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Central Union HSD |  BP  6158  Instruction

Independent Study   

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The Board of Trustees authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy by which students in grades may reach curriculum objectives and fulfill graduation requirements. Independent study shall offer a means of individualizing the educational plan for students whose needs may be met best through study outside of the regular classroom setting.

(cf. 5147 - Dropout Prevention)

The district's independent study option shall be substantially equivalent in quality and quantity to classroom instruction, thus enabling students enrolled in independent study to complete the district's adopted course of study within the customary time frame. Students in independent study shall have access to the same services and resources as is available to other students in the school.

(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)

(cf. 6200 - Adult Education)

The Superintendent or designee shall determine that the prospective independent study student understands and is prepared to meet the district's requirements for independent study. Independent study entails a commitment by both the parent/guardian and the student. As the student gets older, he/she assumes a greater portion of the responsibility involved. Independent study may be offered only to students who can achieve in this program as well as or better than they would in the regular classroom.

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 Board recognizes that independent study may be used as an option to encourage students to remain in school. Teachers should carefully set the duration of independent study assignments, within the limits specified by the Board in order to help identify students falling behind in their work or in danger of failing or dropping out of school.

To foster each student's success in independent study, the Board establishes the following maximum lengths of time which may elapse between the time an assignment is made and date by which the student must complete the assigned work shall be as follows:

For students in grades 9-12,

continuation and adult education: 3 weeks

When circumstances justify a longer time, the Superintendent or designee may extend the maximum length of an assignment to a period not to exceed eight weeks, pursuant to a written request with justification.

When any student fails to complete 3 consecutive independent study assignments, the Superintendent or designee shall conduct an evaluation to determine whether it is in the student's best interest to remain in independent study. Evaluation findings shall be kept in the student's permanent record.

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

The Superintendent or designee shall annually report to the Board the number of students engaged in independent study, the ADA generated, 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.

Home Schooling Through Independent Study

The Superintendent or designee shall encourage parents/guardians desiring to teach their children at home to enroll their children in independent study. Such enrollment allows continued contact and cooperation between the school system and home-based student.

Legal Reference:


17289 Exemption for building

44865 Qualifications for home teachers and teachers in special classes and schools; consent to assignment

46300-46300.6 Methods of computing ADA

48220 Classes of children exempted

48340 Improvement of pupil attendance

48915 Expulsion; particular circumstances

48917 Suspension of expulsion order

51225.3 Requirements for high school graduation

51745-51749.3 Independent study programs

52001 Improvement of elementary and secondary education: legislative intent

52015 School improvement plans: components of plan

52017 Secondary schools: additional plan components

56026 Individual with exceptional needs


6550 Authorization affidavits


11700-11703 Independent study

Management Resources:


1113.09 Independent Study: New Legislation, SPB: 90/91-04

0904.86 Independent Study, SPB: 86/7-5


Independent Study Operations Manual, 1993 revised edition, updated 1994, 1996




adopted: March 14, 2006 El Centro, California