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Chapter 3. Audits Of California K-12 Local Education Agencies Article 3. State Compliance Procedures: Local Education Agencies Other Than Charter Schools Independent Study.   

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If the local education agency reported Average Daily Attendance generated through independent study, perform the following procedures

(a) At the agency level:

(1) Reconcile the local education agency's independent study attendance records to Average Daily Attendance generated through full-time independent study reported to the California Department of Education.

(2) From the independent study attendance records, select a representative sample of pupils for whom Average Daily Attendance generated through independent study was claimed, including pupils on intermittent or "short term" independent study if the local education agency offered that option, and confirm that every pupil in the sample is identified in the written records of the district or county board by grade level, by program placement, and by the school in which he or she is enrolled.

(3) If, pursuant to the foregoing audit procedure, any pupils are found that were not identified in the written records of the district or county board by any one or more of grade level, program placement, and the school in which he or she was enrolled, recalculate, consistent with the provisions of Education Code Section 46303, the correct number of units of Average Daily Attendance. Include a statement in the Findings and Recommendations section of the audit report of the number of pupils and the number of units of Average Daily Attendance that were inappropriately reported for apportionment and an estimate of their dollar value.

(4) Verify the local education agency's calculation, made pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (a) of Education Code Section 51745.6, of ineligible Average Daily Attendance, if any, generated through full-time independent study by pupils 18 years of age or less.

(5) Interview administrative personnel and school counselors of the local education agency to determine if the local education agency had policies and procedures to ensure that any pupil terminating an independent study agreement was permitted to immediately recommence classroom study.

(6) Interview local education agency administrative personnel as well as a sample of independent study teachers and review written agreements to determine whether it was the local education agency's policy or practice to provide independent study pupils or their parents/guardians with monetary funding or any other things of value such as equipment or paid private instruction. If so, determine whether classroom pupils or their parents/guardians had the same access to funding or things of value. Read program materials provided to all parents/guardians to determine that opportunities were equal and that pupils engaged in independent study were neither offered nor given incentives or special benefits.

(b) Select a sample of schools that is representative of the local education agency and sufficient in size to allow the auditor to draw a reasonable conclusion with respect to the local education agency's compliance with independent study requirements. Verify that the monthly site summaries used for summarizing attendance provide accurate information by performing the following procedures:

(1) At each school, examine the attendance accounting records to verify that the attendance of pupils or adult education students or both while engaged in independent study was maintained on separate registers or the local education agency had another mechanism in place to track Average Daily Attendance generated through independent study separately from other Average Daily Attendance.

(2) Determine the total number of days of attendance reported for each sampled school that resulted from attendance by pupils or adult education students or both while engaged in independent study. Reconcile the monthly totals (days of apportionment attendance) on the site's attendance summary to the summary maintained by the local education agency for the Second Principal and the Annual attendance reports.

(3) Select a test month in the Second Principal or Annual attendance reporting period. Verify the mathematical accuracy of the monthly report and trace totals to the school's attendance summary.

(4) Verify that a certificated employee of the local education agency coordinated, evaluated, and provided general supervision, as that term is defined in Section 11700(b), of each pupil's or adult education student's independent study, as required by the provisions of subdivision (a) of Education Code Section 51747.5.

(5) Select a representative sample of teachers. Verify the mathematical accuracy of the teachers' attendance records of pupil or adult education student attendance. Trace the monthly totals from the monthly report to the attendance records.

(6) If 100 percent apportionment attendance was recorded for all independent study pupils or adult education students or both, ensure that the teacher did not accrue more days of apportionment credit for any assignment than there were school days in that assignment ( "banking"); or accrue days of attendance for work submitted subsequent to the specified due date for the assignment ( "make-up").

(7) For programs in which hourly attendance accounting is not required pursuant to Section 406, verify that attendance credit was recorded in whole days based on the supervising teacher's personal review, evaluation, and assignment of time value to the pupil's or adult education student's work product, or the supervising teacher's review of the evaluation and assignment of time value made by another certificated teacher.

(c) From the attendance records, select a representative sample of pupils/adult education students for whom Average Daily Attendance generated through independent study was claimed, including pupils on intermittent ( "short term") independent study if the local education agency offered that option, and perform the following procedures:

(1) Verify that no pupil was enrolled in the local education agency pursuant to subdivision (b) of Education Code Section 48204 while engaged in full-time independent study.

(2) Determine each selected pupil's or adult education student's county of residence at the time of commencing independent study and verify that it is the county in which the apportionment claim is reported or a contiguous county within California.

(3) Determine whether mailing addresses or other evidence of residency changed during the time the pupils/adult education students were in independent study and, if so, whether each pupil or adult education student remained resident of the same or a contiguous county within California.

(4) Verify that a total of not more than one day of attendance generated through independent study was recorded for each pupil, including pupils enrolled in more than one program, for any calendar day on which school was in session.

(5) Verify that a written agreement exists for each pupil/adult education student selected.

(6) Verify that every pupil whose independent study attendance was claimed for apportionment was participating under an agreement for a minimum of five consecutive school days.

(7) Verify that every written agreement contained all the required elements:

(A) The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting a pupil's or adult education student's assignments and for reporting his or her progress.

(B) The objectives and methods of study (pupil/adult education student activities selected by the supervising teacher as the means to reach the educational objectives set forth in the written agreement) for the pupil's or adult education student's work.

(C) The methods utilized to evaluate that work (any specified procedure through which a certificated teacher personally assesses the extent to which achievement of the pupils/adult education students meets the objectives set forth in the written assignment).

(D) The specific resources, including materials and personnel, to be made available to the pupils/adult education students (resources reasonably necessary to the achievement of the objectives in the written agreement, not to exclude resources normally available to all pupils/adult education students on the same terms as the terms on which they are normally available to all pupils/adult education students).

(E) A statement of the policies adopted pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of Education Code Section 51747 regarding the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the completion of a pupil's or adult education student's assigned work, and the number of assignments a pupil or adult education student may miss before there must be an evaluation of whether it is in the pupil's or adult education student's best interests to continue in independent study.

(F) The duration of the independent study agreement, including the beginning and ending dates for the pupil's or adult education student's participation in independent study under the agreement, with no agreement being for a period longer than one semester, or one-half year for a school on a year-round calendar.

(G) A statement of the number of course credits or, for the elementary grades, other measures of academic accomplishment appropriate to the agreement, to be earned by the pupil/adult education student upon completion.

(H) A statement in each independent study agreement that independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no pupil may be required to participate. In the case of a pupil who is referred or assigned to any school, class, or program pursuant to Section 48915 or 48917, the agreement also shall include the statement that instruction may be provided to the pupil through independent study only if the pupil is offered the alternative of classroom instruction.

(I) Signatures, affixed prior to the commencement of independent study, by

1. the pupil or adult education student;

2. the pupil's parent, legal guardian, or caregiver as that term is used in Family Code Section 6550 and following, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age;

3. the certificated employee who has been designated as having responsibility for the general supervision of independent study; and

4. all other persons, if any, who had direct responsibility for providing assistance to the pupil or adult education student.

(8) Verify that no days of attendance were reported for dates prior to the signing of the agreement by all parties.

(9) Trace each pupil's or adult education student's attendance from the attendance records to the teacher's register, record of the pupil's or adult education student's work completed, and the corresponding work assignment record. Verify that evaluated pupil/adult education student work samples, bearing signed or initialed and dated notations by the supervising teacher indicating that he or she personally evaluated the work, or that he or she personally reviewed the evaluations made by another certificated teacher, have been retained in the file.

(10) Verify that the pupil/adult education student work product samples are related to the assignment pursuant to which the work was undertaken and reflect the curriculum adopted by the local governing board and not an alternative curriculum.

(11) Review records and other relevant documentation to verify that each pupil's choice to commence or to continue in independent study was entirely voluntary and uncoerced.

(d) If any inappropriately reported units of Average Daily Attendance are identified through the foregoing audit procedures, recalculate, consistent with the provisions of Education Code Section 46303, the correct number of units of Average Daily Attendance. Include a statement in the Findings and Recommendations section of the audit report of the number of units of Average Daily Attendance that were inappropriately reported for apportionment and an estimate of their dollar value.

Authority cited:

Education Code 14502.1

Reference:

Education Code 14502.1

Education Code 14503

Education Code 41020

(Amended by Register 2006, No. 39.)