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FAQ's - Independent Study

Q: What is Independent Study?

A: Independent Study is an alternative instruction model for eligible students whose needs may be best met through study outside of the regular classroom setting. We develop a plan with students that enables them to reach curriculum objectives and fulfill district graduation requirements within the same time frame as students who attend a traditional high school. Because of the flexible nature of Independent Study, students may complete courses at an accelerated pace and graduate early.

 

Q: What grade-level student can attend Independent Study?

A: Venture can enroll students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. We do not have a TK program at our site. 

 

Q: Is Independent Study the same as homeschooling?

A: Independent Study and homeschooling are not the same thing. Independent Study is offered by the school district and is supervised by a credentialed teacher who uses the district approved curriculum. Homeschooling is something families do on their own following separate state guidelines. There are similarities between the two since the students are studying at home. For younger students, and those not yet accustomed to working autonomously, daily support from an adult at home (usually a parent) is expected.  

 

Q: How often do Independent Study students come to school?

A: Students who participate in Independent Study are required to meet once a week with a supervising teacher to ensure that they are completing work and meeting district requirements. Students who are falling behind or need additional support may be required to meet with their supervising teacher more often.

Blended learning courses require that students engage in independent learning at home, and also participate in small group classes with a teacher for hands-on in person learning activities or labs to enrich their studies. The independent study provides background for the class activities, and the class activities provide context for the independent learning. Our art, math, science, and Spanish courses are offered through blended learning.  Classes may be scheduled on different days of the week from the meeting with the supervising teacher. 

 

Q: Which students benefit from enrolling in Venture School?

A: Any student may benefit from their experience at Venture School.

For students in elementary grades, it is important that they work daily with an adult (typically a parent or guardian) who will guide and support student engagement in the assigned learning activities and monitor student work.

Older students who typically find success in Independent Study demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • self-motivation
  • commitment to short term and long term goals
  • ability to focus and actively avoid / minimize distractions
  • strong organizational skills
  • variety of study skills including pacing work time
  • has or creates balance with other responsibilities
  • ability to think critically about how to solve problems and work independently
  • takes initiative to reach out for help 

Support is provided to all students to promote their success.

 

Q: What determines a student’s academic program?

A: Upon registration, each student’s record is reviewed by our school counselor who will develop the academic plan. Our counselor partners with the student, parents, and teachers to ensure that goals are set and support is provided. 

 

Q: Who can enroll at Venture School?

A: All students attend Venture by choice.

Students who live within the boundaries of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in grades K-12 may enroll at Venture and participate in Independent Study. 

Students living outside the boundaries of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District may enroll if they obtain an inter-district transfer from their school district and are accepted for transfer through the Student Services Department of SRVUSD.

If your student is eligible for special education, you should consult with your student's case manager. Special education students may not participate in independent study unless it is specified in their IEP. Changes in placement or instructional methods require and IEP team meeting. Your case manager can invite the Venture Principal to attend the meeting so the IEP team can make an informed determination about Independent Study and your child.

 

Q: When may a student enter Venture School?

A: Students may begin at any point in the school year, however due to the individualized nature of our program the number of spaces we have is limited. If we do not have space at the time you apply we will maintain a list of interested families and notify you when space becomes available.

 

Q: How long does a student remain at Venture School?

A: Time at Venture School varies from weeks to years depending upon the student’s wishes and their best interests. If a student is not succeeding in Independent Study, parents/guardians will be notified and a plan of support will be developed.

When students do not complete work or attend their meetings and classes, and do not improve with the support provided, we are required to conduct an evaluation to determine if independent study is an appropriate placement for the student. The evaluation may result in an administrative transfer to a traditional school with daily attendance required.

 

Q: Can a student graduate from Venture School?

A: Yes, high school students who enroll at Venture are able to take all of the courses they will need to meet the UC/CSU admissions criteria and to earn a high school diploma. Students can graduate early if they have completed the graduation requirements for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. The SRVUSD high school diploma requires completion of 220 credits in specific subject areas. 

An annual graduation ceremony is held each June for all students who have graduated from Venture during the school year.

 

Q: How many credits may be earned in a semester?

A: Typically students will be enrolled in six courses, 30 credits each semester. Students may enroll in more courses; consult with our counselor if interested.  A minimum enrollment of four courses, 20 credits each semester, which is an option if the student on track for graduation.  Students at indpendent study are expected to complete courses within the customary time frame.

 

Q: Do students participate in state testing at Venture?

A: Students are expected to participate in the State and District mandated testing programs, just as they would at any public school. The tests are given at Venture School. Information will be sent home prior to each test. 

 

Q: Are Venture credits acceptable for University entrance?

A: Venture is a fully accredited high school and offers college preparatory courses that meet the UC/CSU A-G admissions requirements.