Rialto Unified School District Staff
INDEPENDENT STUDY FOR THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
On July 9, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 130 into law. The bill made significant changes to Independent Study (IS).
For the 2021-2022 school year, schools are required to offer an independent study option to be made available to students whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction, as determined by their parent or guardian.
Independent Study programs must provide content aligned to grade level standards at a level of quality and intellectual challenge substantially equivalent to in-person instruction. For high schools, this shall include access to all courses offered by the LEA for graduation and approved by the University of California or the California State University as creditable under the A–G admissions criteria.
AB 130 brought about new requirements for student interaction.
- TK to grade 3 — daily synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.
- Grades 4 to 8 — both daily live interaction and at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.
- Grades 9 to 12 — at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.
The new requirements do not apply to a pupil enrolled in Independent Study for fewer than 15 days. These requirements will have to be met beginning on the 15th day.
Live interaction means interaction between the student and classified or certificated staff, and may include peers, 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 communications, and involving live two-way communication between the teacher and student. Synchronous instruction shall be provided by the teacher of record for that student pursuant to Education Code 51747.5.
LONG-TERM VS. SHORT TERM INDEPENDENT STUDY
Although there is no distinction in the law as it relates to terminology for differing lengths of independent study, we will often refer to independent study agreements that are given at the site level (usually for students that need to quarantine due to COVID exposure) as "short term" independent study. These agreements are issued for 14 days or less. These days are cumulative. If it exceeds 15 days cumulative, the student will need to receive the elements of instruction that is detailed above.
"Long term" independent study refers to those students who plan to attend one of the independent study schools for a greater amount of time than 15 days, due to the parent's concern of having their students attend in-person instruction. The agreements are made for the remainder of the school year. But a parent may transition their student back to in-person instruction at any time.
Attendance is determined by the amount of work that is completed and returned at the intervals stated in the Master Agreement. If a students completes all work that is assigned, they will receive full attendance credit for those days.
'SHORT TERM' OR 'TEMPORARY' AGREEMENT RESOURCES