AB130 Independent Study
State Requirements Regarding Learning Options for 2021-2022
The California state legislature and Governor are emphasizing the importance of fully reopening schools for in-person learning and the continuity of in-person instruction. School districts have been directed to assume full-time, in-person instruction for 2021-2022. (AB130)
Distance Learning as implemented last year is no longer allowed by state legislation effective 2021-2022. Per state directive, independent study is the only allowable virtual option for students. In other words, SUSD is not permitted to offer distance learning as implemented in 2020-2021.
Independent study as defined by the state is “an alternative to classroom instruction consistent with a school district’s course of study and is not an alternative curriculum.” Independent study, as the name implies, is a mix of some synchronous instruction with a teacher and independent at-home learning asynchronously.
SUSD administrative staff recommend that students return to school campuses for a “normal” academic experience with the richness of in-person teaching and socialization. However Independent Study or enrolling in an online public charter shool (tuition free) may be a viable option for families.
For families with health concerns, independent study will be offered by SUSD or by SUSD in partnership Stride Learning (TK-5) and the Santa Clara County Office of Education (6-8).
Please note that independent study is meant as an alternative for families whose members may have health risks. Although independent study is primarily done at home, there are weekly “live interaction” physically distanced activities to promote connectedness with the teacher(s). Independent study is not intended for students who reside temporarily out of the district. Families enrolling in SUSD’s independent study program must meet the residency requirements stated in Education Code section 48200 and District Board Policy 5111.
Students who wish to enroll in Independent Study should contact their principal or registration office. A conference can be requested.
Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will need to discuss prior to transferring to Independent Study. Contact the Special Education Office for more information.
Students in Independent Study who wish to transfer back to in-person school should contact email@example.com. Transfers will take place within 5 days.
What is Independent Study?
- SUSD Virtual School (SVS Independent Study) will open in Fall 2021 for TK-5.
- Instruction via Stride Learning LMS and coordinated by a certificated SUSD teacher.
- Participating students will be transferred from their current in-person school to SVS for virtual learning.
- When a SVS student transitions back to in-person, the transfer will occur within 5 days of request.
- Independent Study Program for middle schoolers will enroll in the Santa Clara County Office of Education Independent Study school/program.
- All subjects will be overseen by a county teacher who is credentialed for the subject being taught.
- Participating students will be transferred from Redwood to the SCCOE program.
- When the student transitions back to in-person, the transfer will occur within 5 days of request.
- Upon return, grades 6-8 students will be scheduled into in-person academic and elective classes where there is space available.
For more information, view the Fall 2021 Back To School Guide posted at saratogausd.org/covid19.
Tuition Free Online Charter School
Families may also opt to enroll their student in a tuition-free CA online charter school. There are several well established and experienced schools that have served independent study students for years. Students must disenroll from SUSD in order to attend an online charter school. When students return to SUSD they will need to contact the registration office to show recent proof that the home address is still the same.
Families selecting this option may want to consider if the school is WASC accredited (examples: CA Virtual Academy, K12.com, CA Connections, Ocean Grove Charter, etc.) This list is NOT an endorsement of any kind.