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Orinda Union SD |  AR  6158  Instruction

Independent Study   

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Requests for independent study require notice of no fewer than five business days. The principal shall approve the participation of students requesting independent study for a period of no fewer than five to no more than ten consecutive school days. An extension in the independent study agreement beyond ten consecutive school days requires the approval of the Superintendent or designee. Each student's independent study program shall be coordinated, evaluated, and carried out under the general supervision of a certificated employee. (Education Code 51747.5) No student shall be required to participate in independent study.

In addition, when requested by a parent/guardian due to an emergency, vacation, or illness, independent study may be used on a short-term basis to ensure that the student is able to maintain academic progress in his/her regular classes.

(cf. 5113 - Absences and Excuses)


The district's independent study option shall strive to be substantially equivalent in quality and time on task 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 are available to other students in the school to the extent possible. (5 CCR 11700, 11701.5)

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

The district shall not provide independent study students and their parents/guardians with funds or items of value that are not provided for other students and their parents/guardians. (Education Code 46300.6, 51747.3)

A student participating in independent study must be a currently enrolled student of the Orinda Union School District and a resident of the county or an adjacent county.

(cf. 5111.1 - District Residency)

For a student with disabilities, as defined in Education Code 56026, participation in independent study shall be approved only if his/her individualized education program specifically provides for such participation. (Education Code 51745)

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

A temporarily disabled student shall not receive individual instruction pursuant to Education Code 48206.3 by means of independent study. (Education Code 51745)

(cf. 6183 - Home and Hospital Instruction)

Independent Study Agreement

A written agreement shall be developed and implemented for each student participating in independent study for five or more consecutive school days. (Education Code 46300, 51747; 5 CCR 11703)

The agreement shall include general student data, including the student's name, address, grade level, birth date, school of enrollment, and program placement, if applicable.

The independent study agreement for each participating student also shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following: (Education Code 51747; 5 CCR 11700, 11702)

1. The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting the student's assignments and for reporting his/her progress

2. The objectives and methods of study for the student's work and the methods used to evaluate that work

3. The specific resources, including materials and personnel, which will be made available to the student

4. A statement of the Board's policy detailing the maximum length of time allowed between an assignment and its completion and the number of missed assignments, by grade level and type of program, which will trigger an evaluation of whether the student should be allowed to continue in independent study

5. The duration of the independent study agreement, including the beginning and ending dates for the student's participation in independent study under the agreement. No independent study agreement shall be valid for any period longer than one semester. (Education Code 51747)

6. A statement of the number of course credits or, for an elementary student, other measures of academic accomplishment appropriate to the agreement, to be earned by the student upon completion

7. A statement that independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no student may be required to participate

8. In the case of a suspended or expelled student who is referred or assigned to any school, class, or program pursuant to Education Code 48915 or 48917, a statement that instruction may be provided through independent study only if the student is offered the alternative of classroom instruction

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

9. Signatures of the student, the parent/guardian or caregiver of the student if the student is under age 18 years, the certificated employee responsible for the general supervision of independent study, and all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the student

The curriculum and methods of study specified in the written independent study agreement shall be consistent with the board's policies, administrative regulations, and procedures for curriculum and instruction. The parent/guardian's signature on the agreement shall constitute permission for the student to receive instruction through independent study.

(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)


Each school shall maintain independent study records, including grades and other evaluations, issued to each student participating in the independent study program at that school. Records shall be maintained for auditing purposes and shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (Education Code 51748; 5 CCR 11703)

A copy of the board policy, administrative regulation, and procedures related to independent study

A separate listing of the students, by grade level, program, and school, who have participated in independent study, identifying units of the curriculum attempted and units of the curriculum completed by students in grades TK-8 as specified in their written agreements

A file of all independent study agreements, with representative samples of each student's work products, bearing signed or initialed and dated notations by the supervising teacher indicating that he/she has personally evaluated the work or that he/she has personally reviewed the evaluations made by another certificated teacher

A daily or hourly attendance register, as appropriate to the program in which the students are enrolled, separate from classroom attendance records, and maintained on a current basis as time values of student work products are personally judged by a certificated teacher, and reviewed by the supervising teacher if they are two different people

(cf. 3580 - District Records)

A written record of the findings of any evaluation conducted after the student has missed the number of assignments specific in board policy shall be treated as a mandatory interim student record which shall be maintained for three years from the date of the evaluation. (Education Code 51747)

(cf. 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)

The signed, dated agreement, any supplemental agreement, assignment records, work samples, and attendance records may be maintained on file electronically. (Education Code 51747)

Assignment and Responsibilities of Independent Study Teachers

Each student's independent study shall be coordinated, evaluated, and carried out under the general supervision of a certificated employee who consents to the assignment. (Education Code 44865, 51747.5; 5 CCR 11700)


approved: January 25, 1999 Orinda, California

revised: April 7, 2008

revised: December 6, 2010

revised: March 11, 2019