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Course Periods Without Educational Content   

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(a) Commencing with the 2016-17 school year, except as provided in subdivision (e), a school district maintaining any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, shall not assign a pupil enrolled in any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in a school in the school district to any course period without educational content for more than one week in any semester, unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) A pupil is assigned to that course only if the pupil or, for a pupil who has not reached the age of majority, the pupil's parent, guardian, or educational rights holder has consented in writing to the assignment.

(2) A school official has determined that the pupil will benefit from being assigned to the course period.

(3) The principal or assistant principal of the school has stated in a written document maintained at the school that, for the relevant school year, no pupils are assigned to those classes unless the school has met the conditions specified in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(b) Under no circumstances shall a school district assign a pupil enrolled in any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in a school in the school district to a course period without educational content because there are not sufficient curricular course offerings for the pupil to take during the relevant period of the designated schoolday.

(c) For purposes of this section, "course period without educational content" is defined as one course period during which any of the following occurs:

(1) The pupil is sent home or released from campus before the conclusion of the designated schoolday.

(2) The pupil is assigned to a service, instructional work experience, or to an otherwise named course in which the pupil is assigned to assist a certificated employee, but not expected to complete curricular assignments, in a course the certificated employee is teaching during that period and where the ratio of certificated employees to pupils assigned to the course for curricular purposes is less than one to one.

(3) The pupil is not assigned to any course for the relevant course period.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit or otherwise affect the authority of a school district to authorize dual enrollment in community college, as provided for in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 48800) of Part 27, to establish and maintain evening high school programs, as provided for in Article 3 (commencing with Section 51720) of Chapter 5, to offer independent study, as provided for in Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5, to provide courses of work-based learning or work experience education, as provided for in Article 7 (commencing with Section 51760) of Chapter 5, or to offer any class or course of instruction authorized under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 51700), if the program otherwise meets all of the requirements of law governing that program.

(e) This section shall not apply to a pupil enrolled in any of the following:

(1) An alternative school.

(2) A community day school.

(3) A continuation high school.

(4) An opportunity school.

(f) The Superintendent shall develop regulations for adoption by the state board to establish procedures governing this section, including the form of the written statement required pursuant to subdivision (a).

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 703, Sec. 1.)