Program Overview

Short Term Independent study is available for students who will experience a short extended absence from classes for a period of anywhere between 1-3 weeks.  Each school manages students completing independent study on a site by site basis, with the District Student Services Office providing guidance and overview in making sure Board Policy is correctly administered at each site.  If your family/student is interested in applying to their school for an independent study contract, please contact the office manager at that school for specific school policies and details.

If you are interested in general district policies regarding independent study contracts, this page contains information including board policies and other documents that individual schools use to guide and administer their programs

If your student requires accommodations that exceed the length of an independent study option, school sites provide other programs which may fit your students needs.  Please contact your school office manager for a full list of alternative options available.

Eligibility for Short Term Independent Study

Provided that experienced certificated staff are available to effectively supervise students in independent study, the Superintendent or designee may approve the participation of a student who demonstrates the motivation, commitment, organizational skills, and academic skills necessary to work independently. A student whose academic performance is not at grade level may participate in independent study only if the school is able to provide appropriate support, such as supplemental instruction, tutoring, counseling, ongoing diagnostic assessments, and/or differentiated materials, to enable the student to be successful. For an elementary student, the Superintendent or designee may consider the parent/guardian’s level of commitment to assist the student. Parents/guardians of students who are interested in independent study should contact the principal or designee. Approval for participation shall be based on the following criteria:

  • 1. Complete the independent study application process.
  • 2. Parent and student shall meet with the School Coordinator of Alternative Education or designee to determine if independent study is the best education alternative for the student
  • 3. Evidence that the student will work independently to complete the program (good attendance and 2.0 GPA for Grades 6-12 and performing at or above grade level for Grades K-5).
  • 4. Availability of experienced certificated staff with adequate time to effectively supervise the student.
  • 5. Student and parent meet with the supervising teacher at the appointed time to begin independent study.

According to Board Policy 6158 for Short-Term School-Based Independent Study the following is the maximum length of times which may elapse between the date and an assignment is made and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work.

  • One week for students in grades K-3
  • Two weeks for students in grades 4-8
  • Three weeks for students in grades 9-12
I understand that:

  • Short-Term School-Based Independent Study is a form of education that I have voluntarily chosen and I will always have a classroom option available.
  • I am entitled to textbooks and supplies, supervision by a certificated teacher, and all the services and resources received by other students enrolled in my grade of ________________________.
  • I have the same rights as other students in my grade at ______________________ School.
  • I must follow the discipline code and behavior guidelines of the ___________________School in accordance with district policy.

I agree to:

  • Complete my assigned work by its due date, as explained by my teacher and described in my written assignments.
I understand that the major objective of Short-Term School- Based Independent Study is to provide a voluntary educational alternative for my student. I agree to the conditions listed under “Student Responsibilities”. I also understand that:

  • Learning objectives are consistent with and evaluated in the same manner that they would be if my student were enrolled in a traditional school program.
  • If my student has an Individual Education Program (IEP), the IEP must specifically provide for their enrollment in Short-Term School-Based Independent Study.
  • I am responsible for supervising my student while they are completing the assigned work and for ensuring the submission of all completed assignments necessary for evaluation.
  • I am liable for the cost of replacement or repair for willfully damaged books and other school property checked out to my student.
  • The Short-Term School-Based Independent Study master agreement is effect for the following dates beginning _________________________ and ending ________________________ .
  • This major objective for the duration of this agreement is to enable the student to keep current with __________________ grade studies for the period covered by this agreement.
  • This agreement is to enable the student to successfully reach the objectives and complete the assignments identified in the Assignment and Work-Related Form(s) that will be part of this agreement. With the support of the parent, guardian, or caregiver, the student will submit assignments on or before the due date specified in the Assignment and Work-Record Form(s).
  • According to Board Policy 6158 for Short-Term School-Based Independent Study the following is the maximum length of times which may elapse between the date and an assignment is made and the date by which the student must complete the assigned work. o One week for students in grades K-3 o Two weeks for students in grades 4-8 o Three weeks for students in grades 9-12
  • The Novato Unified School District will provide instructional materials, and other necessary items and resources as specified for each assignment.
  • The student will complete, during the term of this agreement, the course work listed below. All course work will be consistent with the Novato Unified School District adopted curriculum The Assignment and Work-Record Form(s) include the course descriptions, objectives, study methods, evaluation methods, and resources covered by this agreement.
  • Students work must be submitted to the school on the agreed upon return date.
  • Students work will be evaluated by the teacher assigning the work and signing the agreement

For District Staff, Personnel, and Office Managers

For District Staff, Personnel, and Office Managers who have questions about the Short Term Independent Study process, or wish to request an exemption from certain policies or special exceptions, please contact Karen Valentine, Director of Student Services with questions.