Independent Study


Independent Study is an alternative to classroom instruction consistent with a school district's course of study and is not an alternative curriculum. Independent Study allows students to pursue educational opportunities outside of the classroom, yet within the framework of a learning contract and with the assistance of an instructional supervisor. Independent study programs will be conducted as set forth in this administrative regulation and the independent study manual developed by the California Department of Education.

Students may be assigned to a program of Independent Study when it has been demonstrated that the student has a need for such a program and that the need cannot be met in the regular program. A signed mutual consent agreement between the school, parent/guardian and student must be placed in the pupil's record before an Independent Study program will be implemented.

Students in Independent Study will have access to the same school resources and services as those that are available to other students in the school.

The Board recognizes that Independent Study may be used as an option to encourage students to remain in school. Therefore, the duration of Independent Study assignments should be set carefully in order to help identify students "at risk". To foster success, the Board establishes the following maximum lengths of time that may elapse between the time an assignment is made and the date by which the pupil must complete the assigned work shall be:

Students in grades K-12 - two (2) weeks
(Note: Kindergarten limited to site short-term Independent Study.)

When circumstances justify a longer duration, the Superintendent or designee may honor a written request to extend the maximum duration of an assignment.

Students in grades K-3 - four (4) weeks
Students in grades 4-8 - eight (8) weeks

When a student fails to complete three (3) consecutive Independent Study assignments, the Superintendent or designee shall conduct an evaluation to determine whether the student should continue in Independent Study. Evaluation findings shall become a part of the student's permanent record.

Independent Study Procedures

  1. The parent/guardian completes the appropriate forms:
    (a) parent/guardian of the student completes form ISP100 (Request for Participation in Independent Study Plan); and
    (b) administration and parent/guardian have a conference and complete form ISP101 (Contract for Independent Study).
  2. The administrator makes a teacher/consultant assignment and makes arrangements for initial teacher/consultant, parent/guardian and student conference(s).
  3. The teacher/consultant adheres to the following procedures:
    (a) at the initial conference, schedules the student for a weekly appointment for one (1) hour;
    (b) completes form ISP102 (Weekly Assignment), including;
    (1) date of assignment;
    (2) course title;
    (3) objectives;
    (4) activities to reach objectives;
    (5) resources; and
    (6) estimated hours to complete work:
    Kindergarten 15 hours/week
    Grades 1-3 18 hours/week
    Grades 4-2 20 hours/week
    CT 18 hours/week
  4. At the first scheduled appointment and each one thereafter, the teacher/consultant:
    (a) reviews the week's work and makes adjustments and corrections;
    (b) explains the next week's work and makes appropriate assignments; and
    (c) completes another ISP102 or daily lesson plan for the ensuing week.
  5. Between appointments, the teacher/consultant:
    (a) grades the materials and records the student's assigned grade on the ISP102 or daily lesson plans with the hours earned; and
    (b) writes an evaluation comment on the ISP102 or daily lesson plans.
  6. The teacher/consultant files the ISP102 or daily lesson plans with the school office and maintains a work file on the student.
  7. The school office is to keep attendance on the ISP102 or daily lesson plans (Independent Study Attendance Accounting Record). Monthly reports are to be made on attendance. Copies of the ISP103 are to be sent to the District Office.
  8. All records are to be kept together in one folder in the school office for auditing purposes (ISP100, 101, 102, 103).


(Former BP 6112.1)

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