The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the Applied LearningAcademy (ALA) and allow the lessons learned from this public school to emerge fromthe narrative stories of past students, parents, teachers, administrators, and local businessassociates who have been directly involved and influenced by the applied learningteaching method. Accountability is critical for all public and charter schools. Districtshave been trying to raise the standards with new programs and strategies in an effort tomake learning experiences relevant to students? daily lives. Revisiting John Dewey?sphilosophy from the progressive movement, project-based, service learning, communitypartnerships, and portfolio assessment helped to create the applied learning method. Inthe present study, a qualitative case study approach was utilized to identify successfulfactors, benefits, and drawbacks of applied learning in order to describe the transition ofportfolio assessment, project-based learning, and community-based partnerships withinthe classroom and to understand the impact and misconceptions of applied learning asexperienced through the Recognized Campus, ALA, a 6-8th public middle school within a large urban school district. Participant interviews, field observations, and historicalrecords were collected which indicated that student centered project-based curriculum,small school size creating family relationships, community involvement withpartnerships, service learning projects, and metacognitive development from portfolioassessments were the major factors that supported academic rigor and relevance becauseof the real educational applications in this applied learning middle school. Brieflydefined, applied learning is when a problem is seen within the surrounding community,and the solution is generated by the students. This progressive 15-year impact of appliedlearning ultimately leads to the development of four applied learning schools despite themisconception that applied learning was a remedial or gifted program.Redefining applied learning for a better understanding developed areconceptualized diagram borrowed from the quantum mechanics model.Reconceptualization expands the interpretation by increasing the intellectual flexibility.As the student becomes energized from the acquired knowledge of learning applicableskills through service learning, project-based curriculum, and portfolio assessment, thestudent?s academic growth should increase to a higher, educational ?energy level?supported by the critical, situated-learning, and feminist theories.