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La Canada USD |  BP  6158  Instruction

Independent Study   

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The Governing Board authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy by which students in grades K-12 and adult education 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.

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 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:

1. For students in grades K-3: 1 week

2. For students in grades 4-8: 2 weeks

3. For students in grades 9-12, 3 weeks continuation and adult education

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 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)

Legal Reference:


17289 Exemption for facilities

42238 Revenue limits

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

46300-46300.6 Methods of computing ADA

47612.5 Independent study in charter schools

48204 Residency based on parent employment

48206.3 Home or hospital instruction; students with temporary disabilities

48220 Classes of children exempted

48340 Improvement of pupil attendance

48915 Expulsion; particular circumstances

48916.1 Educational program requirements for expelled students

48917 Suspension of expulsion order

51225.3 Requirements for high school graduation

51745-51749.3 Independent study programs

56026 Individuals with exceptional needs


6550 Authorization affidavits


11700-11703 Independent study


Modesto City Schools v. Education Audits Appeal Panel, (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 1365

Management Resources:


Independent Study Operations Manual, 2000 edition


California Consortium for Independent Study:

California Department of Education, Independent Study:


Adopted: July 15, 2003 La Canada Flintridge, California