The Independent Study Program in Muroc Joint Unified School District (MJUSD) is for students who choose an alternative learning environment in lieu of attending a traditional classroom environment. MJUSD ensures that the students, parents, teachers and partners are committed to fulfilling the students’ educational goals. The curriculum for ISP is California standards-based instruction. We offer classes that fulfill the A-G UC and CSU general education requirements, as well as many elective courses including Advanced Placement classes. Students in ISP must connect with their assigned teacher, complete coursework at home and then meet with their teacher for evaluation and grading.
Independent study is available to students from kindergarten through high school, designed to respond to the student’s specific educational needs, interests, aptitudes, and abilities within the confines of the school board policy. Students who participate in independent study take the same courses as students in regular classes. With the approval of his/her teacher, an eligible high school student has the opportunity to concurrently enroll in community college and receive high school and college credits. Upon successful completion of all graduation requirements through grade twelve, students receive a high school diploma at our traditional graduation ceremony alongside their peers at their enrolled campus.
ISP is available at all MJUSD campuses.
Q. I want to use a curriculum that is used for home school programs, but is not adopted by the California Department of Education. Can I use it?
A. This is a Home-Based Education program, not Home School program – courses and assignments are created and evaluated by MJUSD teachers. Students complete assignments at home, with parental assistance and support. This differs from traditional home schooling, in which the parent determines subject content, educational materials, learning activities, and grading criteria. Supplemental and enhancement materials may be used, but only in a supporting role to the district approved curriculums.
Q. Can a student be scheduled into ISP prior to getting a signed Master Agreement?
A. No. The Master Agreement for Independent Study serves as authorization to substitute the student’s work product for the student’s presence in a classroom. The Master Agreement shall be signed and in effect prior to the start of Independent Study (EC 51747). Enrollment in Independent Study does not take place until a valid Master Agreement is on file.
Q. Can a student take classes on campus while enrolled in ISP?
A. Yes! Enrollment in Independent Study does not mean that the student can only do their work from home. A student may enroll in on campus offerings as long as the majority of their work is still through ISP.
Q. Can a student participate in their assigned school’s events, sports, activities,etc.?
A. Yes! ISP students are still students of their school and our district. They are eligible for activities, meals, sports, ASB, field trips and so on… as any other student in our schools. (5 CCR 11700(i) and 11701.5)
Q. Is the quality of the curriculum and instruction comparable to the traditional classroom?
A. For many students, independent study is the educational option that enables them to most fully realize their potential. This alternative instructional strategy offers the flexibility to meet individual student needs, interests, and styles of learning. Independent study, however, is not an alternative curriculum and independent study students are expected to meet the same educational objectives as all other students. By law, independent study education is to be equal in quality and quantity to classroom instruction. (CDE, 2020)
The Role of the Teacher
1. MJUSD teachers utilize online and offline courses that are based on the California State Standards and that meet California graduation requirements. MJUSD teachers are responsible for the evaluation of student performance. Student’s will meet with their teacher and bring all work with them for evaluation and sample selection for the student’s file.
2. MJUSD teachers prepare students by emphasizing essential skills – working independently, following directions, attending to details, and managing time.
3. MJUSD teachers assist with program options to accommodate individual learning styles. Our options include:
- At-home and on-campus participation
- Alternative courses based on the California State Standards.
The Role of the Parent
- Parents assist students by helping with assignments, syllabus interpretation, due dates, time management, and work quality as needed.
- Parents support MJUSD goals, rules, and regulations.
- Parents monitor student progress on a regular basis.
The Role of the Student
- Students read each course syllabus thoroughly.
- Students follow all syllabus and assignment directions.
- Students complete and submit assignments on time.
- Students take personal responsibility for their academic performance.