Antelope Valley School District

Independent Study

Independent Study (I.S.) is a modality of educational delivery, not a program. Legally, Independent Study may be offered in any instructional program as an optional means of education.

Independent Study students may be full-time or may be in a blended live/virtual environment. Participation is strictly voluntary and parents and students must agree to and sign the Master Agreement that outlines the obligations and expectations of Independent Study. There is an application process for I.S. and must be filled out and turned into the Counseling Office.

At Lancaster High School there are two types of Independent Study that are available:

Short-Term Independent Study (S.T.I.S.) (from 5-14 total school days in one school year) is available to students attending the comprehensive campus. Parents of Lancaster High School students needing S.T.I.S. should contact the Lancaster High School attendance office for information. It is highly recommended that you give the school 5 days notice to properly gather all assignments. STIS is an appropriate option for students who are going to be out for an extended absence but will be returning within 14 days. This option keeps the student enrolled in their current classes and all work during the absence is assigned by each current teacher. 

Full-Time Independent Study students are served at the Lancaster High School Alternative Learning Center (Located just outside the Lancaster High School campus). Applications for Full-Time Independent Study are available in the Counseling office at Lancaster High School. Students in Independent Study are still residents of their home school. They retain all of the rights of any other student on campus and may participate in all school events such as athletics and activities.

When a student is accepted into Full-Time Independent Study, he/she is withdrawn from their home school. As an absolute minimum a student will attend the Alternative Learning Center at least once per week, but may check in a much as necessary. During the student’s scheduled weekly appointment, homework will be reviewed for completeness and accuracy and their mastery of the assignment will be tested. If the assignment is completed satisfactorily, a new assignment will be given. It should be noted that if a student fails to show minimal mastery of the assignment content the assignment will be reassigned for the following week with interventions.

Student attendance is counted in Independent Study entirely differently than for students on a comprehensive campus. If an Independent Study student satisfactorily completes a weekly assignment, the student is credited with full attendance for that entire week. If, however, a student fails to submit their assignment or if the assignment is incomplete or unsatisfactory, they are marked absent-unexcused for that entire week. Physical presence at school DOES NOT constitute attendance. It should be noted that there are NO "excused absences" in Independent Study.

A student in Independent Study is normally assigned work in one subject at a time, not the five or six that are assigned in the traditional program. Students have demonstrated over the years that they are more successful when they concentrate on one subject at a time.

Each course offered in Independent Study is broken up into assignments. As a general rule, each assignment is equal to 1/10th of a year-long course. In high school a year-long course is worth ten credits towards the 230 credits required for graduation. Therefore, each assignment is worth one credit. Independent Study students are encouraged to complete two credits per week, so that they can not only keep up with their class but can progress a little in excess of the "normal" rate. Independent Study participates in the credit retrieval program for six weeks during the summer. Independent Study students as well as students on the Lancaster High School campus who are behind on credits are encouraged to attend. Summer School applications are usually available in the counseling office in May of each year.

The I.S. curriculum is CourseWare by Edmentum. CourseWare is a company to which the Antelope Valley Union High School District subscribes that offers "on-line" instruction in a wide variety of subject areas. Participation in the CourseWare computer program requires NO computer skills. Participation in the CourseWare program allows students to experience a different learning style and can also accelerate the earning of credits toward graduation as assigned by the I.S. teacher.