Due to the ongoing pandemic, districts are reassessing their learning options and choosing between traditional independent study and course-based independent study to meet students’ needs. The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) facilitated Professional Learning Community (PLC) from 2021 to 2023 for districts to collaborate. Independent Study Professional Learning Network (ISPLN) meetings focused on addressing independent study challenges, sharing best practices, and problem-solving. Key findings from these convenings include district inconsistencies in understanding policy recommendations, the need for quarterly meetings with State representatives, encouraging information sharing among districts, implementing outreach campaigns, and building statewide partnerships. Feedback from these independent study leads identifies key aspects of independent study policy that other districts may use to improve individual programs and the statewide initiative.
Key Findings and Call to Action
Provide clarification: Address inconsistencies in understanding and interpreting policy recommendations by offering clear guidance and support.
Establish quarterly meetings: Organize regular meetings between district leads and State representatives to ensure clear understanding of policy updates and allow for clarifying questions.
Foster collaboration: Develop and share a comprehensive list of local independent study contact information to facilitate collaboration and resource sharing among districts.
Conduct outreach campaigns: Inform county, district, and charter school independent study leads about policy changes and their impact at the local level.
Build partnerships: Strengthen partnerships with county offices of education to create a statewide professional learning infrastructure and support underserved locales.
Collect feedback: Gather input from independent study leads to identify opportunities for sharing best practices and improving the quality of individual programs and the statewide initiative.
Taking these actions will enhance independent study programs, improve student outcomes, and promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing among districts.