Independent Study

Jeanet Herrera
Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) Independent Study
708 S. Miller Street, Santa Maria CA 93454
805.928.1783, Ext. 8160 

Virginia Grote
Clerk Typist II
Ext. 8216

     The Santa Maria-Bonita School Board of Education recognizes that occasionally a student must be absent from school for travel, business, emergency and other reasons. The purpose of the Independent Study Program is to provide school work during times when the student may be out of school for 5 or more school days for a maximum of up to 20 school days.

     The student is eligible to earn academic and attendance credit for the days he/she is gone if the work is completed and returned by the due date. However, families need to understand that Independent Study Program is not homework. When a child is enrolled in Independent Study, he or she is making a commitment to complete a full day's school work for each day that he or she is enrolled in the program.  Parents must be committed to supervising the completion of the assignments.  Families should consider this before enrolling a student in the program.   

Parents, here are some important points that you need to know before enrolling your child in Independent Study:

  • It is important to talk to your child's teacher before making arrangements with the school office for Independent Study.
  • Please advise the school office at least 5 school days in advance.  An Independent Study Agreement must be signed and dated by the parent, student, classroom teacher, and Supervising teacher.  This agreement is a legal document.  Please be sure of the dates you will be gone before signing.
  • For students at the elementary school sites, the Independent Study teacher will prepare assignments based on the classroom teacher's input.  In most cases a meeting with the Supervising Teacher at the Souza Center will be arranged. If that is not possible, the assignments will be sent from the Independent Study Office to the school, in which case the classroom teacher will explain them to the student. 
  • The student must turn the work in to the school office on or before the due date.  From there, it will be sent to the Independent Study Office to be evaluated by the Independent Study teacher.  The classroom teacher and the parent will receive a copy of the evaluation report.
  • At the Junior High School sites, the Supervising Teacher at the site will either gather lesson plans and materials from the student's teachers, or prepare lessons based on teacher input. The Supervising Teacher will also oversee gathering the paperwork upon student return and obtaining teacher evaluations.
  • This process involves a lot of time and effort on the part of many staff members.  Please advise the office as soon as possible if you need to cancel your child's registration in the program, to avoid having the teacher prepare lessons needlessly.
  • Be prepared to supervise your son or daughter while he or she is completing the assigned work.  Do not allow someone else to do the work for your child. If it is clear that someone else has done the work for them, they can not be given academic or attendance credit, and further Independent Study may be denied.
  • It is the parent's responsibility to assure that the work is turned in on or before the due date.  No attendance credit will be given if the work is turned in late, and the student may be ineligible for further Independent Study as a result of a late return.
  • If your child has an I.E.P. (Individual Education Program), the I.E.P. must specifically provide for his or her enrollment in independent study.  For that reason, we ask that you advise the school office at least 10 school days in advance. Requests made with less notice will be accepted only if the Special Education staff at the school site and the Independent Study staff agree that the necessary paperwork can be completed and the lesson planning can be done in a timely manner. (This applies to all students enrolled in Resource, Special Day Class and Speech programs.) 

If you have any questions, please call your school site or the Independent Study Office at 361-8160.  Thank you.

 1/18/15