Independent Study

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2024-2025 IS Program

Scotts Valley Unified School District is pleased to offer an Independent Study program for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade. This program will combine both in person and online teaching, to maximize student learning and support families seeking alternative education options. 

Overview and Philosophy

Independent Study (IS) was formed to meet the educational goals of families who wished to be highly involved in their students' education, but still benefit from the talent, community, and resources offered by credentialed teachers and an award-winning public school. The parents of students requesting the independent study program in Scotts Valley Unified School District require commitment from both the child and the parent in order to achieve a successful IS experience. 

SVUSD understands that children learn in diverse ways and the individual needs of each child are carefully considered. The District recognizes the value of offering an alternative to traditional classroom instruction for families that prefer a home study program, but also desire consistent structure and curriculum, as well as regular interaction with qualified teachers and other students.

Program Requirements

  1. Families interested in participating in the full time independent study program, must first complete an application and submit it to our 

  2. Intake appointments will begin in June. This meeting can occur virtually or in person depending on family preference, however, the K-12 Independent Study Master Agreement (sample) must be signed before the first day of school.

  3. Participation in the program is a year-long commitment, however, transfers back to in-person instruction will be allowed once a parent-educator conference is held to determine placement within 5 days of parent request to return.

  4. Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) must hold an IEP meeting to meet and discuss the option of independent study and ensure a least restrictive environment. A change to an independent study/distance learning placement must be written into the IEP before the student can be enrolled

  5. As the parent/guardian, you acknowledge that the independent study program is a good fit for your child.  We strongly believe that students with the following qualities will have greater success in the program. 

  • Highly motivated

  • Works independently

  • Desires to develop new skills

  • Organized

  • Manages time wisely

  • Ability to communicate

  • Ability to self-advocate

  1. If a student reaches the threshold of incomplete assignments, attendance, or engagement as listed in the Independent Study Master Agreement, a meeting will be scheduled between the teacher, administrator or admin designee, and parent/guardian to evaluate whether the student may continue in the independent study program 


There may be a need for students to participate in an independent study program. Our district provides Short Term Independent Study as well as Long Term Independent Study. This chart can provide a quick view of the differences between these programs for families and help determine which program may be best suited for your child’s unique needs. 

Home and Hospital 

Home and Hospital is a function of our Student Services Department. If you believe your child qualifies for HH you can find that information here: Home & Hospital Instructions

Short Term Independent Study 

While we encourage families to save travel for holidays and vacations, there are times that it is unavoidable and students must miss school. Short-term independent study is provided for families who will be absent 3-14 days during the school year. Parents should contact their school administrator as SOON as they are aware of planned travel. 

Application for Short Term I.S.  

School Closure Independent Study

In the event of a school closure due to unforeseen circumstances, independent study will be available to any student who wishes to participate. This is a voluntary program, and families who wish to request work through independent study should contact their school office within 10 days of each school closure to obtain work for their student.