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Santa Maria-Bonita SD |  BP  6158  Instruction

Independent Study   

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The Governing Board authorizes Independent Study as an optional alternative instructional strategy for students in any school K-8 in the district. Independent Study provides a means for students to achieve curriculum objectives that meet district and content standards outside the regular classroom.

Independent Study is a continuously voluntary, educational alternative in which no student may be required to participate. Instruction may be provided only if the student is offered a classroom option that is always available.

Independent Study shall offer a means of individualizing an educational learning plan for students whose needs may best be met through study outside of the regular classroom setting. The district shall provide and ensure Independent Study students the same access to existing services and resources as are available to all other students in the school in which the Independent Study students are enrolled.

The Superintendent or designee shall determine that the prospective Independent Study student understands the district's requirements for Independent Study and is prepared to meet them. The Superintendent or designee shall guarantee that each participating student has an executed written Independent Study Agreement on file as prescribed by law. The Independent Study strategy requires a written agreement with all of the required components, agreed to by the student, parent/guardian/caregiver, certificated employee, and all other persons who have direct assistance to the student. Individual Independent Study agreements including any Subsidiary Agreement must be consistent with the district's adopted course of study.

To help each student succeed in Independent Study, the Board establishes that for all students in grades TK-8, the maximum length of time which may elapse between the time an independent study assignment is given and required to be completed by the student is 20 consecutive school days, as noted on the agreement. When extenuating circumstances justify a different return date the Superintendent or designee may extend the due date of an assignment along with documentation for justification.

When any student fails to complete 50% of the assignment in any given subject in one contract period, the Superintendent or designee shall conduct an evaluation during which a determination will be made as to whether or not Independent Study is an appropriate placement for the student in the future. This evaluation must be kept on file for three years. (A late return or no work completed will trigger the same evaluation.)

The Superintendent or designee shall establish administrative regulations to implement Independent Study in accordance with the law.


adopted: November 12, 1986 Santa Maria, California

revised: October 6, 1999

revised: May 23, 2001

revised: June 25, 2008

revised: May 15, 2019