Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 65001]

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

DIVISION 4. INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES [46000 - 65001]

  ( 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 [51705 - 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  ( Article 5.5 repealed and added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1089, Sec. 5.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, a local educational agency may offer independent study to meet the educational needs of pupils in accordance with the requirements of this article. For the 2021–22 school year only, the governing board of a school district or a county office of education shall offer independent study to meet the educational needs of pupils. 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.

(6) Individualized study for a pupil whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction, as determined by the parent or guardian of the pupil.

(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 their 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 the pupil’s 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.

(f) The governing board of a school district or county office of education may meet the requirement to offer independent study for the 2021–22 school year by contracting with a county office of education or by entering into an interdistrict transfer agreement with another school district pursuant to Section 46600.

(g) The requirement to offer independent study for the 2021–22 school year may be waived for school districts by the county superintendent of schools in the county in which the school district is located and waived for county offices of education and school districts in single-district counties by the Superintendent if the school district or county office of education, as applicable, demonstrates both of the following:

(1) Offering independent study would create an unreasonable fiscal burden on the school district or county office of education due to low numbers of pupils participating or other extenuating circumstances.

(2) The governing board of the school district or county office of education does not have the option to enter into an interdistrict transfer agreement with another school district or to contract with a county office of education to provide an independent study option, as described in subdivision (f).

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 66. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

51745.5.
  

For purposes of this article the following definitions apply:

(a) “Live interaction” means interaction between the pupil and local educational agency 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.

(b) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.

(c) “Pupil-parent-educator conference” means a meeting involving, at a minimum, all parties who signed the pupil’s written independent study agreement pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 51747 or the written learning agreement pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 51749.6.

(d) “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 pupil. Synchronous instruction shall be provided by the teacher of record for that pupil pursuant to Section 51747.5.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 67. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

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, calculated as specified by the department, shall not exceed the equivalent ratio of average daily attendance to full-time equivalent certificated employees providing instruction in other educational programs operated by the school district, unless a new higher or lower average daily attendance ratio for all other educational programs offered 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 average daily attendance ratio.

(2) 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, to be calculated in a manner prescribed by the department, shall not exceed the equivalent prior year ratio of average daily attendance to full-time equivalent 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 or the collectively bargained alternative ratio used by that high school or unified school district in the prior year, unless a new higher or lower average daily attendance ratio for all other educational programs offered 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 average daily attendance ratio. 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.

(b) Only those units of average daily attendance for independent study that reflect a pupil-teacher ratio that does not exceed the 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. This section does not prevent a school district or county office of education from serving additional units of average daily attendance greater than the 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, the 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 of Division 3.

(d) The applicable average-daily-attendance-to-certificated-employee ratios described in subdivision (a) may, in a charter school, be calculated by using a fixed average-daily-attendance-to-certificated-employee ratio of 25 to 1, or by using a ratio of less than 25 pupils per certificated employee. A new higher or lower ratio for all other educational programs offered by a charter school may be negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement, or a memorandum of understanding indicating that an existing collective bargaining agreement contains an alternative average daily attendance ratio may be entered into by a charter school. All charter school pupils, regardless of age, shall be included in the applicable average-daily-attendance-to-certificated-employee ratio calculations.

(e) Commencing with the 2021–22 fiscal year Guide for Annual Audits of K–12 Local Education Agencies and State Compliance Reporting, the Controller shall incorporate verification of the ratios included in this section, including fiscal penalties for noncompliance as described in this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 68. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

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 local educational agency 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) (1) The level of satisfactory educational progress and 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 the pupil 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.

(2) Satisfactory educational progress shall be determined based on all of the following indicators:

(A) The pupil’s achievement and engagement in the independent study program, as indicated by the pupil’s performance on applicable pupil-level measures of pupil achievement and pupil engagement set forth in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subdivision (d) of Section 52060.

(B) The completion of assignments, assessments, or other indicators that evidence that the pupil is working on assignments.

(C) Learning required concepts, as determined by the supervising teacher.

(D) Progressing toward successful completion of the course of study or individual course, as determined by the supervising teacher.

(c) The provision of content aligned to grade level standards that is provided 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 local educational agency for graduation and approved by the University of California or the California State University as creditable under the A–G admissions criteria.

(d) Procedures for tiered reengagement strategies for all pupils who are not generating attendance for more than three schooldays or 60 percent of the instructional days in a school week, or who are in violation of the written agreement pursuant to subdivision (g). These procedures shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, all of the following:

(1) Verification of current contact information for each enrolled pupil.

(2) Notification to parents or guardians of lack of participation within one school day of the absence or lack of participation.

(3) A plan for outreach from the school to determine pupil needs, including connection with health and social services as necessary.

(4) A clear standard for requiring a pupil-parent-educator conference to review a pupil’s written agreement, and reconsider the independent study program’s impact on the pupil’s achievement and well-being, consistent with the policies adopted pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (g).

(e) (1) For pupils in transitional kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive, a plan to provide opportunities for daily synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.

(2) For pupils in grades 4 to 8, inclusive, a plan to provide opportunities for both daily live interaction and at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.

(3) For pupils in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, a plan to provide opportunities for at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.

(f) A plan to transition pupils whose families wish to return to in-person instruction from independent study expeditiously, and, in no case, later than five instructional days.

(g) 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, for reporting the pupil’s academic progress, and for communicating with a pupil’s parent or guardian regarding a pupil’s academic progress.

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

(3) The specific resources, including materials and personnel, that will be made available to the pupil. These resources shall include confirming or providing access to all pupils to the connectivity and devices adequate to participate in the educational program and complete assigned work.

(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, the level of satisfactory educational progress, 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) A statement detailing the academic and other supports that will be provided to address the needs of pupils who are not performing at grade level, or need support in other areas, such as English learners, individuals with exceptional needs in order to be consistent with the pupil’s individualized education program or plan pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794), pupils in foster care or experiencing homelessness, and pupils requiring mental health supports.

(8) 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.

(9) (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 Division 11 of the Family Code.

(B) Signed written agreements, supplemental agreements, assignment records, work samples, and attendance records assessing time value of work or evidence that an instructional activity occurred may be maintained as an electronic file.

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

(D) Either an original document or an electronic file of the original document is allowable documentation for auditing purposes.

(E) Written agreements may be signed using an electronic signature that complies with state and federal standards, as determined by the department, that may be a marking that is either computer generated or produced by electronic means and is intended by the signatory to have the same effect as a handwritten signature. The use of an electronic signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if the requirements for digital signatures and their acceptable technology, as provided in Section 16.5 of the Government Code and in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22000) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, are satisfied.

(F) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for the 2021–22 school year only, a local educational agency shall obtain a signed written agreement for independent study from the pupil, or the pupil’s parent or legal guardian 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 no later than 30 days after the first day of instruction. This subparagraph does not relieve a local educational agency from the obligation to comply with the requirements of this article, as amended by the act adding this subparagraph, upon commencement of instruction for a participating pupil in the 2021–22 school year.

(h) (1) For the 2021–22 school year only, school districts and county offices of education shall notify the parents and guardians of all enrolled pupils of their options to enroll their child in in-person instruction or independent study during the 2021–22 school year. This notice shall include written information on the local educational agency’s internet website, including, but not limited to, the right to request a pupil-parent-educator conference meeting before enrollment pursuant to this section, pupil rights regarding procedures for enrolling, disenrolling, and reenrolling in independent study, and the synchronous and asynchronous instructional time that a pupil will have access to as part of independent study. If 15 percent or more of the pupils enrolled in a local educational agency that provides instruction in transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, speak a single primary language other than English, as determined from the census data submitted to the department pursuant to Section 52164 in the preceding year, the written information shall, in addition to being written in English, be written in the primary language.

(2) Before signing a written agreement pursuant to this section, and upon the request of the parent or guardian of a pupil, the local educational agency shall conduct a phone, videoconference, or in-person pupil-parent-educator conference or other school meeting during which the pupil, parent or guardian, and, if requested by the pupil or parent, an education advocate, may ask questions about the educational options, including which curriculum offerings and nonacademic supports will be available to the pupil in independent study, before making the decision about enrollment or disenrollment in the various options for learning.

(i) Subdivisions (d), (e), and (f) shall not apply to pupils that participate in an independent study program for fewer than 15 schooldays in a school year.

(j) Commencing with the 2021–22 fiscal year Guide for Annual Audits of K–12 Local Education Agencies and State Compliance Reporting, the Controller shall incorporate verification of the adoption of the policies required pursuant to this section, including loss of apportionment for independent study for local educational agencies found to be noncompliant, unless compliance verification for those policies is already included in the audit guide.

(k) The provisions of this section are not subject to waiver by the state board, by the Superintendent, or under any provision of Part 26.8 (commencing with Section 47600).

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 69. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

51747.3.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other 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 local educational agency has provided any funds or other thing of value to the pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian that the local educational 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 the pupil’s parent or guardian that a school district could not legally provide to a similarly situated pupil of the school district, or to the pupil’s parent or guardian.

(b) Providing access to connectivity and local educational agency-owned devices adequate to participate in an independent study program and complete assigned work, consistent with paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section 51747, or to participate in an independent study course, as authorized in Section 51749.5, shall not be considered funds or other things of value for purposes of subdivision (a).

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 47605 or any other 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.

(d) The Superintendent 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.

(e) In conformity with Provisions 25 and 28 of Item 6110–101–001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 1992, this section applies to average daily attendance reported for apportionment purposes beginning July 1, 1992.

(f) The provisions of this section are not subject to waiver by the state board, by the Superintendent, or under any provision of Part 26.8 (commencing with Section 47600).

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 70. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

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 local educational agency who possesses a valid certification document pursuant to Section 44865 or an emergency credential pursuant to Section 44300, registered as required by law.

(b) A local educational agency 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. It is the intent of the Legislature that teachers be given access to digital assignment tracking systems to reduce workload associated with evaluating and accounting for pupil work.

(c) A local educational agency shall document each pupil’s participation in live interaction and synchronous instruction pursuant to Section 51747 on each schoolday, as applicable, in whole or in part, for which independent study is provided. A pupil who does not participate in independent study on a schoolday shall be documented as nonparticipatory for that schoolday.

(d) A local educational agency shall maintain written or computer-based evidence of pupil engagement that includes, but is not limited to, a grade book or summary document that, for each class, lists all assignments, assessments, and associated grades.

(e) For purposes of this section, a local educational agency shall not be required to sign and date pupil work products when assessing the time value of pupil work products for apportionment purposes.

(f) Commencing with the 2021–22 fiscal year Guide for Annual Audits of K–12 Local Education Agencies and State Compliance Reporting, the Controller shall incorporate compliance reviews for subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, unless compliance verification for those subdivisions is already included in the audit guide. Findings of noncompliance shall result in the loss of apportionment equal to the average daily attendance impacted by the noncompliance.

(g) The provisions of this section are not subject to waiver by the state board, by the Superintendent, or under any provision of Part 26.8 (commencing with Section 47600).

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 71. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

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.
  

(a) The Superintendent, upon the next revision of the California Basic Educational Data System, or its equivalent, following July 1, 1990, 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.

(b) Commencing with the 2021–22 school year, the department shall include a required field in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System for the collection of the number of pupils participating in independent study pursuant to this article for 15 or more schooldays.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 72. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

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 local educational agency 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 the local educational agency 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, and are employed by the local educational agency at which the pupil is enrolled, or by a local educational agency that has a memorandum of understanding to provide the instruction in coordination with the local educational agency at which the pupil is enrolled.

(4) (A) Courses are annually certified, by local educational agency governing board or body resolution, to be of the same rigor, educational quality, and intellectual challenge substantially equivalent to in-person instruction and equivalent classroom-based courses, and shall be aligned to all relevant local and state content standards. For high schools, this shall include access to all courses offered by the local educational agency for graduation and approved by the University of California or the California State University as creditable under the A-G admissions criteria.

(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, number of course credits for each course, and a plan as described in subparagraph (C). This information shall be consistent with that of equivalent classroom-based courses.

(C) (i) For pupils in transitional kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive, a plan to provide opportunities for daily synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.

(ii) For pupils in grades 4 to 8, inclusive, a plan to provide opportunities for both daily live interaction and at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.

(iii) For pupils in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, a plan to provide opportunities for at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year.

(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) An individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, shall not participate in course-based independent study, unless the pupil’s individualized education program developed pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 56340) of Chapter 4 of Part 30 specifically provides for that participation.

(B) A temporarily disabled pupil shall not receive individual instruction pursuant to Section 48206.3 through course-based independent study.

(8) (A) Satisfactory educational progress shall be determined based on all of the following indicators:

(i) The pupil’s achievement and engagement in the independent study program, as indicated by the pupil’s performance on applicable pupil-level measures of pupil achievement and pupil engagement set forth in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subdivision (d) of Section 52060.

(ii) The completion of assignments, assessments, or other indicators that evidence that the pupil is working on assignments.

(iii) Learning required concepts, as determined by the supervising teacher.

(iv) Progressing toward successful completion of the course of study or individual course, as determined by the supervising teacher.

(B) If satisfactory educational progress in one or more courses 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 the pupil 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.

(C) Procedures for tiered reengagement strategies for all pupils who are not making satisfactory educational progress in one or more courses, or who are in violation of the written learning agreement pursuant to Section 51749.6. These procedures shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, all of the following:

(i) Verification of current contact information for each enrolled pupil.

(ii) A plan for outreach from the school to determine pupil needs, including connection with health and social services as necessary.

(iii) A clear standard for requiring a pupil-parent-educator conference to review a pupil’s written learning agreement, and reconsider the independent study course’s impact on the pupil’s achievement and well-being.

(D) Written or computer-based evidence of satisfactory educational progress, as described in subparagraph (A), 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.

(9) A plan to transition pupils whose families wish to return to in-person instruction from course-based independent study expeditiously, and, in no case, later than five instructional days.

(10) A proctor shall administer examinations.

(11) (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.

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

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

(14) 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.

(15) 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.

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

(17) A pupil shall not be prohibited from participating in independent study solely on the basis that the pupil 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.

(5) If more than 10 percent of the total average daily attendance of a local educational agency is claimed pursuant to this section, then the amount of average daily attendance for all pupils enrolled by that school district, charter school, or county office of education in courses authorized pursuant to this section that is in excess of 10 percent of the total average daily attendance for the local educational agency shall be reduced by either (A) the statewide average rate of absence for elementary school districts for kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, or (B) the statewide average rate of absence for high school districts for grades 9 to 12, inclusive, as applicable, as calculated by the department for the prior fiscal year, with the resultant figures and ranges rounded to the nearest 10th.

(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) This section does not prohibit the right to collectively bargain any subject within the scope of representation pursuant to Section 3543.2 of the Government Code.

(e) (1) The Superintendent shall conduct an evaluation of independent study courses offered pursuant to this section and report the 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.

(f) Commencing with the 2021–22 fiscal year Guide for Annual Audits of K–12 Local Education Agencies and State Compliance Reporting, the Controller shall incorporate verification of the ratios included in this section, including fiscal penalties for noncompliance as described in this section.

(g) The provisions of this section are not subject to waiver by the state board, by the Superintendent, or under any provision of Part 26.8 (commencing with Section 47600).

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 73. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

51749.6.
  

(a) Before enrolling a pupil in a course authorized by Section 51749.5, each local educational agency 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 local educational agency 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 local educational agency 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. These resources shall include confirming or providing access to all pupils to the connectivity and devices adequate to participate in the educational program and complete assigned work.

(5) A statement detailing the academic and other supports that will be provided to address the needs of pupils who are not performing at grade level, or need support in other areas, such as English learners, individuals with exceptional needs in order to be consistent with the pupil’s individualized education program or plan pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794), pupils in foster care or experiencing homelessness, and pupils requiring mental health supports.

(6) A statement that enrollment in a course authorized pursuant to Section 51749.5 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 course-based independent study only if the pupil is offered the alternative of classroom instruction.

(7) The manner, time, frequency, and place for submitting a pupil’s assignments, for reporting the pupil’s academic progress, and for communicating with a pupil’s parent or guardian regarding a pupil’s academic progress.

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

(9) A statement of the adopted policies regarding the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the completion of a pupil’s assigned work, the level of satisfactory educational progress, and the number of missed assignments allowed before an evaluation of whether or not the pupil should be allowed to continue in course-based independent study.

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

(b) (1) The learning agreement shall be signed, before the commencement of an independent study course, 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 the independent study course, 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 Division 11 of the Family Code.

(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 course-based independent study.

(3) Either an original document or an electronic file of the original document is allowable documentation for auditing purposes.

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

(5) Signed written agreements, supplemental agreements, assignment records, work samples, and attendance records assessing time value of work or evidence that an instructional activity occurred may be maintained as an electronic file.

(6) Written agreements may be signed using an electronic signature that complies with state and federal standards, as determined by the department, that may be a marking that is either computer generated or produced by electronic means and is intended by the signatory to have the same effect as a handwritten signature. The use of an electronic signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if the requirements for digital signatures and their acceptable technology, as provided in Section 16.5 of the Government Code and in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22000) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, are satisfied.

(7) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for the 2021–22 school year only, a local educational agency shall obtain a signed written agreement for independent study from the pupil, or the pupil’s parent or legal guardian 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 the independent study course, and all persons who have direct responsibility for providing assistance to the pupil no later than 30 days after the first day of instruction. This subparagraph does not relieve a local educational agency from the obligation to comply with the requirements of this article, as amended by the act adding this paragraph, upon commencement of instruction for a participating pupil in the 2021–22 school year.

(Amended by Stats. 2021, Ch. 44, Sec. 74. (AB 130) Effective July 9, 2021.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC5.5.