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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
October 14, 2021

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

What’s New in Independent Study in the 2021–22 School Year?

The following information has been compiled to provide easy access to new updates, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and other information pertaining to Independent Study for the 2021–22 school year. The California Department of Education (CDE) remains committed to providing 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.


CDE provides key information and resources on Independent Study programs, including FAQs and guidance for the provision of services, on the CDE Independent Study web page at 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 for students who cannot participate in classroom instruction due to temporary quarantine or COVID-19 caused school closure. 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 at 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, and visit the CDE Independent Study Update for 2021–22 web page at

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 also 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 SFSD at

Supporting Students With Disabilities

CDE has created specific FAQs ( to assist LEAs in implementing AB 130 as it pertains 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 the CDE English Learners Independent Study FAQs web page at If you have questions about serving English learners in Independent Study, please contact the CDE Multilingual Support Division’s Language and 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 ( [NOTE: the preceding link is no longer available]) on recently passed legislation, including AB 130, impacting charter schools. For questions, contact the Charter Schools Division at

Stay Connected for Updates

Additional information on Independent Study will be updated on the CDE What’s New in Independent Study web page at as available.


Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Monday, June 26, 2023

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