Our School

Integrated Arts Academy is a public high school located in Chaska, Minnesota, founded on research linking academic success to the arts and hands-on learning experiences. Our curriculum embeds culinary, horticulture, visual arts, and floral and textile design into core subjects such as math, science, English, and social studies. The rich arts-integrated instruction, small school size (~125 students), and strong community partnerships offer students a true personalized high school education.

The Integrated Arts Academy’s mission is to prepare each learner for lifelong success through personalized, inquiry based education combining art and core academic standards. We believe in education that is student centered, community focused, and relevant to our world.

School Hours: 8:05 a.m. – 2:43 p.m.

Health Services

School Nurse: Kristine Gusa



Intercultural Specialists (ICS)

Nayely Becerra Balbuena


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend the Integrated Arts Academy?

Eligible students, grade 9-12, can enroll in a variety of ways:

  • Students are referred by school counselors
  • Students may self-refer due to an interest in the course work
  • Students may meet one of the State’s criteria of being at risk of not graduating on time.
Are students still required to meet the Eastern Carver County Schools’ graduation requirements?

Yes. Students who attend the IAA must meet the same graduation requirements as students at Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools. The IAA curriculum embeds the graduation requirements and state graduation standards through arts education.
Graduating seniors receive diplomas from the student’s high school of residence.

What specialty areas are included in the IAA?

The IAA offers curriculum through a variety of arts-focused areas including Culinary, Horticultural and Visual arts. Each area of interest combines rigorous coverage of traditional course content with active learning through the arts. Students can choose to take classes in all areas.

Are all classes located at the Integrated Arts Academy?

The IAA is located at the District Education Center in Chaska. Some classes are scheduled in the community at locations that support one of the specialty areas in the program. Other classes occur at Chanhassen or Chaska High Schools and Southwest Metro Educational Cooperative in Chaska. Students have the option of participating in after school sports and activities at Chanhassen or Chaska High School.

Visions & Values

Creativity- The IAA nurtures creativity by encouraging and promoting…

  • Individual artistic drive and creation
  • Originality
  • Deeper level thinking
  • Expressive voice and choice
  • Real world applications of art

Community- The IAA is committed to improving the quality of life for students, their families, and the community at large. We demonstrate community values by…

  • Accepting that all people have a right to a safe and nurturing learning environment
  • Remaining mindful of others’ needs, boundaries, and expectations as well as their own
  • Fostering clear, consistent communication
  • Modeling integrity for each other and the community at large
  • Celebrating diversity and including all people
  • Sharing resources, skills, and knowledge

Grit- Grit means resilience, motivation, perseverance, applied effort, and engagement. IAA students know that successful people…

  • Overcome failures and don’t just avoid them
  • Achieve long term goals through small, incremental  achievements
  • Adapt and remain flexible
  • Self advocate
  • Accept personal responsibility for their actions

Growth- IAA members measure progress through growth and…

  • Recognize that progress looks different for each person.
  • Focus on positive development
  • Understand that fair is not always equal
  • Accept constructive criticism
  • Reflect on own work and that of peers
  • Know that “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” ~James Joyce

Personalization- The IAA personalizes learning through inquiry and target based learning which emphasizes…

  • Learner voice and choice
  • Flexible space and pace
  • Life relevancy and cultural responsiveness
  • Passion and ownership of learning
  • Culturally responsive teaching and learning
  • Collaborative learning environments
  • Purposeful learning, instruction, and assessment
Mission Statement

The Integrated Arts Academy’s mission is to prepare each learner for lifelong success through personalized, inquiry based education combining art and core academic standards. We believe in education that is student centered, community focused, and relevant to our world.

Vision Statements

School Vision

  • Students come first.
  • The IAA nurtures a safe, supportive school environment that encourages creative exploration and recognizes failure as a first step in learning.
  • The IAA provides an option outside of traditional schools by combining relevant curriculum with art and core academic standards.
  • Education at the IAA is personalized, inquiry driven, standards based, and high quality.
  • The IAA recognizes every student as an individual with individual needs. The IAA creates a personalized plan for each student’s success which takes into account academic, social, and emotional growth.
  • The IAA is dedicated to incorporating modern best practices centered on how effective educational organizations run, how teachers teach, and how students learn.
  • The IAA is inclusive and recognizes diverse learners with varying backgrounds, life experiences, and ability levels.
  • The IAA partners with professionals, local businesses, and other organizations in the community to provide diverse educational experiences.

Student Vision

  • The IAA is a close-knit, inclusive, and supportive community that shows respect towards each other, teachers, and staff by following the school’s core values.
  • IAA students are proud of their school and its mission. They promote and represent it appropriately.  
  • IAA students value art and creativity in all forms. They feel safe and supported taking creative risks in their work.
  • IAA students have a growth mindset.
  • IAA students take ownership for their work. Learning is more targeted towards what you need.
    • Self initiating and take ownership over their work,  independence
    • Always looking to grow, “advance”
    • Smaller school, gives teachers more time to work with students, harder to fall through the cracks, teachers seek out students to help them
    • Need to be self motivated student
      • Easy to get off task – watch YouTube, Netflix, etc.
      • Freedom makes it easier to lose focus
      • Wish teachers followed up with students more often
    • Other schools see IAA as not as good, but students stand up for their school
    • Gives a more creative approach – tons of different ways to do it
  • Learns better when relating to unlike or like things together – making connections
  • Hands on learning
  • Helps retain knowledge and be more productive
  • Put more effort into artistic activities they like doing – more engaged
  • Keeps students involved in project process – more motivated to work when they get to choose the final product
  • Personal choice for some people
  • More to art than just painting – can learn art history, techniques, skills, etc.

Main Goals

  • Encourage students to be happy and successful in school
  • Define what appropriate behavior for students is at the IAA
  • Model what a great student at the IAA looks like
Work Time Structure

The IAA employs a hybridized PBL studio and teacher led seminar model which allows for teachers to directly build content based foundations with students while remaining flexible to empower student agency.

Staff Vision
  • Students come first.  
  • The IAA is made up of a community of highly motivated educational practitioners. These committed individuals are independent and selfdriven. They work to create a positive, challenging environment centered on teaching and learning best practice.  
  • Staff believe in the IAA’s core values and model behavior aligned with them.
  • The IAA staff are creative problem solvers. Staff actively embrace change, adapt to meet new challenges, and strive to create the best educational experiences possible.
  • IAA employees are accountable for their work and dedicated to the school’s mission.