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Tamalpais Union HSD |  BP  6158  Instruction

Independent Study Program   

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The district supports Independent Study as an optional alternative to classroom instruction consistent with the district's course of study. Independent Study offers each student a personalized education drawn from a range of learning options on and off campus which may be pursued in addition to, or instead of, regular classroom instruction. (Education Code 51745-51746) Independent Study is not an option for a student who is expected to be absent from school for fewer than five consecutive school days. (Ed Code 46300(e)(1)

Independent Study students shall be enrolled in a school within the district as a condition of apportionment. A student's participation in Independent Study shall be voluntary.

Each school site can offer instruction through Independent Study modality.

Tamiscal, one of the five district high schools, is an accredited school offering a full range of district courses necessary to satisfy district graduation requirements through the instructional strategy of independent study. The district supports this alternative avenue to high school completion.


The purpose of Independent Study is to:

1. Create a bridge between the school and the community for students experiencing difficulty in the regular program.

2. Challenge each student to excel in areas of special interest or pursue special talents.

3. Provide alternatives for students to achieve competency in basic skills.

4. Offer a program for dropout prevention.

5. Offer educational choices to students and family.

6. Provide a positive and profitable alternative educational experience to students who may need and/or desire to leave the regular school program.

7. Increase the number of students who return to school for additional study and/or graduation after interrupted enrollment.


An individual student or group of students may engage in Independent Study, on or off the campus. Independent Study may range from an activity as part of the regular class to an activity completely separate from the regular program.

When Independent Study is used as a strategy within a regular class, the regular teacher shall monitor and supervise.

Students may be enrolled in part-time Independent Study at one of the district's comprehensive high schools. The principal or designee of that school shall assume responsibility for supervision.

Independent Study instructional techniques may be used for the district's summer school program. (Education Code 37252, 41976.5)

Independent Study is an instructional strategy that may be appropriate for students attending adult education. Except as noted, Independent Study policies and administrative regulations contained in this section are applicable to adult education independent study. (California Code of Regulations, Title 5, 11701-11703 and Coordinated Compliance Review Manual, VII-21)

In all other cases, the student will be enrolled in Tamiscal High School and the Tamiscal principal or designee shall assume responsibility for supervision.

Independent Study students have the same rights and privileges as students in the classroom program. Students enrolled full-time at Tamiscal shall have access to all the services and resources which are available at the district's comprehensive schools. This includes the option of taking classes and participating in athletics at the district's comprehensive high schools. Athletic participation is limited to the student's school of residence. (BP 5116 and California Interscholastic Federation guidelines)

Standards for 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. 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.

An Independent Study student will be assigned a full day's worth of work equivalent to that

which he or she would be assigned in a regular classroom setting.


The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each participating student has an executed written Independent Study agreement with the district as prescribed by law. Individual Independent Study agreements, and any Subsidiary Contracts shall be consistent with the district's adopted course(s) of study.


1. To foster each student's success in Independent Study, the Board establishes that the maximum length of time which may elapse between the time an Independent Study assignment is given and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work will be one semester. Assignments will usually be due weekly.

2. To foster each student's success in Independent Study, the Board establishes that the maximum length of time which may elapse between the time an Independent Study assignment is given and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work will be one semester. Assignments will usually be due weekly.

3. When a student misses three assignments in any one subject, an evaluation meeting will be conducted to determine whether it is in the best interests of the pupil to remain in independent study or whether he or she should return to the regular school program. A written record of the evaluation meeting shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the evaluation and if the pupil transfers to another California public school, the record will be forwarded to that school. (Education Code 51747 and 5 CCR 11701)


Records shall include all those necessary for maintaining the student/school files.

Administrative Regulations, AR 6158 (a-j) are hereby incorporated by reference.

Legal Reference:


17289 Exemption for facilities

41976.2 Independent study programs; adult education funding

42238 Revenue limits

44865 Qualifications for home teachers and teachers in special classes and schools

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

51225.3 Requirements for high school graduation

51745-51749.3 Independent study programs

52206 Gifted and talented education; use of independent study to augment program

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


11700-11703 Independent study

19819 State audit compliance


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


Lucerne Valley Unified School District, Case No. 03-02 (2005)

Management Resources:


Independent Study Operations Manual, 2000 Edition

Elements of Exemplary Independent Study

Approaches to Satisfying No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Teacher Requirements for Independent Study in Secondary Schools, January 28, 2010


California Consortium for Independent Study:

California Department of Education, Independent Study:

Education Audit Appeals Panel:


adopted: March 9, 1993 Larkspur, California

revised: April 30, 2002

revised: March 24, 2009

revised: March 8, 2011