• Frequently Asked Questions

    If you do not find the answers you need on this page, please complete our COVID-19 FAQs Form. If your question is not answered by a current FAQ, the question and answer will be added to the FAQ section below. FAQs will be updated regularly. 

    We are waiting on confirmed enrollment in the Independent Study program. Do we need to let our current school know that we will be keeping our child home in the meantime?

    Yes. Your child is still enrolled with their current school until Independent Study contacts you and enrolls your child in the program. Please report any absences to your school office and arrange for make-up work with your teacher/principal.

    Is it still possible to move from in-person classes to the Independent Study program?

    We are still accepting applications for our Independent Study program. You can find out more information about the program on the district website. Please read through our FAQProgram Overview, and Sample Schedule webpages to determine if this program will be a good fit for your child and your family. If you decide that this program is appropriate for your child, then please register through our Enrollment webpage.

    Why can’t our home school offer distance learning?

    The California waiver that allowed the 2020-2021 distance learning program was not renewed by the legislature. This means that we cannot reinstate the distance learning program. The legal option allowed is an independent study program.

    Is independent study and distance learning right for my child?

    Success in SCUSD Independent Study requires a solid partnership and commitment between teacher, parent, and student. We believe 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

    If I enroll my student in the program, are they still considered a public school student?

    Yes, enrolling your child in the Santa Clara Unified TK-8 Independent Study program or Wilson Independent Study High School is the legal equivalent to public school.

    For what length of time will my child be enrolled in the program?

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

    Is there a daily schedule?

    Yes. Sample daily schedules are available on the district website. Exact times will be shared by the school site once enrolled.

    We will be traveling and my child will be out of the county, state, or country. Can we still enroll in this independent study program?

    Independent Study programs, by law, require a live teacher/whole class interaction daily and in addition small group sessions during the day. The school hours are: K-2: 8:15 a.m. - 2:10 p.m. PST; 3-5: 8:15 a.m. - 2:35 p.m. PST; 6-8: 8:30 a.m. - 2:55 p.m. PST; and 9-12: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. PST. Students must be in the live sessions whenever the teacher requires, which may change from day to day. Live sessions will not be recorded. 

    Should students miss a live session, they will be marked absent and if they are absent or tardy as outlined in the master agreement, we will need to initiate re-engagement requirements. If the absences continue, it may result in your child needing to return to in-person learning.  

    There will be in-person, outdoor socialization optional opportunities in order to build school culture and we hope that most students will take advantage of these. There will also be materials distributed, as scheduled, for students to complete assignments as necessary.

    It is our expectation that our students are residing in their local residence within the SCUSD district boundaries. In the event we need to return your child to in-person learning, it will be immediate. 

    How do I sign up?

    Information is available on the Enrollment webpage.

    When does the school year start?

    The school year follows the standard district calendar.

    Who will be in charge of teaching my child?

    TK-5 independent study teachers are responsible for the daily teaching with support and guidance from an adult “support provider” at the home. 6-8 independent study teachers are responsible for monitoring daily student progress, holding regularly scheduled group meetings, and small group instruction as necessary. 9-12 independent study teachers are responsible for meeting with students 1:1 once a week, monitoring daily student progress in assigned courses, and providing additional support as necessary.

    What support will be provided to my child?

    Teachers will ensure students receive academic and social support as students move through the curriculum. Teachers will communicate with parents regularly and keep them informed of their child’s progress through regularly scheduled conference appointments and via email.

    Will we be given textbooks and materials?

    Yes, as necessary. Edmentum will be our online curricular courseware provider and all instructional materials are provided digitally. Other materials, such as math manipulatives or supplies for projects, may also be provided. TK students will be provided curriculum primarily through Google Classroom.

    Will my child receive letter grades and a report card?

    In Santa Clara Unified School District, we do not issue letter grades until middle school. For elementary school, we use a standards-based reporting form that provides feedback on how your child is progressing as they work toward meeting grade-level standards. The independent study teacher will provide the district standards-based report card for each student in grades TK-5. In grades 6-8, independent study teachers will provide the district report card that reflects letter grades for courses completed. In grades 9-12, grades are issued as students complete their courses and are entered on their transcripts.

    Will my child receive school support services as an independent study student?

    If a student begins struggling while participating in the program, a meeting will be scheduled with the teacher, the parent/guardian, and an administrator or admin designee. As a team, a determination will be made regarding next steps which could include the potential return to in-person instruction. For students who already have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), independent study will need to be written into the IEP, and any support services outlined in the IEP will be provided.

    Can my middle school or high school student participate in clubs and/or compete in athletics through their school of residence?

    No. Students enrolling in the independent study program will not be able to participate in clubs or compete in athletics at another school. 

    If I decide to leave the independent study program, will I be able to return to my open enrollment school or home school?

    Participation in the independent study program does not guarantee a spot at the student’s home school when exiting the program. Enrollment is based on school space availability. Spots will not be held at open enrollment schools or schools of residence while the student is enrolled in independent study.

    Who can I contact for more information?

    Please contact Pamela Galano, Principal of Wilson High School, at pgalano@scusd.net or (408) 423-3601.