Novato USD | BP 6158 Instruction
The Board of Education 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 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.
(cf. 5147 - Dropout Prevention)
(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)
(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)
(cf. 6146.1 - High School Graduation Requirements)
(cf. 6146.11 - Alternative Credits Toward Graduation)
(cf. 6172 - Gifted and Talented Student Program)
(cf. 6200 - Adult Education)
The Superintendent or designee may provide a variety of independent study opportunities, including, but not limited to, through a program or class within a comprehensive school, an alternative school or program of choice, a charter school, a home-based format, and an online course.
(cf. 0420.4 - Charter School Authorization)
(cf. 6181 - Alternative Schools/Programs of Choice)
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 master agreement, and, as appropriate, a learning agreement for students participating in course-based independent study exists for each participating student as prescribed by law. (Education Code 51747, 51749.5)
To foster each participating student's success in independent study, the Board establishes the following maximum lengths of time which may elapse between the date an assignment is made and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work:
1. One week for students in grades K-3
2. Two weeks for students in grades 4-8
3. Three weeks for students in grades 9-12, continuation or adult education
The master 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 fails to complete three consecutive independent study assignments, unless the student's written agreement specifies a lower or higher number of missed assignments based on the nature of the assignments, the total number of assignments, and/or other unique circumstances, an evaluation shall be conducted to determine whether it is in the student's best interest to remain in independent study.
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. It is expected that the supervising teacher will monitor student progress and work closely with each student to determine the amount and type of contact needed for the student to be successful in the program.
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 in comparison to students in classroom-based instruction, 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)
(cf. 6162.51 - State Academic Achievement Tests)
(cf. 6162.52 - High School Exit Examination)
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.
Short-Term School-Based Independent Study Program
Short-Term School-Based Independent Study may be an option for students who have unavoidable absences and will be absent for 5 to 15 consecutive school days. Eligible students may apply for a Short-Term School-Based Independent Study contract at their school office. If a student must be gone for more than 15 consecutive school days, the student must be withdrawn from their school and given the option to enroll in NOVA, Novato Unified School District's Independent Study School. For education-related circumstances, the Superintendent or designee may extend the maximum length of the contract. Short-Term School-Based Independent Study contracts cannot be used for disciplinary reasons.
17289 Exemption for facilities
41976.2 Independent study programs; adult education funding
42238 Revenue limits
42238.05 Local control funding formula; average daily attendance
44865 Qualifications for home teachers and teachers in special classes and schools
46200-46208 Instructional day and year
46300-46307.1 Methods of computing average daily attendance
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
49011 Student fees
51225.3 Requirements for high school graduation
51745-51749.6 Independent study programs
52522 Adult education alternative instructional delivery
52523 Adult education as supplement to high school curriculum; criteria
56026 Individuals with exceptional needs
58500-58512 Alternative schools and programs of choice
6550 Authorization affidavits
CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5
11700-11703 Independent study
19819 State audit compliance
UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20
6301 Highly qualified teachers
Modesto City Schools v. Education Audits Appeal Panel, (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 1365
EDUCATION AUDIT APPEALS PANEL DECISIONS
Lucerne Valley Unified School District, Case No. 03-02 (2005)
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS
Elements of Exemplary Independent Study
California Consortium for Independent Study: http://www.ccis.org
California Department of Education, Independent Study: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/is
Education Audit Appeals Panel: http://www.eaap.ca.gov
Policy NOVATO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
adopted: November 3, 2009 Novato, California
revised: December 7, 2010
revised: November 1, 2011
revised: June 19, 2018