GRANADA HILLS CHARTER
PUPILS: INDEPENDENT STUDY
A. GranadaHillsCharter(“GHC” or the “Charter School”) may offer independent study to meet the short or long-term educational needs of pupils enrolled in the Charter School. Independent study is an optional educational alternative in which no pupil may be required to participate and is designed to teach the knowledge and skills of the core curriculum. The Charter School shall provide appropriate existing services and resources to enable pupils to complete their independent study successfully.
B. The Charter School shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws regarding independent instruction, including Education Code Sections 51745 to 51749.3.
C. Each pupil's independent study shall be coordinated, evaluated, and carried out under the general supervision of an assigned certificated employee or employees
D. Time Between Assignments
The maximum length of time that may elapse between the time an independent study assignment is made and the date by which the pupil must complete the assigned work shall be ten (10) school days or as modified by an assigned credentialed teacher at the time the work is assigned to the pupil. When special or extenuating circumstances justify a longer time for individual pupils, the Director or designee may approve a period not to exceed twenty (20) days pursuant to a written request with justification. This policy shall apply to all grade levels and programs.
E. Evaluation to Remain in Independent Study
The Director or designee shall conduct an evaluation to determine whether it is in the best interests of the pupil to remain in the independent study upon the following triggers:
a. When any pupil fails to complete two (2) assignments during any period of ten (10) school days.
b. In the event a pupil’s educational progress falls below satisfactory levels as determined by the Granada Hills Charter’s Academic policies outlined in the TK-8 Parent-pupil Handbook and the 9-12 Parent-pupil Handbook, which considers ALL of the following indicators:
c. 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 Education Code Section 52060(d), paragraphs (4) and (5);
d. The completion of assignments, assessments, or other indicators that evidence that the pupil is working on assignments;
e. Learning required concepts, as determined by the supervising teacher; and,
f. Progress toward successful completion of the course of study or individual course, as determined by the supervising teacher.
g. A written record of the findings of any evaluation made pursuant to this policy 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
F. Content Aligned to Grade Level Standards
Granada Hills Charter shall provide content aligned to grade-level standards that is substantially equivalent to in-person instruction. For high school grade levels, this shall include access to all courses offered by Granada Hills Charter for graduation and approved by the UC or CSU as creditable under the A-G admissions criteria.
G. Procedures for Tiered Re-Engagement Strategies*
Granada Hills Charter has adopted tiered re-engagement strategies for the following pupils:
All pupils who are not generating attendance for more than 10 percent of required minimum instructional time over four continuous weeks of Granada Hills Charter’s approved instructional calendar;
Pupils found not participating in synchronous instructional offerings pursuant to Education Code Section 51747.5 for more than 50 percent of the scheduled times of synchronous instruction in a school month as applicable by grade span; or
Pupils who are in violation of the written agreement pursuant to Education Code Section 51747(g).
These procedures shall include local programs intended to address chronic absenteeism, as applicable, with at least all of the following:
a. Verification of current contact information for each enrolled pupil;
b. Notification to parents or guardians of lack of participation within one (1) school day of the recording of a non-attendance day or lack of participation;
c. A plan for outreach from Granada Hills Charter to determine pupil needs, including connection with health and social services as necessary; and,
d. 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, is consistent with the policies adopted pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (g) of Education Code Section 51747.
H. Opportunities for Synchronous Instruction and Live Interaction*
The following plan shall be in place in accordance with Education Code Section 51747(e) for synchronous instruction and live interaction.
1. For pupils in grades 6-8, inclusive, the plan to provide opportunities for at least daily synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year by each pupil’s teacher or teachers of record shall be as follows:
a. Pupils must attend a daily synchronous advisory with their teacher or teachers of record. Pupils may also attend daily synchronous academic support sessions and weekly synchronous academic seminars offered by their advisors.
2. For pupils in grades 9-12, inclusive, the plan to provide opportunities for at least weekly synchronous instruction for all pupils throughout the school year by each pupil’s teacher or teachers of record shall be as follows:
a. Pupils will have an opportunity to attend a daily synchronous advisory with their teacher or teachers of record. Pupils may also attend daily synchronous academic support sessions and weekly synchronous academic seminars offered by their advisors.
3. For pupils in grades TK-12, inclusive, opportunities for live one-way synchronous broadcasting, attending an academic success class, or both, may be provided. These offerings are not intended to meet the legal requirements of Education Code Section 51747(e). Eligibility for short-term independent study is limited to pupils who are required to quarantine due to a verified positive COVID- 19 test or who require a verified and necessary medical treatment, including inpatient mental health or substance abuse treatment. Pupils may access short-term independent study for up to a maximum of 14 days cumulatively in any school year.
I. Transition to In-Person Instruction*
The following plan shall be utilized to transition pupils whose families wish to return to in-person instruction from independent study expeditiously, and, in no case, later than five (5) instructional days.
1. A pupil participating in the grades 6-12 independent study program (iGranada) is expected to remain in independent study for the entire school year. Once a pupil has enrolled in iGranada, after five days of independent study instruction, the pupil's seat in the in-person program may be released to a pupil on the waitlist.
2. A pupil participating in iGranada who wishes to return to in-person instruction from the independent study program must submit a request by email to the Granada Hills Charter Independent Study office.
3. A pupil participating in iGranada who wishes to return to in-person instruction may be offered a seat in the GHC classroom-based program, subject to capacity, course availability, and any current waitlist. If the GHC classroom-based program is at capacity, or there is insufficient course availability or an existing waitlist, the pupil shall be provided with other options for in-person instruction within the pupil’s district of residence or the surrounding areas within five (5) instructional days of communicating the pupil’s wish to return to in-person instruction in writing.
* The tiered re-engagement strategies, plan for synchronous instruction and live interaction, and plan to transition pupils whose families with to return to in- person instruction shall not apply to pupils who participate in an independent study program for fewer than 15 schooldays in a school year and pupils enrolled in a comprehensive school for classroom-based instruction who, under the care of appropriately licensed professionals, participate in the independent study due to necessary medical treatments or inpatient treatment for mental health care or substance abuse. Local educational agencies shall obtain evidence from appropriately licensed professionals of the need for pupils to participate in independent study pursuant to this subdivision. These sections shall not apply to independent study offered due to school closure or material decrease in attendance for 15 school days or less for affected pupils under one or more of the circumstances described in Education Code Sections 41422 and/or 46392, and 46393 for which the Charter School files an affidavit seeking an allowance of attendance due to emergency conditions.
J. Attendance Accounting
The Charter School recognizes that families may not evenly distribute pupil work on assignments over weekdays. However, due to strict State law requirements for charter school attendance accounting, the Charter School expects each pupil to be engaged in an educational activity required of them in the assignment on each weekday that School is in session, and asks that this "daily engagement" be documented on a daily basis in the pupil log by the parent/guardian. This should not be read to prohibit schoolwork on weekends, and should not be read to dictate the manner in which a family distributes the assignment over the learning period.
We ask that a parent/guardian refrain from documenting any "daily engagement" on a day where a pupil did not engage in any educational activity required of them by the assignment. Work done on weekends or other days when school is not in session cannot be used to "make-up" weekdays where no "daily engagement" occurred.
This section does not relate to academic credit or pupil grades and is solely applicable to pupil attendance accounting for Granada Hills Charter.
K. Master Agreement
A current written agreement for each independent study pupil shall be maintained on file for each participating pupil. The independent study agreement for a pupil must require and cover a study plan that represents the same amount of study that would be required of the pupil in the classroom. Written agreements may include subsidiary agreements, such as educational activities and assignment and work records. Also, each agreement shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
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.
The objectives and methods of study for the pupil's work, and the methods utilized to evaluate that work.
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.
A statement of the policies adopted herein, pursuant to Education Code Section 51747, 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 prior to an evaluation of whether or not the pupil should be allowed to continue in independent study.
The duration of the independent study agreement, including beginning and ending dates for the pupil’s participation in independent study under the agreement, recognizing that no independent study agreement shall be valid for any period longer than one school year.
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.
A statement detailing 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.
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.
For a pupil participating in an independent study program that is scheduled for more than 14 school days, each written agreement shall be signed, prior to 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 the certificated employee designated as having responsibility for the special education programming of the pupil, as applicable. Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, for a pupil participating in an independent study program that is scheduled for less than 15 school days, each written agreement shall be signed within 10 school days of the commencement of the first day of the pupil’s enrollment in 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 the certificated employee designated as having responsibility for the special education programming of the pupil, as applicable. For the purpose 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.
Written agreements may be signed using an electronic signature that complies with state and federal standards, as determined by the California Department of Education, 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.
Approved by the Granada Hills Charter Governing Board on August 22, 2022
David Bensinger, Board Secretary