Short-Term Independent Study (BP 6158): Participation in traditional independent study for fewer than 15 school days during the school year is referred to as “short-term” independent study (STIS). Please contact your child’s school site if you are seeking STIS.
Long-Term Independent Study (BP 6158): Participation in an independent study for 15 school days or more is referred to as “long-term” independent study. If you are interested in LTIS for the 2022-23 school year, please review the FAQs below and submit your request using this form by 5:00 p.m. on August 22, 2022. For questions pertaining to LTIS, please contact Amanda Vavao, MCHS VP, or Katie Cavallaro, MBMS VP.
MBUSD Long-Term Independent Study Program 2022-23 (Grades 6-12)
*Independent Study will not be offered at the elementary level in 2022-23
**LTIS Request Forms must be submitted by August 22, 2022
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Updated August 15, 2022
What is the MBUSD Independent Study (IS) Program?
Independent Study is an alternative to classroom instruction consistent with MBUSD’s course of study. Students who participate in the independent study have the same course requirements as students in regular in-person classes.
Who is eligible for enrollment in the MBUSD IS Program?
Students whose health would be put at risk, as determined by the legal guardian, by attending in-person learning are eligible for enrollment.
For what type of student is the Independent Study Program best suited?
The program is best suited for students who can manage their work at home independently, or who have a family member/caregiver who can assist them in accessing learning. However, for students who are eligible for special education and related services whose parents wish to enroll them in independent study, each student’s IEP team will make an individualized determination as to whether the student can receive a free appropriate public education in an independent study placement. A student’s inability to work independently, the need for adult support, or the pupil’s need for special education or related services will not preclude the IEP team from determining that the pupil can receive a free appropriate public education in an independent study placement.
In general, success in the independent study requires motivation and a strong commitment on the part of the student and his/her/their parents/guardians/caregivers.
It also requires sufficient academic preparation to enable the student to work independently. Students struggling to meet standards and making appropriate academic progress should NOT enroll in the Independent Study Program. If the ISP administrator and staff determine that independent study is not the appropriate placement at any time during the school year, the student will be enrolled in in-person learning.
What are the expectations of an Independent Study student?
What are the expectations of an Independent Study parent/guardian/caregiver?
How much synchronous instruction or live interaction will occur in the Independent Study Program?
Independent study students will participate in “live interaction” and/or “synchronous instruction” in accordance with law at each grade level throughout the school year, or until they disenroll from the program, as follows:
*Live interaction means interaction between the student and local educational agency classified or certificated staff, and may include peers; it is provided for the purpose of maintaining school connectedness, including but not limited to: wellness checks, progress monitoring, provision of services, and instruction. This interaction may take place in person or in the form of internet or telephonic communication.
*Synchronous instruction means classroom-style instruction or designated small group or one-on-one instruction delivered in person or in the form of internet or telephonic communication and involving live, two-way communication between the teacher and student. Synchronous instruction shall be provided by a teacher or teachers of record for the student.
What technology do I need in my home for my student to be successful in the IS Program?
For a student to be successful in the IS Program they need a reliable internet connection in their home. Students and parents should be familiar with technology and be able to troubleshoot issues as they arise. For some families hardwiring a device directly to a modem has helped with WIFI issues. In addition, setting up a clean space, free of distractions, and dedicated to school helped students be successful last year. If you need assistance with devices or hotspots, please inform MBUSD when you enroll in the Independent Study Program.
What if Independent Study is not working for my child?
Students are expected to be engaged in school on a daily basis in the Independent Study Program. If a student is not engaged, or if a student is not making academic progress, the school will evaluate the situation, including available intervention options and whether the student may be better served by in-person instruction.
Can my child return to traditional in-person schooling at any time?
If your student no longer has a health risk and Independent Study is not working for them, you can reach out to your Independent Study teacher for assistance. Although students may return to in-person instruction within five instructional days of parent/guardian request, we strongly recommend a transition at the semester to minimize the disruption to the student’s educational program and ensure continuity of learning. Transitioning to in-person schooling or transitioning to independent study after the start of the school year will require a change in teacher and curriculum for all students. At the secondary level, this may necessitate a change in course schedules. The Independent Study teacher will work with your student’s school administration to discuss support and accommodations.
Will my child participate in standardized testing or other district-wide testing?
Yes, students in the Independent Study Program will continue to participate in all state and local assessments and will be required to participate on-site for state assessments.
What is the commitment to Independent Study?
Although students may return to in-person instruction within five instructional days of parent/guardian request, we strongly recommend a transition during the semester to minimize the disruption to the student’s educational program and ensure continuity of learning. Please note that a return to in-person instruction may necessitate significant changes in a student’s schedule, including changes to the courses in which a student is enrolled
What curriculum is used for the Independent Study Program?
Edgenuity, a standards-aligned online curriculum, will be provided for the Independent Study Program in grades 6-12. High school students will have access to classes that will allow them to meet graduation and A-G requirements.
Will my student have access to the same courses in the Independent Study Program that they would have taken in the regular in-person program?
Students enrolled in the Independent Study Program will have access to curriculum and courses that meet district standards, prepare them for the next grade level, and, for high school students, meet graduation requirements and requirements for admission to the California State University and University of California systems (A-G requirements). However, not all courses offered in person at MBMS and MCHS including AP or Honors courses will be offered through the Independent Study Program, and students may have to choose alternative courses from the ones they had planned to take in person.
How much time will students spend completing independent study coursework?
It is important to make sure that independent study students and parents/guardians understand the time commitment they are making when they sign the Independent Study Written Agreement. Parents/guardians/caregivers and students should expect to spend as much time on independent study assignments as they would for in-person learning.
Does my child need to be a resident of Manhattan Beach Unified School District to enroll in the Independent Study Program?
Students are expected to maintain residency within District boundaries during the duration of the school year and may be asked to pick up supplies and complete exams on campus or at the district office. Parents and students may be required to attend in-person meetings.
May students with active Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) enroll?
For students who are eligible for special education and related services whose parents wish to enroll them in independent study, each student’s IEP team will make an individualized determination as to whether the student can receive a free appropriate public education in an independent study placement. A student’s inability to work independently, the need for adult support, or the pupil’s need for special education or related services will not preclude the IEP team from determining that the pupil can receive a free appropriate public education in an independent study placement. Parents of students on IEPs who wish to enroll their child in independent study should contact their child’s case carrier so that an IEP team meeting can be scheduled to make this determination.
Are students required to complete assignments within a specific timeframe?
Yes. In order to earn credit and continue participating in Independent Study, a student must complete assignments within the guidelines on the Independent Study Written Agreement. If a student does not complete an established number of assignments within the required time period, the student will be evaluated to determine if the Independent Study Program is the correct option for the student. If the school determines that Independent Study is not the appropriate placement for the student, the student will be enrolled in in-person learning.
If I choose to enroll in the Independent Study Program, do I lose my spot at the school I regularly attend?
No. For the 2022-23 school year, students enrolled in the Independent Study Program will be able to return to their home school at the end of their Independent Study Program agreement.
My child is eligible for free and reduced lunch. Can they still receive a meal daily?
All students in the Independent Study Program will have access to the free and reduced lunch program.
How will attendance be tracked?
Attendance and participation will be monitored daily, and staff will follow up with students and families as necessary. Tiered re-engagement strategies will be initiated to promote student attendance for students in violation of their student written agreement. Students who do not maintain attendance standards will be required to enroll in in-person learning.
Are students able to participate in music, band, performing arts, extracurricular, clubs or athletics?
The Independent Study Program does not guarantee participation in in-person courses or activities, including clubs, elective classes, or athletics. Because IS students are students whose health may be put at risk by attending in-person learning, it may not be feasible to offer in-person participation to students participating in this program.
What about activities and sports through PTA/PTSA/Clubs/Athletics at my home school?
The Independent Study Program does not guarantee participation in in-person courses or activities, including clubs, elective classes, or athletics. Because Independent Studies students are students whose health may be put at risk by attending in-person learning, it may not be feasible to offer in-person participation to students participating in this program.
Who assigns the grades in the Independent Study Program?
The MBUSD credentialed/supervising teacher for the Independent Study Program will be the teacher of record and will assign grades.
Do Mira Costa High School students who enroll in full-time independent study receive their diploma?
For the 2022-2023 school year, high school seniors enrolled in the Independent Study Program will receive an MCHS diploma after successful completion of all graduation requirements.
What else should my family consider when making the choice to enroll in the Independent Study Program?
Please think about the academic and social-emotional needs of your child, especially considering the fact that the Independent Study Program will have limited opportunities for collaborative instructional activities and social interactions with typically developing peers.
Can students take part-time independent study courses and part-time in-person courses?
No. MBMS students must be enrolled in either full-time in-person learning or full-time independent study.
At MCHS, students can take part-time independent study and attend part-time in-person pending site administrator approval.
How do I enroll my child in the Independent Study Program?
Parents must enroll children in the Independent Study Program by completing this request form by no later than Monday, August 22, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
What happens after I complete the Independent Study Program request form?
A meeting will be scheduled to review your enrollment form and the Independent Study Written Agreement. The agreement must be signed prior to the student starting the long-term independent study program.
What if I want to request that my student be placed in the Independent Study Program or that my student be moved from the Independent Study Program to the regular program?
A request for a change of placement must be made in writing to the principal of your student’s current school. Please note that after the start of the school year, a written agreement must be signed prior to placement in the Independent Study Program; this means that changes of placement into the Independent Study Program will not be automatic or immediate. A plan to transition students whose families wish to return to in-person instruction will be followed expeditiously to ensure return to school within five instructional days of making a request or of evaluation of independent study appropriateness.
What is the written agreement between the student (and/or parent/guardian) and the district?
The written agreement between the student (and/or parent/guardian) and the District (including the certificated employee who has responsibility for supervision/oversight and individuals providing direct assistance), must be signed prior to the student starting in the Independent Study Program.
What if I have questions?
You have the right to request a student-parent-educator conference/meeting prior to enrollment in the Independent Study Program. If you complete the enrollment form, we will reach out to you to offer a conference so that we can address your questions.