Student Services » Independent Study

Independent Study

Program Overview

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 to serve students who desire a more challenging educational experience, whose health or other personal circumstances make classroom attendance difficult, who are unable to access course(s) due to scheduling problems, and/or who need to make up credits or fill gaps in their learning. 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.

Short-Term Independent Study

While students are highly discouraged from missing school for reasons other than illness, family emergencies or special events sometimes necessitate travel out of the area. In order to avoid penalties for missing class for these reasons, students must contract to do work during the period of the absence. Independent Study Contracts must meet strict California State guidelines in order to result in excused absences.

A short-term Independent Study contract is a voluntary alternative to a regular classroom program of instruction when a student is absent from school for not less than three (3) and not more than ten (10) consecutive school days.

No Independent Study agreements are allowed the first 10 days school days of the year, nor the last 15 school days of the year.

Schools are not obligated to provide students with an Independent Study contract. The availability of an Independent Study contract must be agreed upon by mutual consent of the principal, teacher, parent/guardian, and student. Students should only be placed on Independent Study if the student can successfully accomplish their academics. 

Requests for Independent Study contracts must be given to the teacher(s) or attendance clerk at least 10 school days prior to the first day of the absence (in the event of an emergency, contact the principal).

A written Independent Study contract must be completed, signed and dated for each participating student prior to the starting date of the Independent Study. 

Each student's Independent Study contract shall be coordinated, evaluated and carried out under the general supervision of a certificated teacher.

All assigned work is due on the day upon which the student is scheduled to return to the classroom and shall be graded by appropriately credentialed teachers.  This due date cannot be extended, even due to illness so the work must be turned-in.

To view the Board Policy and Administrative Regulation for Independent Study, please click the links below:
BP 6158
AR 6158