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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 while meeting the SRVUSD curriculum objectives, and fulfilling 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 TK through 12th grade.


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 and necessary for success in independent study.  


Q: How often do Independent Study students meet with teachers?

A: Students in TK-8th grade participate in daily online classes with thier teachers. Students in 9th-12th meet at least once a week for each class they take. All students engage in independent learning at home in addition to the work that they do in class meetings wtih their teachers. The independent study provides background for the class activities, and the class activities provide context for the independent learning. Younger students, and some older students, will need to work daily with an adult at home to be able to learn and complete assignments.

Students who are falling behind or need additional support may be required to meet with their supervising teacher more often.


Q: Which students benefit from enrolling in Venture School?

A: Independent study be a wonderful experience for many students, but it is not always the best fit for all students and families.

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.


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.