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AB130 - Independent Study

For the 2021-2022 school year, we are required to offer an independent study option to students and families to be made available to students whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction, as determined by the parent or guardian. See the FAQ page.

State and federal laws require us to inform you of your option to enroll your student in an Independent Study program instead of in-person instruction. From these options, you may choose the one that best suits your child. This letter also explains:

  • Your right to request a parent-teacher conference prior to enrollment to inform your decision.
  • The process and your students' rights regarding procedures for enrolling, disenrolling, and re-enrolling in independent study.
  • The asynchronous and synchronous instructional time that your student will have access to as part of independent study.

Requesting a Parent-Teacher Conference

It is your right to request a parent-teacher conference prior to enrolling your student in Independent Study in order to inform your decision and ensure that it is appropriate for your student.

Enrolling, Disenrolling & Re-Enrolling

Once you have determined that you would like to pursue Independent Study, you can begin the enrollment process.

If you are enrolled in Independent Study and would like to return to in-person instruction, you must follow the procedure for disenrolling.

Once disenrolled, should you need to return to Independent Study you are required to adhere to the re-enrollment process.

Instructional Time

The goal of our Independent Study program is to provide an alternative to in-person instruction to students whose health may be put at risk by attending class face-to-face. As such, Independent Study is an educational program that provides instruction based on the state-adopted content standards by certificated teachers. There are specific requirements for instructional time that may include both synchronous and asynchronous work. These expectations will also be outlined in the students' written Learning Agreement, which must be signed within 30 days of enrollment.

For the 2021-22 school year, the district will provide full-day in-person instruction to all students. To ensure the safety of students and staff, the district will be following the required "2021-22 K-12 COVID-19 School Guidance" issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The district will also offer an Independent Study Educational Option following the regulations in the new education trailer bill AB130 which requires school districts to offer an Independent Study educational option to be made available to students whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction, as determined by the parent or guardian. Based on this new legislation, PAUSD is developing new board policies and an Independent Study (IS) program that will be offered to families for the upcoming school year.

Transitional Kindergarten to 3rd Grade Students

  • Asynchronous (Independent) Instruction: A portion of the student's instructional time will consist of "Asynchronous Instruction" which consists of assignments, tasks, and projects aligned to grade level standards that is assigned to the student by a classroom teacher to work on independently at home.
  • Synchronous Instruction: daily instruction that involves classroom-style, small group, or individual instruction involving live, two-way communication between the teacher and student. The number of minutes per day and the type of lesson delivery will be outlined in the written master agreement as determined by the district.
  • Parents or other adult are expected to serve as independent learning coach in their home throughout the instructional day to help guide and assist students with the Independent Study program.

4th through 8th Grade Students

  • Asynchronous (Independent) Instruction: A portion of the student's instructional time will consist of "Asynchronous Instruction" which consists of assignments, tasks, and projects aligned to grade level standards that is assigned to the student by a classroom teacher to work on independently at home.
  • Synchronous Instruction: At least weekly synchronous instruction that involves classroom-style, small group, or individual instruction involving live, two-way communication between the teacher and student. The number of minutes per day and the type of lesson will be outlined in the written master agreement as determined by the district.
  • Daily Live interaction: A certified teacher will interact with the student daily for the purpose of maintaining school connectedness. The number of minutes and form of communication will be outlined in the written master agreement as determined by the district.
  • Parents or other adult are expected to serve as independent learning coach in their home throughout the instructional day to help guide and assist students with the Independent Study program.

9th through 12th Grade Students

  • Asynchronous (Independent) Instruction: The majority of the student's instructional time may consist of "Asynchronous Instruction" which consists of assignments, tasks, and projects aligned to grade level standards that is assigned to the student by a classroom teacher to work on independently at home.
  • Synchronous Instruction: At least Weekly synchronous instruction that involves classroom-style, small group, or individual instruction involving live, two-way communication between the teacher and student. The number of minutes per day and the type of lesson will be outlined in the written master agreement as determined by the district.
  • Daily Live interaction: A certified teacher will interact with the student daily for the purpose of maintaining school connectedness. The number of minutes and form of communication is still being determined.

Additional Information

Students who have an interest in the Independent Study Virtual Learning Program who are currently eligible for Special Education and Related Services through an IEP, must have an IEP meeting to discuss a possible programmatic change PRIOR to enrollment in independent study. To schedule a meeting, please contact your child's case manager to schedule a meeting.

Similarly, students on a 504 plan who have an interest in the Independent Study Virtual Learning Program, must have a 504 meeting to discuss a possible programmatic change PRIOR to enrollment. To schedule a meeting, please contact your school's 504 Coordinator.

For more information on Independent Study Virtual Learning Program, see the Frequently Asked Questions document or follow one of the below links. Further information regarding the start of the new school year and the specific details regarding the Independent Study option will be provided as we finalize plans.

Contact Information

Yolanda “Lana” Conaway
Assistant Superintendent
Equity and Student Affairs
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto, CA. 94063