L.A. County’s La Cañada Unified School District has started School Year 2021-222 with optimism, especially with the return of their students to the traditional face-to-face classroom setting. However, it has added an alternative to its traditional teaching approach that focuses on learning from home: the Independent Study Option.
Homeschooling, LCUSD style
The Independent Study Option is not an entirely new concept. Even before the pandemic, a substantial number of parents have been homeschooling their children and providing an alternate means of providing education.
When the pandemic struck, the resulting lockdown measures forced many schools to shut down. However, the learning process had to continue and LCUSD turned to online classes to bring their students on track with their studies.
As people are slowly getting used to the new normal and with the economy regaining traction, LCUSD has decided to open its doors anew to its students for SY 2021-2022. The big difference, though, is that there are safety protocols to follow to keep the whole academic community protected against COVID.
Not all parents feel comfortable about allowing their kids back to the classroom setting, though — and LCUSD is very much aware of this. This is why they came up with the Independent Study Option. This schooling alternative will allow students, especially those whose health is most at risk, to continue learning the LCUSD way in the safety of their respective homes.
The nuances of LCUSD’s Independent Study Option
This program targets TK-12 students of schools under the said district. Implementation began simultaneously with regular in-person classes for SY 2021-2022. Those who can enrol in this program are students whose health may be at risk if integrated into the traditional classroom setting.
There are several elements behind this alternative learning program:
- The child must be able to manage their own schoolwork with or without the assistance of a parent or guardian.
- Learning materials will consist of standard-based instructional packets and teacher-prepared instructional materials for the TK-8 grade level. For the 9-12 grade level, an APEX standards-aligned curriculum will be prepared.
- Choosing the Independent Study Option requires a commitment that the student will proceed with this particular program for a whole year. If the student desires to transfer back to the regular in-person learning, they could do so after the school year is over.
Things to consider before opting for independent study
- The student must be able to submit a designated number of assignments on time. If they fail to do so, the concerned school will have to evaluate if the student is, indeed, capable of working under the conditions set by this learning method.
- As the Independent Study Option is basically a tweaked form of homeschooling, this means that the student will have very limited social interaction and online collaboration. Thus, you have to weigh the consequences on your child’s social and emotional growth given this particular limitation.
Consider the possibilities for your child’s learning under this new option set by LCUSD, a top-ranked California school district and the primary learning beacon of La Cañada. LCUSD is among the many reasons why the area is most sought after for homes for sale.
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