Academy for Precision Learning’s Service to the Community

"APL taught me to recognize that every student has the capacity to learn and grow. The experience with working with so many different children affected by autism helped me appreciate their individual strengths and differences. I still use techniques that I learned at APL with current clients.”

— APL Paraeducator from 2010 - 2012, now BCBA at Northwest Autism Center


The Academy for Precision Learning (APL) is an independent school and service provider. Our program creates a nurturing and individualized daily learning experience for students in grades K through 12. Founded by a grassroots coalition of families, the student body has grown from just five students in 2007 to 120 today. The majority of our students have autism and are prescribed ongoing treatment in the form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. APL embeds this treatment into the school day via our ROOTS Clinic, a licensed behavioral health agency for ABA. This model makes possible an environment where every student is an equal member of the classroom community.


APL serves as a training center for educators and clinicians pursuing post-secondary degrees and certifications. By inviting professionals to complete fieldwork at our site at the beginning of their careers, APL aims to benefit our immediate community as well as help set a national precedent on how to educate and serve students with autism. All fieldwork takes place within our interdisciplinary model, fostering a space where trainees can become experts in collaboration as well as in their chosen field. 83% of staff alumni have gone on to careers or higher education in applied behavior analysis, special education, and other related fields.

APL is an approved practicum site through the University of Washington for master's level students in Applied Behavior Analysis and Early Childhood Special Education. We also offer supervised independent fieldwork for master's students in ABA pursuing their degrees at other colleges and universities.


In Spring 2017 APL partnered with the University of Washington College of Education to host a research project using "bug in ear" technology to train teachers across locations rather than face-to-face. UW researchers observed APL staff from offsite using live streaming cameras and provided real-time coaching through an audio earbud on instructional skills. Learn more about this exciting collaboration and its impacts here.

In Autumn 2018 a University of Washington graduate student conducted dissertation work on science education within the APL middle school program. They share their experience: “Thank you so very much for letting us be a part of your classroom. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to share a space with you and interact with all of you and your wonderful group of learners. We had so much fun and we hope everyone else did, too! The class was a treat to work with and all of the staff were so welcoming. We learned so much from the experience and look forward to sharing that with our class.”

Why Parents Love Us

To see our child happy, and with people that care about her, is worth more than anything and we have found that at APL.

- APL Parent

APL turned my child’s life around: academically, socially, and emotionally. And my life as well: I no longer dread the phone ringing. I know that my kids are in good hands, and that if ever any sort of problem does come up, I’ll be able to work with the school to make things better. What I say matters.

- APL Parent

APL provides us peace of mind for our family in a safe and supporting environment.

- APL Parent

When we started looking for the right school for our child to attend, we toured everywhere and came up dry. We found ourselves wishing there was a school where ABA therapy and academics were wholly combined in the same classroom. THEN we found APL and it felt like it had been created just for us. Dream come true!

- APL Parent

APL has helped our son regain his self-confidence and improve his self-esteem!

- APL Parent

The APL way is to care about your child in the best way possible while laying out a road map for progress developmentally and emotionally.

- APL Parent

The intrinsic blend of ABA with schooling that has taken my child from not sitting at a school desk, balled up in the corner in a novel, in public school to completing her work and even enjoying many of her academic classes. The value put on the unique traits of individuals and the enormous patience of the staff come in at the top as well.

- APL Parent

Spotlight on TEALS

Clinic-Impact-Spotlight on Teals

APL is an active partner in TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools). The TEALS organization pairs computer science professionals with our classroom teachers to team-teach computer science to our high school students. The computer science professionals volunteer their time.


By participating in the TEALS program, APL is able to offer our high school students the following:

  • A computer science course held each semester led by local tech company employees for students in grades 9 through 12
  • Instructors are drawn from Microsoft, Amazon, Hulu, and other smaller technology companies
  • Classes are held three days per week and consist of two 85-minute units and one 75-minute unit each week
  • Students learn the SNAP programming language and are introduced to Python
  • Instructors cover career opportunities in the tech industry
  • Microsoft hosts an annual day-long “Careers in Technology” event that TEAL students attend

The volunteer technology instructors are supported by our educational and clinical staff to assure that the educational experience meets our standards of being developmentally appropriate, data informed, and individualized. In addition to meeting educational standards and helping our students form a path to employment or further education, this partnership supports technology employees to learn about students with different learning and communication styles by working within our unique educational community.

In the 2017-18 school year, four technology industry volunteers contributed a total of 924 hours to APL students.

A TEALS supervisor shares their experience during a scheduled observation: “Visiting APL was a genuinely inspiring event for me … Thank you for allowing me to come into your school and observe a masterpiece of instruction. (APL educators) took the helm with patience, humor, and expertise (and) managed classroom behavior so well… I look forward to supporting APL as you continue teaching computer science this year.”

Limited spots remain available in APL’s K-12 classrooms for the upcoming school year.

If you are interested in attending and have questions, please contact us to begin the admissions process at