes and successfully interact with their peers.

Cooking and Nutrition

Garden Science

During the garden science classes, students plant and maintain fall and spring vegetable gardens. In creating and maintaining these gardens, students learn about plant structure and function, growing requirements, reproduction, and life cycles. They also learn how to propagate and care for houseplants. Students are able to harvest some of the vegetables and use them in their cooking class. Fresh salsa is our favorite!

Shop Class

A favorite among students is the shop class in which they complete different projects. Some of these projects include: mixing concrete and making stepping stones, bird baths, orbs and garden plaques, building bird houses, cornhole games, bird feeders, stools and benches, and making plant tags.

Shop Class


During craft lessons, students first observe as the  teacher performs each step in making a craft and then the students repeat the step and follow it precisely. This practice enhances their listening and performance skills, which are essential to employment later in life. 

1:1 Laptops and Devices

Providing students their own laptop (or iPad for our younger students) at school offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it promotes independence by allowing them to access educational materials and tools tailored to their specific needs without relying on others for assistance. This independence fosters confidence and a sense of control over their learning, which is crucial for their academic and personal development. Furthermore, a laptop can serve as a powerful assistive technology tool, offering features like text-to-speech, speech recognition, and specialized software for communication and organization, which can significantly enhance their learning experience and productivity. Overall, providing students with special needs their own laptop empowers them to overcome barriers to learning and participate more fully in their education. 
Note: IAA does not utilize online classes or coursework - technology is used as a supplement for research papers, work processing skills, etc.