High school is a key opportunity to explore the direction a student will take as they enter adulthood. The Integrated Arts Academy (IAA) was designed on best practices research that suggests that arts education can engage students and move them toward success in school, work, and life. The IAA creates personalized learning opportunities for all students through arts- integrated instruction and community partnerships.

Curriculum in this innovative program enables students to meet the District’s regular graduation requirements through focused content areas: Culinary, Horticultural, and Visual Arts. Each area is supported by community expertise connected to these areas of interest.

Our staff works with students to create customized learning plans which meet the student’s unique graduation requirements. The IAA curriculum uses a standards- based learning approach designed to engage students in the investigation of authentic real-world experiences. Students learn research and critical thinking skills as well as working collaboratively to create projects that reflect their knowledge.

The IAA has unique partnerships with local teaching institutions such as Hennepin Technical College, MacPhail Center for the Arts and the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Culinary Arts

The Culinary Arts program uses a nationally recognized, career- building curriculum for high school students. Whether students are looking to enter the job market immediately following graduation, or if they plan to attend college, this program helps prepare a student for success. From culinary techniques to management skills, the industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills. Students not only learn from educators in the classroom, they also gain valuable hands-on experience by working with professionals in the industry like ProStart, a local high school hospitality program.

Horticultural Arts

The Horticultural Arts area of study integrates environmental education, ecology, soil science, plant identification, floral design, business skills, and teamwork to expand the student’s learning context. Partnerships with the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and other local community experts offer a curriculum rich in techniques and skills for successful transition to higher education or the work place.

Horticulture Class Offerings

First Quarter

Introduction to Horticulture – The science and industry called horticulture will be explored. Its role and importance throughout history, current trends and careers will be covered. Particular attention is given to horticultural crops, their use and inter-relationships between the environment, plant growth, and plant development.

Horticulture Practicum 1 – Seasonal topics in the horticulture industry and plant management will be explored, demonstrated, and practiced.


Second Quarter

Horticultural Plant Propagation 1 – A variety of plant propagation techniques will be covered and methods for developing a crop production system based on an understanding of plant biology will be explored and practiced.

Horticulture Practicum 2 – Seasonal topics in the horticulture industry and plant management will be explored, demonstrated, and practiced.


Third Quarter

Horticultural Plant Propagation 2 – Methods of propagating plants will be explored, and students will develop a crop production schedule and implement it to produce a saleable horticultural crop. Topics include: growth structures, media, plant culture, sexual and asexual reproduction, biotic and biotic disorder diagnosis and management, grafting, and nursery management. Practical greenhouse and field experience is included.

Horticulture Practicum 3 – Seasonal topics in the horticulture industry and plant management will be explored, demonstrated, and practiced.


Fourth Quarter

Environmental Horticulture – A hands-on, project based course builds upon the student’s knowledge of tools and techniques involved in horticulture.  Students work toward improving craftsmanship and understanding of horticulture industry and practices with an emphasis on design principles and installation.

Horticulture Practicum 4 – Seasonal topics in the horticulture industry and plant management will be explored, demonstrated, and practiced.

Textile & Floral Design

This course is designed to introduce students to floral and textile production both in the wholesale and retail industry.  The course will provide basic instruction in techniques of floral and textile design with an emphasis on the elements and principles of design.  Students are able to produce creative floral arrangements for various events, cultures and holidays.

The class includes standards in English, history and the environment.

Visual Arts

The Visual Arts program incorporates teaching methods that combine rigorous coverage of traditional course content with active learning through the arts. Skills in oral presentation and critical reading, thinking, and writing are important activities across the curriculum. Areas of study include ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, and decorative art. In addition, the IAA is currently fostering community partnerships in the area of performing arts.

Visual Arts Class Offerings

This course is designed to give students a basic understanding and appreciation for art as it will be encountered on the high school level and beyond. Intro, and the other art courses offered, will give students the background necessary to appreciate visual art, participate in the creation of visual art, or seek further training for a career in the visual arts. Introduction to Visual Arts as well as the other art courses is planned to meet the needs of students of all artistic ability levels.

The course emphasizes skills development and development of the creative thought process. It offers study of the basic design fundamentals necessary for any further experience in art, with a major emphasis on observational drawing, drawing primarily from life. Each time a skill has been learned, students will be encouraged to make creative applications of those skills. Students will be given a sense of art history, through discussion and showing of visuals that relate to the studio projects they are working on. A variety of materials will be used. Some of the techniques, ideas and materials that may be included are design, composition, color theory, rendering, acrylic paint, landscape painting, an introduction to photography and various sculpture projects including plaster.



Global Arts

This studio course is recommended for students who have an interest in two-dimensional and three-dimensional design. It will integrate history and English standards around world cultures and events. It provides students with fundamental knowledge on the elements and principals of design.  This course encourages students to develop their natural artistic talents. Students will have the opportunity to express their individual talents by completing a variety of unique and challenging projects in multitude of 3-D media. Assignments emphasize design, craftsmanship, and problem solving. Units explore the fundamentals involved in tile mosaic,, architectural design, art history, clay construction, relief design and jewelry making.




This course is designed to give students a basic understanding and appreciation for clay.  Students will learn basic skills in hand-building and wheel throwing, along with completing integrated projects with standards linked.




This course will introduce students to the basic elements of photography which includes technical skills of camera operations, pictorial composition, lighting, printing, digital imaging, mounting, and display. Students will be encouraged to develop artistic expression through use of the photography medium. It is not required that students own a camera.