Independent Study Option FAQs

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What is the process for enrolling in the Independent Study program?

If you are interested in signing your student up for the Independent Study program, please complete the Independent Study Interest Form linked above.

IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE INDEPENDENT STUDY INTEREST FORM:

Please note that if you have completed  the online interest form above, this is the first step of the enrollment process for the Independent Study program. 

Once you have completed the Interest Form, your student will remain at their School of Residence until space becomes available at Capital City School. When space becomes available at Capital City, you will be contacted by Capital City staff to complete the enrollment process. 

Students awaiting enrollment at Capital City may receive Independent Study assignments at their School of Residence while awaiting further enrollment instructions and assignment with a teacher at Capital City Textbooks, workbooks and computers will be provided by the School of Residence. 

The district will also provide a consultation upon request to discuss the Independent Study program and potential challenges or benefits as it relates to your student. This meeting will be scheduled no later than 30 days after the first day of instruction.

Upon enrollment to Capital City, parents will sign a written agreement that includes the following:

  • Guidelines of the program
  • Emotional support and interventions offered
  • Manner, time, frequency and method for communication during the program
  • Information about the academic content the students will receive, which will include grade level content aligned to standards and academic support
  • Information about A-G courses for entry into a California State University or University of California (if applicable based on grade level)

How is Independent Study different from Distance Learning?

Students enrolling in Independent Study do not learn concurrently with a class on campus as students did in the 2020-2021 school year. However, students participating in the Independent Study program will receive synchronous instruction, support and standards-aligned curriculum with an assigned teacher at their School of Residence or at Capital City School.

How is this different from “Virtual Academies” I’ve heard about in other districts?

All of these programs are aligned to AB 130 requirements. Our Independent Study program will include standards-aligned content. Our Independent Study program will focus on the same suggested priority standards and curriculum followed by our teachers during in-person learning.

The curriculum will be the same curriculum offered to students at our school sites.  This is part of the district’s restorative restart as advised by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).

What will an instructional day look like for K-3?

Students will receive an opportunity for daily synchronous instruction. Instruction can take place in a traditional classroom style, in small groups, or one-on-one with in-person, via Zoom, or on a telephone.  The goal is to maintain school connectedness and includes wellness checks, progress monitoring, provision of services and instruction. 

What will an instructional day look like for grades 4-8?

Students will receive both daily live interaction and at least weekly synchronous instruction. Interaction between the pupil and classified or certificated staff or peers and can be live, internet-based, or on the phone. The goal is to maintain school connectedness and includes wellness checks, progress monitoring, provision of services and instruction. 

What will an instructional day look like for grades 9-12?

Students will receive opportunities to receive synchronous instruction at least weekly. 

What if my student has an IEP?

Education Code Section 51745 highlights that a student with exceptional needs may not participate in Independent Study unless the student’s IEP specifically provides for that participation.  As a result, an IEP meeting will be held as part of the initial consultation in order for the IEP Team to determine if Independent Study is an appropriate placement option.  We are continuing to work with labor partners to design our program so that students can remain connected to support providers from their home school. This will provide the best and most seamless opportunity for accelerated student success.

What type of academic support and interventions will be offered to students?

The district will continue to provide services in accordance with 504 plans, IEPs, and English Learner needs. The district will continue to ensure that students are making educational progress, and if these students are not making progress determine what supports are needed in order to succeed in Independent Study or determine what program is in the best interest of the student.

What if I change my mind?

During any part of the program, parents may choose to return their students to school campuses and the student will be returned within 5 days of the request.

Will my student be able to return to their current school of enrollment after enrolling in the Independent Study program?

Yes.

If my student is away from the school site due to a quarantine will they transition temporarily to the Independent Study program at Capital School School?

No. The student will continue to learn via Independent Study at their School of Residence and will receive work at home through a short-term Independent Study agreement.

Is the Independent Study program a charter school?

No

Can parents sign their students up for the Independent Study program at any time, or is there a deadline for sign up?

At any time, parents may request Independent Study at their School of Residence, and may indicate their interest in transferring their student to Independent Study at Capital City School using the online interest form above. School staff will schedule a consultation as part of the Independent Study process. If capacity is limited at Capital City School, the student will remain on Independent Study at their School of Residence until space becomes available at Capital City School.

If my student isn’t assigned a teacher right away, what will they be doing?

Your student will participate in Independent Study through their current School of Residence. This arrangement will be in place until your student is officially enrolled at Capital City School and assigned an Independent Study teacher there.

What is the difference between short-term and long-term independent study?

Short-term independent study is typically used for shorter, intermittent periods of time when students are unable to attend school in person (due to illness or urgent travel, for example).  This year, students remain in Independent Study at their School of Residence for any period of time. This is how the district will address quarantines for students who cannot attend school in a modified quarantine scenario.

Long-term independent study is typically for students/families who are electing to participate in Independent Study in lieu of in-person instruction indefinitely and up to the entire school year.In this scenario, a family will complete the online interest form above and await further instructions from Capital City School with regards to enrollment and teacher assignment.

When will I have my 30-day meeting?

Within 30 days of the first day of school (not within 30 days of completing the interest form). 

What does it mean that I have five school days to return to school at any time?

At any time during Independent Study, you can choose to return back to your school site in-person.

Can I choose Independent Study after the school year has begun?

Yes. At any time, parents may request Independent Study at their School of Residence, and may to indicate their interest in transferring their student to Independent Study at Capital City School using the online interest form above. If capacity is limited at Capital City School, the student will remain on Independent Study at their School of Residence until space becomes available at Capital City School.

How many teachers are needed for the program?

Teachers are assigned based on student number and grade level. There is a maximum student-teacher ratio. Depending on how many students sign up officially, that will inform how many teachers are needed.

Is Capital City an in-person school site? Is it the same as “Independent Study”?

The Independent Study Program and Capital City are the same, and you will hear them used interchangeably. Capital City is an existing Independent Study program within Sacramento City Unified that has been expanded. It is not a charter school and students do not need to come to the school site for instruction.

What if my student is a strong student and completes an entire year of curriculum before the school year ends?

Your student will not be provided an entire year’s work at one time. The content and curriculum is paced to match closely with what is happening at our in-person school sites.

Where are you going to get all the teachers needed?

Teachers must agree to be placed at an Independent Study school. There are a number of teachers who have already applied to transfer from within SCUSD to begin working at Capital City, and a number of teachers were already assigned to the school site.

Who is responsible for materials?

Students should go to their current school as normal and collect their textbooks and materials.  They will use these materials during the 2021-22 school year while enrolled in Independent Study.  These materials will also transition back to the School of Residence with the student if/when they determine they want to return to in-person instruction. The school site will provide students with learning materials such as textbooks, workbooks and a Chromebook. School supplies (pencils, paper, etc) may not be provided by the school site and will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Our district does offer assistance in this area if needed. Please contact the attendance and engagement office should you need help with school supplies.

Why did this process take so long?

The law was not signed until mid-July and we also have an obligation to discuss some items related to this matter with our labor partner.  We sincerely apologize for any delay in communication and information which has been provided to families.

Will my student be denied the opportunity for Independent Study if they have an IEP?

No. However, the IEP team must work with the student and family to determine whether the program is right for them. Until this can be determined, the student will be placed on short-term independent study for up to 14 days.

Who will be on the IEP Team? 

It will be a collaborative team with members of the students’ current IEP team at their home school and a team from Cap City. We will reach out to you to begin this process within the first 15 days.