6158 BP - Independent Study/Short-term

Board Policy No. 6158 
Policy Revised: February 29, 2024


The Governing Board authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy for 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 to serve students 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 for short- or long-term placements, on a full-time or part-time basis, and/or in conjunction with part or full-time classroom study.

The Board shall hold a public hearing when considering the scope of its existing or prospective use of independent study as an instructional strategy, its purposes in authorizing independent study, and factors bearing specifically on the maximum realistic lengths of assignments and acceptable number of missed assignments for specific populations of students or adult education students. (Education Code 51747; 5 CCR 11701)

Student participation in independent study shall be voluntary and no student shall be required to participate. (Education Code 51747, 51749.5, 51749.6)

Independent study for each student shall be under the general supervision of a district employee who possesses a valid certification document pursuant to Education Code 44865 or an emergency credential pursuant to Education Code 44300. Students' independent study shall be coordinated, evaluated, and documented, as prescribed by law and reflected in the accompanying administrative regulation. (Education Code 51747.5)

The minimum period of time for any independent study option shall be three consecutive school days. (Education Code 46300 )

The maximum period of time for any independent study option shall be 14 school days for the school year.

General Independent Study Requirements
The Superintendent or designee may offer and approve independent study for an individual student upon determining that the student is prepared to meet the district's requirements for participation and is likely to succeed as well as or better than the student would in the regular classroom setting.

Because excessive leniency in the duration of independent study assignments may result in a student falling behind peers and increase the risk of dropping out of school, independent study assignments shall be completed no more than one week after assigned for all grade levels and types of programs. 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. However, in no event shall the due date of an assignment be extended beyond the termination date specified in the student's written agreement.

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