Short Term Independent Study
INDEPENDENT STUDY CONTRACT
SJUSD BOARD POLICY 6158-click on arrow to expand
The Board of Trustees authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy for eligible students whose needs may be best met through study outside of the regular classroom setting. Independent study shall offer a means of individualizing the educational plan and enabling students to reach curriculum objectives and fulfill graduation requirements. As necessary to meet student needs, independent study may be offered on a full-time basis or on a part-time basis in conjunction with part- or full-time classroom study.
(cf. 0420.4 - Charter Schools)
(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)
(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)
(cf. 6146.1 - High School Graduation Requirements)
(cf. 6181 - Alternative Schools/Programs of Choice)
(cf. 6200 - Adult Education)
A student's participation in independent study shall be voluntary. Students participating in independent study shall have the right, at any time, to enter or return to the regular classroom mode of instruction. (Education Code 51747; 5 CCR 11700)
Parents/guardians of students who are interested in independent study shall contact the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee shall approve independent study for an individual student only upon determining that the student is prepared to meet the district's requirements for independent study and is likely to succeed in independent study as well as or better than he/she would in the regular classroom.
The minimum period of time for any independent study option shall be five consecutive school days.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that a written independent study agreement, as prescribed by law, exists for each participating student. (Education Code 51747)
The written agreement shall specify the length of time in which each independent study assignment must be completed. Because excessive leniency in the duration of independent study assignments may result in a student falling behind his/her peers and increase the risk of dropping out of school, independent study assignments shall be no more than one week for all grade levels and types of program. However, when necessary based on the specific circumstances of the student's approved program, the Superintendent or designee may allow for a longer period of time between the date an assignment is made and when it is due, up to the termination date of the agreement.
When a participating student misses three assignments, an evaluation shall be conducted to determine whether it is in the student's best interest to remain in independent study. However, a student's written agreement may specify a lower or higher number of missed
assignments that will trigger an evaluation when the Superintendent or designee determines it appropriate based on the nature of the assignments, the total number of assignments, and/or other unique circumstances.
Supervising teachers should establish an appropriate schedule for student-teacher conferences in order to help identify students falling behind in their work or in danger of failing or dropping out of school. Except in unusual circumstances, it is expected that the supervising teacher will meet, either in person or by electronic means, with each participating student at least once a week to discuss the student's progress.
(cf. 5147 - Dropout Prevention)
Missing appointments with the supervising teacher without valid reasons also may trigger an evaluation to determine whether the student should remain in independent study.
The Superintendent or designee shall annually report to the Board the number of students participating in independent study, the average daily attendance generated for apportionment purposes, the quality of these students' work as measured by standard indicators, and the number and proportion of independent study students who graduate or successfully complete independent study. Based on the program evaluation, the Board and Superintendent shall determine areas for program improvement as needed.
(cf. 0500 - Accountability)
(cf. 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)
(cf. 6162.5 - Student Assessment)
Home-Based Independent Study
The Superintendent or designee shall encourage parents/guardians desiring to teach their children at home to have their children participate in independent study. Such participation allows continued contact and cooperation between the school system and the home-based student and ensures that the student will be offered a standards-based education substantially equivalent in quality and quantity to the district's classroom instruction.
Legal Requirements for Independent Study-click on arrow to expand
California Education Code (EC) sections 51744–51749.6 require that local educational agencies (LEAs) that claim apportionment for independent study must first adopt and implement written policies relating to independent study. The required written policies must be developed as specified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 11701 and as provided in EC sections 51747 and 51749.5.
In addition to the required written policies, the following are legal requirements for apportionment:
- Every pupil engaged in independent study must be enrolled in a specified school of a school district or county office of education (EC Section 51748). This enrollment should be evident from the written agreement.
- The Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for independent study must fall within the teacher-to-ADA limits set by EC sections 51745.6 or 51749.5(b) to be eligible for apportionment.
- Pupils who are age nineteen to twenty-one must have been continuously enrolled since their eighteenth birthday for their ADA to be eligible for kindergarten through grade twelve apportionments. EC Section 46300.1
- No ADA may be claimed from independent study until the written agreement is completed (EC sections 46300.7, 51747[g], and 51749.6[b]), except that in the case of short-term independent study (fewer than 15 school days), LEAs have 10 days from the first day of independent study instruction to get all signatures on the written agreement. EC sections 41747(g)(9), 51749.6(b)(1)
- ADA may be claimed for traditional independent study only to the extent of the time value of pupil work products, as personally judged in each instance by a certificated teacher employed by the LEA or a combination of time value of the work product and participation in synchronous instruction, as applicable by grade level. EC Section 51747.5
- ADA may be claimed for course-based independent study to the extent that the pupil is making satisfactory educational progress in annually certified courses, to include meeting the minimum instructional minute requirements. EC sections 51749.5, 51749.6
- The LEAs may not claim ADA from independent study if it has provided any funds or other things of value to the pupil or his or her parent, guardian, or caregiver that the district does not provide to pupils who attend regular classes. EC Section 51747.3(a)
- No ADA is earned from the independent study of any pupil who meets residency requirements pursuant to subdivision (b) of EC Section 48204, where a parent or guardian is physically employed within the boundaries of that school district, but resides outside the school district boundaries. EC Section 51747.3(c)
- See the California Department of Education’s Instructional Time and Attendance Accounting web page for additional independent study condition of apportionment requirements.