by Christina Ashford, Independent Study Coordinator
The classroom of the 21st century reflects a society that has come a long way since the one room school house. With the advancements of modern technology, education has evolved into virtual experiences for our students. Online high schools, service learning experiences, and career readiness high schools are just some of the ways students are preparing to become global citizens.
Despite these educational advancements, the demands of life impact the success of many students. Independent study is another alternative solution, however, it is not an alternative curriculum.
Students work independently, according to a written agreement and under the general supervision of a credentialed teacher. While independent study students follow the district-adopted curriculum and meet the district graduation requirements, independent study offers flexibility to meet individual student needs, interests, and styles of learning. Independent study can be a highly personalized form of instruction because students in independent study work closely with their teachers, in one-on-one meetings or in small groups. Independent study also offers a high degree of flexibility and individualization, so it can serve a wide range of students including:
- Gifted students who are not challenged in their regular classrooms and wish to accelerate their studies.
- Students who, for a variety of reasons, have fallen behind in their studies and need targeted instruction to fill in gaps in their learning or make up credits.
- Students who want an individualized approach that allows them to delve more deeply into areas of special interest.
- Students with over 14 credits who meet at least one of the following conditions and have parent or guardian permission:
- Enrolled in PSEO (Post-secondary Education Options) at an eligible post-secondary institution.
- Pregnancy, childbirth and/or full time custody of a school age child.
- Documented full time employment.
- Documented extended illness or family emergency.