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What’s New in Independent Study? 2021–22

Quick access to updates, FAQs and other information pertaining to Independent Study for the 2021–22 school year.

The following information has been compiled to provide easy access to new updates, FAQs and other information pertaining to Independent Study for the 2021–22 school year. The California Department of Education (CDE) remains committed to provide support to local educational agencies (LEAs) as they implement Independent Study requirements. As we receive questions, we continue to create and share helpful updates to resources to support LEAs through this process and this page will be continually updated to reflect the most current information.


CDE provides key information and resources on independent study programs, including frequently asked questions and guidance for the provision of services on the CDE Independent Study web page. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding legislative amendments to the Independent Study framework for 2021–22, CDE is providing a series of updates to guidance and resources for schools for the current year. In addition to its typical uses, this school year, Independent Study is the vehicle being used to provide families with an alternative to in-person instruction as well as for use by schools, with the exception of a community day school or a school site or class that only serves students who are individuals with exceptional needs whose individualized education program does not specifically provide for participation in Independent Study, for students in temporary quarantine or school closure for exposure to, or infection with COVID-19 pursuant to local or state health guidance where the pupil cannot participate in classroom-based instruction due to the quarantine. Contact for general questions.

Clarifications During Quarantine

To support instructional continuity for students in quarantine, CDE continues to share important updates to clarify student learning during quarantine. Find links to helpful information on the CDE Clarifications for Student Learning in Quarantine web page for a range of topics and for specific clarifications based on Assembly Bill (AB) 130 and Amendments in AB 167 as of September 10, 2021, visit Independent Study Update for 2021–22.

Instructional Time and Attendance Accounting

CDE provides guidance on the Independent Study conditions of apportionment, county office of education waivers of the Independent Study offering requirement, instructional time, attendance accounting, and attendance for apportionment. Below are relevant updates from the School Fiscal Services Division (SFSD), which supports LEAs with information regarding the requirements and submittal process for the Request for Allowance of Attendance Due to Emergency Conditions, Form J-13A. Contact the SFSD at

Supporting Students with Disabilities

CDE has created specific Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist local educational agencies in implementing Assembly Bill 130, as they pertain to students with disabilities and Independent Study. For more information, contact the Special Education Division at

English Learner Support

It is important to remember that English learners who are enrolled in Independent Study must be provided with both designated and integrated English language development as part of the Independent Study program. Find updated information at English Learners Independent Study FAQs. If you have questions about serving English learners in Independent Study, please contact the Multilingual Support Division’s Language & Policy Leadership Office at

Charter School Information

CDE provides general guidance and technical assistance to nonclassroom-based charter schools on how to apply for a funding determination and FAQs on recently passed legislation including AB 130 impacting charter schools. If you have questions, contact the Charter Schools Division at

Questions:   Executive Office | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 27, 2023