Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 64100]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

DIVISION 4. INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES [46000 - 64100]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

PART 28. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS [51000 - 53303]

  ( Part 28 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 5. Authorized Classes and Courses of Instruction [51700 - 51879.9]

  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

ARTICLE 5.5. Independent Study [51745 - 51749.6]
  ( Article 5.5 repealed and added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1089, Sec. 5. )

51745.
  

(a) Commencing with the 1990–91 school year, the governing board of a school district or a county office of education may offer independent study to meet the educational needs of pupils in accordance with the requirements of this article. Educational opportunities offered through independent study may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(1) Special assignments extending the content of regular courses of instruction.

(2) Individualized study in a particular area of interest or in a subject not currently available in the regular school curriculum.

(3) Individualized alternative education designed to teach the knowledge and skills of the core curriculum. Independent study shall not be provided as an alternative curriculum.

(4) Continuing and special study during travel.

(5) Volunteer community service activities and leadership opportunities that support and strengthen pupil achievement.

(b) Not more than 10 percent of the pupils participating in an opportunity school or program, or a continuation high school, calculated as specified by the department, shall be eligible for apportionment credit for independent study pursuant to this article. A pupil who is pregnant or is a parent who is the primary caregiver for one or more of his or her children shall not be counted within the 10 percent cap.

(c) An individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, shall not participate in independent study, unless his or her individualized education program developed pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 56340) of Chapter 4 of Part 30 specifically provides for that participation.

(d) A temporarily disabled pupil shall not receive individual instruction pursuant to Section 48206.3 through independent study.

(e) No course included among the courses required for high school graduation under Section 51225.3 shall be offered exclusively through independent study.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 175, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

51745.6.
  

(a) (1) The ratio of average daily attendance for independent study pupils 18 years of age or less to school district full-time equivalent certificated employees responsible for independent study, for the applicable grade span, calculated as specified by the department, shall not exceed the equivalent ratio of pupils to full-time certificated employees for all other educational programs operated by the school district for the applicable grade span, unless a new higher or lower grade span ratio for all other educational programs offered within the respective grade span is negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement or a memorandum of understanding is entered into that indicates an existing collective bargaining agreement contains an alternative grade span ratio for the applicable grade span. The ratio of average daily attendance for independent study pupils 18 years of age or less to county office of education full-time equivalent certificated employees responsible for independent study, for the applicable grade span, to be calculated in a manner prescribed by the department, shall not exceed the equivalent ratio of pupils to full-time certificated employees for all other educational programs operated by the high school or unified school district with the largest average daily attendance of pupils in that county for the applicable grade span, unless a new higher or lower grade span ratio for all other educational programs offered within the respective grade span is negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement or a memorandum of understanding is entered into that indicates an existing collective bargaining agreement contains an alternative grade span ratio for the applicable grade span. The computation of the ratios shall be performed annually by the reporting agency at the time of, and in connection with, the second principal apportionment report to the Superintendent.

(2) For purposes of this section, the following grade spans shall apply:

(A) Kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive.

(B) Grades 4 to 6, inclusive.

(C) Grades 7 to 8, inclusive.

(D) Grades 9 to 12, inclusive.

(b) Only those units of average daily attendance for independent study that reflect a pupil-teacher ratio that does not exceed the applicable grade span ratios described in subdivision (a) shall be eligible for apportionment pursuant to Section 2575, for county offices of education, and Section 42238.05, for school districts. Nothing in this section shall prevent a school district or county office of education from serving additional units of average daily attendance greater than the applicable grade span ratios described in subdivision (a), except that those additional units shall not be funded pursuant to Section 2575 or 42238.05, as applicable. If a school district, charter school, or county office of education has a memorandum of understanding to provide instruction in coordination with the school district, charter school, or county office of education at which a pupil is enrolled, then the applicable grade span ratios that shall apply for purposes of this paragraph are the ratios for the local educational agency providing the independent study program to the pupil pursuant to Section 51749.5.

(c) The calculations performed for purposes of this section shall not include either of the following:

(1) The average daily attendance generated by special education pupils enrolled in special day classes on a full-time basis, or the teachers of those classes.

(2) The average daily attendance or teachers in necessary small schools that are eligible to receive funding pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 42280) of Chapter 7 of Part 24.

(d) The applicable pupils-to-certificated-employee grade span ratios described in subdivision (a) may, in a charter school, be calculated by using a fixed pupils-to-certificated-employee ratio of 25 to 1, or by being a ratio of less than 25 pupils per certificated employee. All charter school pupils, regardless of age, shall be included in the applicable pupil-to-certificated-employee grade span ratio calculations.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 32, Sec. 35. Effective June 20, 2014.)

51746.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that school districts and county offices of education offering independent study shall provide appropriate existing services and resources to enable pupils to complete their independent study successfully and shall ensure the same access to all existing services and resources in the school in which the pupil is enrolled pursuant to Section 51748 as is available to all other pupils in the school. In addition, the services and resources may include, but need not be limited to, any of the following:

(a) A designated learning center or study area staffed by appropriately trained personnel.

(b) The services of qualified personnel to assess the achievement, abilities, interests, aptitudes, and needs of participating pupils to determine each of the following:

(1) Whether full-time independent study is the most appropriate alternative for the pupil being referred.

(2) If the answer to paragraph (1) is affirmative, the determination of the most appropriate individualized plan and resources to be made available to pupils enrolled in full-time independent study.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1089, Sec. 5. Operative July 1, 1990, pursuant to Section 51749.5 as added by Ch. 1089 (later repealed).)

51747.
  

A school district or county office of education shall not be eligible to receive apportionments for independent study by pupils, regardless of age, unless it has adopted written policies, and has implemented those policies, pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the Superintendent, that include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(a) The maximum length of time, by grade level and type of program, that may elapse between the time an independent study assignment is made and the date by which the pupil must complete the assigned work.

(b) The number of missed assignments that will be allowed before an evaluation is conducted to determine whether it is in the best interests of the pupil to remain in independent study, or whether he or she should return to the regular school program. A written record of the findings of any evaluation made pursuant to this subdivision shall be treated as a mandatory interim pupil record. The record shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the evaluation and, if the pupil transfers to another California public school, the record shall be forwarded to that school.

(c) A requirement that a current written agreement for each independent study pupil shall be maintained on file, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting a pupil’s assignments and for reporting his or her progress.

(2) The objectives and methods of study for the pupil’s work, and the methods utilized to evaluate that work.

(3) The specific resources, including materials and personnel, that will be made available to the pupil.

(4) A statement of the policies adopted pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) regarding the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the completion of a pupil’s assigned work, and the number of missed assignments allowed before an evaluation of whether or not the pupil should be allowed to continue in independent study.

(5) The duration of the independent study agreement, including the beginning and ending dates for the pupil’s participation in independent study under the agreement. No independent study agreement shall be valid for any period longer than one school year.

(6) A statement of the number of course credits or, for the elementary grades, other measures of academic accomplishment appropriate to the agreement, to be earned by the pupil upon completion.

(7) The inclusion of a statement in each independent study agreement that independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no pupil may be required to participate. In the case of a pupil who is referred or assigned to any school, class, or program pursuant to Section 48915 or 48917, the agreement also shall include the statement that instruction may be provided to the pupil through independent study only if the pupil is offered the alternative of classroom instruction.

(8) (A) Each written agreement shall be signed, before the commencement of independent study, by the pupil, the pupil’s parent, legal guardian, or caregiver, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, the certificated employee who has been designated as having responsibility for the general supervision of independent study, and all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the pupil. For purposes of this paragraph “caregiver” means a person who has met the requirements of Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 6550) of the Family Code.

(B) A signed written agreement may be maintained on file electronically.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 32, Sec. 36. Effective June 20, 2014.)

51747.3.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local educational agency, including, but not limited to, a charter school, may not claim state funding for the independent study of a pupil, whether characterized as home study or otherwise, if the agency has provided any funds or other thing of value to the pupil or his or her parent or guardian that the agency does not provide to pupils who attend regular classes or to their parents or guardians. A charter school may not claim state funding for the independent study of a pupil, whether characterized as home study or otherwise, if the charter school has provided any funds or other thing of value to the pupil or his or her parent or guardian that a school district could not legally provide to a similarly situated pupil of the school district, or to his or her parent or guardian.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 47605 or any other provision of law, community school and independent study average daily attendance shall be claimed by school districts, county superintendents of schools, and charter schools only for pupils who are residents of the county in which the apportionment claim is reported, or who are residents of a county immediately adjacent to the county in which the apportionment claim is reported.

(c) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall not apportion funds for reported average daily attendance, through full-time independent study, of pupils who are enrolled in school pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 48204.

(d) In conformity with Provisions 25 and 28 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 1992, this section is applicable to average daily attendance reported for apportionment purposes beginning July 1, 1992. The provisions of this section are not subject to waiver by the State Board of Education, by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, or under any provision of Part 26.8 (commencing with Section 47600).

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 529, Sec. 4. Effective September 25, 2003. Operative, by Sec. 6 of Ch. 529, on March 5, 2004, when Stats. 2004, Ch. 21 (AB 97) took effect.)

51747.5.
  

(a) The independent study by each pupil shall be coordinated, evaluated, and, notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 46300, shall be under the general supervision of an employee of the school district, charter school, or county office of education who possesses a valid certification document pursuant to Section 44865 or an emergency credential pursuant to Section 44300, registered as required by law.

(b) School districts, charter schools, and county offices of education may claim apportionment credit for independent study only to the extent of the time value of pupil work products, as personally judged in each instance by a certificated teacher.

(c) For purposes of this section, school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education shall not be required to sign and date pupil work products when assessing the time value of pupil work products for apportionment purposes.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 32, Sec. 37. Effective June 20, 2014.)

51748.
  

School districts and county offices of education shall not be eligible to receive apportionment for independent study attendance by any pupil who is not otherwise identified in the written records of the district or county board by grade level, program placement, and the school in which he or she is enrolled.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1089, Sec. 5. Operative July 1, 1990, pursuant to Section 51749.5 as added by Ch. 1089 (later repealed).)

51749.
  

The Superintendent of Public Instruction, upon the next revision of the California Basic Educational Data System, or its equivalent, following the effective date of this article, shall include all data collection elements necessary to compile an annual statewide profile of pupils participating in independent study, including data on the number and percentage of pupils pursuing their coursework through independent study who successfully complete the requirements for a high school diploma.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1089, Sec. 5. Operative July 1, 1990, pursuant to Section 51749.5 as added by Ch. 1089 (later repealed).)

51749.3.
  

The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall establish rules and regulations for the purposes of implementing this article.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 922, Sec. 117. Effective January 1, 1995.)

51749.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, and commencing with the 2015–16 school year, a school district, charter school, or county office of education may, for pupils enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, provide independent study courses pursuant to the following conditions:

(1) The governing board or body of a participating school district, charter school, or county office of education adopts policies, at a public meeting, that comply with the requirements of this section and any applicable regulations adopted by the state board.

(2) A signed learning agreement is completed and on file pursuant to Section 51749.6.

(3) Courses are taught under the general supervision of certificated employees who hold the appropriate subject matter credential pursuant to Section 44300 or 44865, or subdivision (l) of Section 47605, meet the requirements for highly qualified teachers pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 6301 et seq.), and are employed by the school district, charter school, or county office of education at which the pupil is enrolled, or by a school district, charter school, or county office of education that has a memorandum of understanding to provide the instruction in coordination with the school district, charter school, or county office of education at which the pupil is enrolled.

(4) (A) Courses are annually certified, by school district, charter school, or county office of education governing board or body resolution, to be of the same rigor and educational quality as equivalent classroom-based courses, and shall be aligned to all relevant local and state content standards.

(B) This certification shall, at a minimum, include the duration, number of equivalent daily instructional minutes for each schoolday that a pupil is enrolled, number of equivalent total instructional minutes, and number of course credits for each course. This information shall be consistent with that of equivalent classroom-based courses.

(5) Pupils enrolled in courses authorized by this section shall meet the applicable age requirements established pursuant to Sections 46300.1, 46300.4, 47612, and 47612.1.

(6) Pupils enrolled in courses authorized by this section shall meet the applicable residency and enrollment requirements established pursuant to Sections 46300.2, 47612, 48204, and 51747.3.

(7) (A) Certificated employees and each pupil shall communicate in-person, by telephone, or by any other live visual or audio connection no less than twice per calendar month to assess whether each pupil is making satisfactory educational progress.

(B) For purposes of this section, satisfactory educational progress includes, but is not limited to, applicable statewide accountability measures and the completion of assignments, examinations, or other indicators that evidence that the pupil is working on assignments, learning required concepts, and progressing toward successful completion of the course, as determined by certificated employees providing instruction.

(C) If satisfactory educational progress is not being made, certificated employees providing instruction shall notify the pupil and, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, the pupil’s parent or legal guardian, and conduct an evaluation to determine whether it is in the best interest of the pupil to remain in the course or whether he or she should be referred to an alternative program, which may include, but is not limited to, a regular school program. A written record of the findings of an evaluation made pursuant to this subdivision shall be treated as a mandatory interim pupil record. The record shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the evaluation and, if the pupil transfers to another California public school, the record shall be forwarded to that school.

(D) Written or computer-based evidence of satisfactory educational progress, as defined in subparagraph (B), shall be retained for each course and pupil. At a minimum, this evidence shall include a grade book or summary document that, for each course, lists all assignments, examinations, and associated grades.

(8) A proctor shall administer examinations.

(9) (A) Statewide testing results for pupils enrolled in any course authorized pursuant to this section shall be reported and assigned to the school or charter school at which the pupil is enrolled, and to any school district, charter school, or county office of education within which that school’s or charter school’s testing results are aggregated.

(B) Statewide testing results for pupils enrolled in a course or courses pursuant to this section shall be disaggregated for purposes of comparing the testing results of those pupils to the testing results of pupils enrolled in classroom-based courses.

(10) A pupil shall not be required to enroll in courses authorized by this section.

(11) The pupil-to-certificated-employee ratio limitations established pursuant to Section 51745.6 are applicable to courses authorized by this section.

(12) For each pupil, the combined equivalent daily instructional minutes for enrolled courses authorized by this section and enrolled courses authorized by all other laws and regulations shall meet the minimum instructional day requirements applicable to the local educational agency. Pupils enrolled in courses authorized by this section shall be offered the minimum annual total equivalent instructional minutes pursuant to Sections 46200 to 46208, inclusive, and Section 47612.5.

(13) Courses required for high school graduation or for admission to the University of California or California State University shall not be offered exclusively through independent study.

(14) A pupil participating in independent study shall not be assessed a fee prohibited by Section 49011.

(15) A pupil shall not be prohibited from participating in independent study solely on the basis that he or she does not have the materials, equipment, or Internet access that are necessary to participate in the independent study course.

(b) For purposes of computing average daily attendance for each pupil enrolled in one or more courses authorized by this section, the following computations shall apply:

(1) (A) For each schoolday, add the combined equivalent daily instructional minutes, as certified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), for courses authorized by this section in which the pupil is enrolled.

(B) For each schoolday, add the combined daily instructional minutes of courses authorized by all other laws and regulations in which the pupil is enrolled and for which the pupil meets applicable attendance requirements.

(C) For each schoolday, add the sum of subparagraphs (A) and (B).

(2) If subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) meets applicable minimum schoolday requirements for each schoolday, and all other requirements in this section have been met, credit each schoolday that the pupil is demonstrating satisfactory educational progress pursuant to the requirements of this section, with up to one school day of attendance.

(3) (A) Using credited schoolday attendance pursuant to paragraph (2), calculate average daily attendance pursuant to Section 41601 or 47612, whichever is applicable, for each pupil.

(B) The average daily attendance computed pursuant to this subdivision shall not result in more than one unit of average daily attendance per pupil.

(4) Notwithstanding any other law, average daily attendance computed for pupils enrolled in courses authorized by this section shall not be credited with average daily attendance other than what is specified in this section.

(c) For purposes of this section, “equivalent total instructional minutes” means the same number of minutes as required for an equivalent classroom-based course.

(d) (1) The Superintendent shall conduct an evaluation of independent study courses offered pursuant to this section and report findings to the Legislature and the Director of Finance no later than September 1, 2019. The report shall, at a minimum, compare the academic performance of pupils in independent study with demographically similar pupils enrolled in equivalent classroom-based courses.

(2) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on September 1, 2023, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

(3) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 32, Sec. 38. Effective June 20, 2014.)

51749.6.
  

(a) Before enrolling a pupil in a course authorized by Section 51749.5, each school district, charter school, or county office of education shall provide the pupil and, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, the pupil’s parent or legal guardian, with a written learning agreement that includes all of the following:

(1) A summary of the policies and procedures adopted by the governing board or body of the school district, charter school, or county office of education pursuant to Section 51749.5, as applicable.

(2) The duration of the enrolled course or courses, the duration of the learning agreement, and the number of course credits for each enrolled course consistent with the certifications adopted by the governing board or body of the school district, charter school, or county office of education pursuant to Section 51749.5. The duration of a learning agreement shall not exceed a school year or span multiple school years.

(3) The learning objectives and expectations for each course, including, but not limited to, a description of how satisfactory educational progress is measured and when a pupil evaluation is required to determine whether the pupil should remain in the course or be referred to an alternative program, which may include, but is not limited to, a regular school program.

(4) The specific resources, including materials and personnel, that will be made available to the pupil.

(5) A statement that the pupil is not required to enroll in courses authorized pursuant to Section 51749.5.

(b) (1) The learning agreement shall be signed by the pupil and, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, the pupil’s parent or legal guardian, and all certificated employees providing instruction before instruction may commence.

(2) The signed learning agreement constitutes permission from a pupil’s parent or legal guardian, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, for the pupil to receive instruction through independent study.

(3) A physical or electronic copy of the signed learning agreement shall be retained by the school district, county office of education, or charter school for at least three years and as appropriate for auditing purposes.

(4) For purposes of this section, an electronic copy includes a computer or electronic stored image of an original document, including, but not limited to, portable document format, JPEG, or other digital image file type, that may be sent via fax machine, email, or other electronic means.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 32, Sec. 39. Effective June 20, 2014.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC