Summary of Vista Unified School Board Policy 6158: Independent Study

The Governing Board authorizes independent study as an optional alternative instructional strategy for students whose needs may be best met through study outside of the regular classroom setting. Independent study shall offer a means of individualizing the educational plan to serve students who desire a more challenging educational experience, whose health or other personal circumstances make classroom attendance difficult, who are unable to access course(s) due to scheduling problems, and/or who need to make up credits or fill gaps in their learning. As necessary to meet student needs, independent study may be offered on a long term basis, through Vista Visions Academy, or on a short-term basis for students attending our other district schools.

  • For the 2021-22 school year, the district shall offer independent study, as specified in Education Code 51745, to meet the educational needs of students unless the district has obtained a waiver. (EC 51745) 
  • For the 2022-23 school year and thereafter, the Superintendent or designee may continue to offer and approve independent study for an individual student upon determining that the student is prepared to meet the district's requirements for independent study and is likely to succeed in independent study as well as or better than the student would in the regular classroom setting. 

Specialized & Alternative Programs


Magnet Schools


Alternative High Schools


Dual Language Programs


Independent Studies


Home Hospital


Students with Special Needs


Charter Schools


Foreign Exchange


Leader in Me Schools

Quarantine:  Short Term Independent Studies

Per new state direction under Assembly Bill 130 (AB130), school districts are no longer authorized to provide "virtual learning" options in the way that they had been offered in 2020-21.

For the 2021-22 school year, the state has authorized school districts to offer short-term independent studies for students who are in quarantine to enable them to continue to participate in their regular course of study and receive attendance credit during these times of mandatory health related absence. The state requires that parents/guardians of students in quarantine authorize that their child continue to participate in ongoing instruction and earn attendance credit by signing an independent studies agreement. This agreement is completed digitally and parents/guardians may seek assistance to complete the document or access a computer at any VUSD school.

Short Term Quarantine Independent Studies Agreement
Please contact your school office for questions or support.

"Traditional" Short Term Independent Studies

“Short-Term independent study" refers to independent study provided to a student enrolled in classroom-based instruction who needs to be away from school and on independent study for a short period of time (more than three days but usually not more than 30 days), but who will return to the classroom.  Independent study requests from parents will be evaluated and approved on a case-by-case basis by the school administrator. Requests for independent study for reasons that are important and necessary and cannot be reasonably arranged at another time, must be submitted at least one week (7 days) prior to the start date of the independent study.

Parents/guardians interested in requesting a short term Independent Study agreement should contact their school office. These contracts are approved at the discretion of school administration. It is important to note that students must complete the requirements of the contract will not be eligible for attendance credit.

Full Time Independent Studies

Full time Independent Studies is offered through Vista Visions Academy (VVA), our VUSD Alternative School of Choice.  

  • 2021-22 School Year: At this time, we are only accepting Intradistrict transfers for Vista Visions Academy (VVA) via paper applications in our office.  VVA has reached maximum capacity and we are reviewing and approving applications on a case-by-case, space available basis.
  • 2022-23 School Year: Please follow the Intradistrict Transfer Process


Vista Visions Academy Parent-Student Handbook