Parents » Short Term Independent Study Program

Short Term Independent Study Program

Dr. Wendy Molina-Solis, Director of MTSS
Kimberly Carrillo, Executive Secretary
Independent Study | Substack
Some parents plan family vacation or other outings, non-school athletic competitions, or work opportunities during the school year. The California Education Code does not excuse an absence for vacation or family travel, competitions, or work related absences but does provide an option for a Short Term Independent Study Program. The school offers parents a “hassle-free, no problem” way to comply with California law. AB 130 and AB 167 both provide guidance to California schools for short term independent study.
What is Short Term ISP?  The Short Term Independent Student Program (ST-ISP) provides parents/guardians an opportunity for their children to practice reinforcement skills in core academic areas when students are away from school for extended, yet short term periods. Parents may request ST-ISP for family travel from 1 to 14 school days.  In addition to providing basic academic review and reinforcement, ST-ISP also provides revenue to the District because these absences are viewed as if the students were in school.
How does ISP work? Parents must request ST-ISP through the child's school office. Parents are asked to notify the school office, preferably, at least 3 school days in advance. The parent and student must communicate with your school office to sign the online ST-ISP contract using DocuSign and be informed of how your child may access the work during their time away (via an email link, Seesaw, Google Classroom, etc). The work must be returned to the ST-ISP district administrator or classroom teacher/s within five work days after returning to school. Contracts must be signed by all law mandated parties, teacher, parent, administrator, and student, before a student goes on ST-ISP. Contracts may not be signed after a student leaves on for any of the identified reasons or upon returning. If a contract is not signed prior to the student leaving for vacation, a tournament or work related reasons, the student may not go on ST-ISP.
What happens if parents do not request ISP for family travel, student competitions or work? ST-ISP is not a requirement and is at the discretion of the family to enroll in this program. However, do note that absences due to travel, competitions or student work are considered "unexcused.” Students with three unexcused absences in one school year are considered truants. Parents of truant students are subject to truancy enforcement and possible prosecution for failure to comply with California laws regarding compulsory education.
What happens if students do not complete the work? It is the parents'/guardians' responsibility to ensure that the assigned work is completed and returned within 5 school days after returning to school. Work not completed and returned on time will be considered “unexcused.” For example, if the student will be gone for 8 days and only returns assignments equivalent to 5 days per teacher’s discretion, the student will be marked "N" which equates to an "unexcused” absence for 3 days. See the paragraph above regarding unexcused absences and truancy enforcement.
Am I required to place my child on ST-ISP?
ST-ISP is completely voluntary and at the discretion of the parent/guardian. However, please make sure you understand the impact your child's absences may have regarding truancy notices.
May I request ISP for my child at any time? A parent/guardian may request for ST-ISP at any point in the school year except when requested at the end of the school year. Absences due to travel or any other unexcused reason will be "unexcused" if taken in May or if the return date with work due date is after April 28th.
Where can I get more information about ISP? If after speaking with your school office assistant or principal of the school and parents still need more information, you may contact Dr. Wendy Molina-Solis, Director of MTSS at (626) 943-3530.
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