9-12 Independent Learning

  • Independent Learning for students in grades 9 through 12 is designed as an option for self-directed learners. Students in the program will be paired with a master teacher who will provide guidance toward course completion and remaining on track for graduation. Because students will remain enrolled at their high school, they'll also be able to access athletics and extracurricular activities. 

  • What is independent study?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    The purpose of site based independent study is to allow students to stay connected to their home school. Students will continue to be enrolled in their home school and will commit to the independent study path for at least one semester and no longer than the 2020-2021 school year. This will provide students with an alternative academic environment that enables students to remain home during the 2020-2021 school year. If a student wishes to continue in independent study after the 2020/2021 year, they would enroll in El Sereno Independent Study High School.

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  • How does independent study work?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Students are assigned to one independent study teacher (with credentialed math and science teacher labs), depending upon whether or not they have met the math or science requirements for graduation. They take two or three classes at a time (one being math). When a five credit course is completed the student will begin another class. Students should finish at least 30 credits in one semester or 20 credits a term (if on block schedule).

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  • Is independent study a good fit for you?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    If you are answering "YES" to the following questions then independent study may be right for you!

    • Would you benefit from one-on-one guidance at least once a week?
    • Do you like to study at your own pace?
    • Do you have a healthy, quiet, safe environment in which to learn?
    • Are you having trouble juggling commitments outside of school? (Athletics, work, volunteerism)?
    • Have you ever considered home-schooling but wanted more support?
    • Do you want to have WASC accredited classes recognized by top universities nationwide?
    • Do you find social/peer pressures at a traditional school an obstacle to success?
    • Do you read and write at grade level?
    • Are you behind on credits or do you want to accelerate your education?
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  • How does independent study differ from distance learning or the modified in-person model?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Students working through independent study will be able to work at their own pace and will focus on just a few classes at a time. Most of the time this will be done as an individual but there are a few classes that require small group participation. Students participating in distance learning or the modified in-person model (if and when it is available on campuses) will be led by a teacher for each class and will move at a designated pace. Students will also be taking the traditional course load at the same time that will last for the semester or term. In contrast, independent study is centered around one main teacher contact we call the Master Teacher and they will work with you as you move through the courses at your own pace.

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  • Which students might transition best to independent study? How do students transition?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Students considering a transition to independent study are strongly encouraged to consult with their current high school counselor. Students in grades 10 through 12 with strong reading, writing and math skills are usually successful with this model of learning. Students entering grade 9 often benefit from the greater structure of a traditional high school program and should carefully consider the academic support they need to be successful. To enroll in independent study, contact your current high school counselor or visit www.sanjuan.edu/fall2020options. All students must have a parent or guardian attend orientation.

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  • What happens during a student/teacher appointment?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    During the appointment, the teacher works with the student to review and/or give assistance on current or previous assignments. The student takes tests, does research and may work on current assignments. Students may also participate in small group or individual instruction or group projects.

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  • How do students get instruction in independent study?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    It should be understood that there is no regular direct instruction in independent study. The teacher acts as a facilitator. They rely upon the student being able to read and understand directions, make correlations and apply information. The teacher will assist and coach, but does not give a lesson before the student begins an assignment.  If students need assistance, they must be able to explain what it is they do not understand. If a student needs direct instruction, then distance learning might be a better option.  Some direct instruction is provided in math, science and world language, centered around lab experiences and moving beyond difficult concepts (this instruction is given on a weekly basis, not daily).

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  • How often does a student have to meet with the teacher?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    The student is required to meet with a teacher at least once a week for approximately an hour via a virtual session.  Individual teachers may require more time depending on need. Students are required to complete a minimum of at least five credits approximately every four weeks to maintain positive attendance. In order to earn five credits each four weeks, the student must be completing an average of four hours of schoolwork each day Monday-Friday.  Some students work at a slower pace, which means they will have to put in additional study time. To keep up with your peers, students must complete 30 credits a semester at traditional scheduled schools and 40 credits for a term at a block scheduled school. Depending on the classes they have they may have to spend more time with auxiliary teachers.

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  • How many credits can a student earn in independent study?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    A student may earn a maximum of 10 credits every four-week period. In general, students would be limited to 30-35 credits for a semester or 40 to 45 a term (on block schedule). Earning 15 credits during a 4-week time period is rare. Parents and students should not expect students to earn an unlimited number of credits in a short period of time.

     

    Students typically work on one core class which should be completed in four weeks. Math, Science, Arts and PE are usually an ongoing small group class that may last for eight to 10 weeks.

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  • Do courses meet state and district standards?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    All core academic courses are designed to meet California Content Standards. Site-based independent study will use the same textbook and curriculum from your school site.  In order to meet the standards, additional work besides the text will be required. Students will work from a Work Record Form that lists all assignments and expectations reviewed and agreed to by the student and teacher.

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  • Do courses meet the A-G requirements?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Yes, your courses meet the college A-G requirements.

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  • Can special education students transition to independent study?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Special education students follow the same transition process with the addition of having an IEP to review the student’s needs before approving a referral to independent study.

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  • Can students graduate early?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Yes, El Sereno students may earn an El Sereno Diploma as soon as they complete their graduation requirements. However, independent study does not allow students to enroll in classes before the scheduled grade level time. 12th-graders may complete both semesters of 12th grade requirements during the fall semester.

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  • What happens if a student’s reading skills are below grade level?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    Since the success of students in independent study is directly related to their ability to read, it is highly unlikely that a student reading below grade level will be successful. It is important to remember, a student’s literacy skills can determine whether or not the student will complete enough credits each semester to put him/her back on track or keep the student on track for graduation.

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  • When can I sign up for site based independent study?

    Posted by: 7/29/20

    For site based independent study, it is recommended that students enroll before the start of the start of the school year to complete the onboard process and ensure adequate progress can be made, but enrollment may be available throughout the year.  If a student is looking to move to independent study for the long term they may transfer to El Sereno Independent Study High School at any point in the school year.

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Last Modified on July 29, 2020