Independent Study

Summerville Elementary Independent Study Plan

Program Overview
At Summerville Elementary, Independent study is an optional alternative instructional strategy for eligible students whose needs may be best met through study outside of the regular classroom setting. Independent study shall offer a means of individualizing the educational plan to serve students who desire a more challenging educational experience, whose health or other personal circumstances make classroom attendance difficult, who are unable to access course(s) due to scheduling problems, and/or who need to make up credits or fill gaps in their learning. As necessary to meet student needs, independent study may be offered on a full-time basis or on a part-time basis in conjunction with part- or full-time classroom study.

Short-Term Independent Study
Short-term independent study (STI) is defined as a prearranged absence from school for a minimum of three days to a maximum of 10 days. A request for traditional short-term independent study and a signed master agreement should be filed a minimum of 5 days prior to the prearranged absence. Please contact our school’s front office for more information about obtaining a short-term independent study contract.

While students are highly discouraged from missing school for reasons other than illness, family emergencies, or special events that sometimes necessitate travel out of the area. In order to avoid penalties for missing class for these reasons, students must contract to do work during the period of absence. Independent Study Contracts must meet strict California State guidelines in order to result in excused absences.

A short-term Independent Study contract is a voluntary alternative to a regular classroom program of instruction when a student is absent from school for not less than three (3) and not more than ten (10) consecutive school days.

**Please Note: No Independent Study agreements are allowed the first 10 days of school days of the year and the last 15 school days of the year.

During the 2024-2025 school year, students may request and may be placed on short-term independent study because of quarantine and isolation requirements based on COVID exposures, contracting COVID, or other health-related issues. In the event of a required quarantine or isolation, a short-term independent study may be initiated by contacting the school’s front office. The master agreement required for the program must be signed no more than 30 days after the student returns to school (in-person learning). During short-term independent study, students (and parents) will receive all work via email, ParentSquare, and Google Classroom. All school books, worksheets, and other instructional materials will be provided by the students teacher(s) prior to commencing independent study. Any electronic devices, for example, Chromebook or iPads, that may be needed to complete the short-term independent study work may be requested by families prior to commencing short-term independent study. For more information, please contact our school’s attendance office.

Schools are not obligated to provide students with an Independent Study contract. The availability of an Independent Study contract must be agreed upon by mutual consent of the principal, teacher, parent/guardian, and student. Students should only be placed on Independent Study if the student can successfully accomplish their academics.
Requests for Independent Study contracts must be given to the teacher(s) or attendance clerk at least 10 school days prior to the first day of the absence (in the event of an emergency, contact the principal).

A written Independent Study contract must be completed, signed, and dated for each participating student prior to the starting date of the Independent Study.

Each student's Short Term Independent Study contract shall be coordinated, evaluated, and carried out under the general supervision of a certificated teacher.

All assigned work is due on the day upon which the student is scheduled to return to the classroom and shall be graded by appropriately credentialed teachers. This due date cannot be extended, even due to illness, so the work must be turned in.

For more information, please reference Board Policy 6158 and Administrative Regulation 6158.

Independent Study (Long-Term Independent Study, 15 days or more)
Summerville Elementary does not provide a long-term (full-time) independent study option (15 days or longer). Students and families who need an extended and alternative learning option to support their student's learning will be referred to other school districts, charter schools, and county-run programs that are available in Tuolumne County. Summerville Elementary does not control enrollment in these programs or make placement in these programs.

If a parent enrolled their child in an Independent Study option offered by another school district, charter school, or county-run program and they choose to have their child return to in-person instruction, the parent must notify the school office to make the request. The school will enroll students as quickly as possible (within 5 days).

Parents with a child with an individualized educational program (IEP) may request a time to meet with the IEP team to discuss if the Independent Study option is an appropriate placement.

For questions regarding the Independent Study option, please contact our school administration at 209-928-4291 or email our district office,