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Independent Study Operations Manual

A resource for educators and parents/guardians/caregivers providing critical information about independent study in California schools. A guide to the laws and regulations governing independent study in California schools.

The Independent Study Operations Manual (2000 Edition) (ISOM) includes the laws and regulations that govern the implementation and management of independent study programs for all grade levels and adult education in California schools. The ISOM also contains best practices from educators who helped produce the document.

Single copies may be downloaded for personal and classroom use. Copyright © 2000 by the California Department of Education. All rights reserved.

Independent Study Operations Manual Updates
Provides a list of changes that should be made to the print publication and PDF versions of the Independent Study Operations Manual 2000 Edition. Please be aware of these changes as you use the manual.

Table of Contents and Preface (PDF)

Chapter 1: Introduction to Independent Study (PDF)

Chapter 2: Local Board Policy on Independent Study (PDF)

Chapter 3: Students Who May Benefit from Independent Study (PDF)

Chapter 4: Staffing and Organizational Structure (PDF)

Chapter 5: Implementation or Expansion of Independent Study (PDF)

Chapter 6: Ongoing Operations (PDF)

Chapter 7: Home-Based Independent Study (PDF)

Chapter 8: Attendance Accounting and the Audit Trail (PDF)

Chapter 9: Serving Unique Student Needs (DOC; Revised 09-Jul-2015)

Chapter 10: Counseling and Guidance Support Services (DOC; Revised 01-Feb-2011)

Chapter 11: Curriculum and Instruction (PDF)

Chapter 12: Assessment of Students (PDF)

Chapter 13: Formats for Evaluation of Independent Study (PDF)

Appendix A: Legal Citations for Independent Study (PDF; Revised 28-Nov-2012)


Some districts may be using out-dated forms from previous editions of the ISOM. Forms from previous editions may not be compliant with current legal requirements.

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Questions: Dan Sackheim | | 916-445-5595 
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