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Los Angeles COE |  BP  6158  Instruction

Independent Study   

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Individualized Instruction

Guidelines governing the operation of activities and programs of instruction for the individual needs of students shall be established under the direction of the Chief Educational Programs Officer and the Executive Director of Educational Programs

Independent Study

The Los Angeles County Board of Education (County Board) recognizes its responsibility for the education of all students in Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE)-operated programs. The County Board authorizes the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools to establish Independent Study (IS) as an optional, continuously voluntary, alternative instructional strategy by which all enrolled students may achieve curriculum objectives that meet LACOE and content standards and fulfill graduation requirements in a setting outside the regular classroom.

The primary purpose for IS is to offer a means of individualizing the educational plan for students whose needs may be best met through study outside the regular classroom setting. Students shall be carefully screened and appropriately selected.

1. No student shall be required to participate in IS. All students are offered a classroom option that is always available.

2. No course required for high school graduation shall be offered exclusively through IS.

3. No individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Education Code (EC) 56026, may participate in IS unless his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP) specifically provides for that participation.

4. In accordance with EC 51745 (d), no temporarily disabled pupil may receive individual instruction pursuant to EC 48206.3 through IS.

5. LACOE shall maintain all records for IS in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

6. The LACOE-operated program shall provide appropriate existing services and resources to enable pupils to complete IS successfully, and shall ensure IS students the same access to existing services and resources in the school in which students are enrolled as is available to all other students in the school.

IS Master Agreement and Contracts

1. The County Superintendent or designee shall ensure that LACOE executes a written IS Master Agreement, Form No. 305-572, and, as appropriate, a learning agreement for students participating in course-based independent study, with each participating student as prescribed by law. The required written agreement, with all required components, shall be agreed upon by the student, parent/guardian/caregiver, certificated employee, and all other persons who provide direct assistance to the student. Individual IS agreements and any subordinate contracts and assignments must be consistent with LACOE's adopted course of study. (Education Code 51747, 51749.5)

2. For students in grades seven and eight, the maximum length of time that may elapse between the time an assignment is made and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work is one week. For students in grades nine through twelve, the maximum length of time that may elapse between the time an assignment is made and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work is one week.

When special or extenuating circumstances justify a longer assignment completion period for individual students, the County Superintendent or designee may approve a period not to exceed eight weeks, pursuant to a written request.

3. When a student fails to complete three assignments, an evaluation to determine whether it is in the best interest of the student to remain in IS will be conducted. Written documentation of this evaluation shall be kept in the student's records for three years. If the pupil transfers to another California public school, the record shall be forwarded to that school.

4. The County Superintendent or designee shall establish administrative regulations to implement this policy in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Student-Teacher Conferences

Supervising teachers should establish an appropriate schedule for student-teacher conferences in order to help identify students falling behind in their work or in danger of failing or dropping out of school. Teachers are expected to monitor student progress and work closely with each student to determine the amount and type of contact needed for the student to be successful in the program.

Missing appointments with the supervising teacher without valid reasons may trigger an evaluation to determine whether the student should remain in independent study.

Legal Reference:


48206.3 Home or hospital instruction; students with temporary disabilities

51745-51749.6 Independent study programs

56026 Individuals with exceptional needs

California Code Of Regulations;

Title 5 sections 11700, 11701, 11701.5, 11702, 11703


adopted: April 4, 2017 Downey, California