Independent study is an alternative instructional methodology to traditional classroom instruction and is consistent with the Davis Joint Unified School District’s course of study. Independent study is not an alternative curriculum. Rather, DSIS provides individual students with a choice of ways to acquire the values, skills, and knowledge that all students should gain. The DSIS alternative instructional methodology involves an instructional strategy that responds to an individual’s needs and style of learning.

Independent study can be part of, separate from, or in addition to a regular classroom program. A written agreement, valid for up to one school year at a time, is completed by the certificated teacher as the general instructional supervisor. The agreement is reviewed by the student, and if a minor, by his or her parent or guardian and any other person who may be directly involved in the student’s learning program. The written agreement sets educational objectives and addresses activities and personnel involved, resources to be used, and a method to evaluate successful completion of the agreement. The agreement must adhere to the school district policy and state legal requirements.

The first step in enrolling at DSIS is to attend a parent - student information meeting. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A MEETING, or by calling the DSIS office at 530-757-5333.
Instruction Through Independent Study
Allows the student to study at his or her own place within the limits of compulsory attendance requirements.

Challenges each student to excel in his or her area of special interest and abilities.

Provides an alternative for students to achieve competency and mastery of basic skills.

Allows children to be educated at home.

Encourages the student to be resourceful.

Facilitates the student’s active participation in his or her own education.

Offers real flexibility in the design of an educational program.

Offers educational choices to students and families.

Enrollment in independent study must be a voluntary choice made by the student and parent. Attendance records are based on a student’s work within the terms and conditions of his or her written agreement and not on traditional “seat time.” Therefore, each student must be motivated to study on his or her own as prescribed by the agreement. These are essential components for a student’s progress and educational success.

Which Enrollment Option is Best for You?
DSIS Only These students are full time DSIS students and typically are enrolled in 6 or 7 classes each semester. These students are not enrolled in another school in the district.

Split Site / Concurrent Enrollment These students are enrolled for part of their educational program at DSIS and part at Emerson Junior High, Harper Junior High, Holmes Junior High, or Davis Senior High School. A concurrent-enrollment student typically is enrolled in no more than a total of 7 classes, with 4 or more classes at DSIS and 3 or less at the comprehensive school site.

Blended Classes DSIS offers small group classes on-site in Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Art and select electives. Students are expected to complete most of their work independently. Classes meet one to three days a week and have limited enrollment.

These classes meet requirements for DJUSD high school graduation. Some classes also meet a-g requirements for the University of California and California State University.

In addition, you will access assignments, lectures, guides, and other class materials on the Schoology platform. If you do not have Internet access at home, you can use the DSIS computer lab or chromebooks to complete your school work.

An average student will need to spend five hours of concentrated effort each week, in addition to the weekly class, in order to succeed in blended classes.
Criteria for Success at DSIS

The primary aim of DSIS is to offer a means of individualizing the educational plan for students whose needs may be met best through study outside the traditional classroom setting. Students most likely to benefit from independent study are:

  • Those students who have the motivation to achieve educationally as well as or better than in the traditional classroom.
  • Those students who have the ability to read quite well, with access to someone who can provide support when needed. This does not mean that an applicant will be excluded based on a reading deficit; however, students and parents should know that the skills of reading and writing are given serious attention in the instructional program.
  • Those students who have sufficient self-discipline and self-direction to remain focused on a learning task long enough to reach specific, agreed-upon objectives, such as study assignments. This kind of self-discipline is a fairly complex behavior that reflects aptitude and acquired skills as well as a positive attitude to succeed in all assigned schoolwork.
  • Those students who have certain learning styles that are not particularly well suited for a highly structured classroom but, nonetheless, wish to advance their education through an alternative approach.
Considerations for Independent Study

In considering whether independent study is the appropriate instructional strategy for a student, the parents and supervising teacher would be wise to consider all of the following factors:

  • The term independent study means an alternative to classroom instruction consistent with the district’s course of study. While there is great flexibility in methodology and hours of learning, the curriculum is that of the district. In completing the written agreement, the responsible teacher will focus on the student and his or her education, which follows the district’s curriculum and grade level expectations. Philosophical and religious teachings are of no concern to the school authorities as long as these do not interfere with the student’s ability to proceed with learning under the independent study agreement.
  • The student’s need for social interaction.
    Instant closeness between parent and child. Sometimes it is necessary to create a “breathing space” for both the parent and the child.
  • Disputes by those students who feel that they know more than their parents who act as teachers.
  • The parent’s role, particularly in home-study where younger students need a great deal of attention and supervision, requiring the commitment of a large amount of time.
  • Many DSIS courses have been approved by the University of California to fulfill the “a-g” requirements for admission. Performing arts, foreign language, laboratory science and advanced placement courses for UC admission are taken at Davis Senior High School.
DSIS Study Goals

The study goals of Davis School for Independent Study are as follows:

  • To provide conditions in which students can develop strong, positive working relationships.
  • To provide a supportive environment in which students, parents, and teachers can successfully collaborate to meet the educational needs of each student.
  • To work together with other schools and programs within the Davis community to provide all students with a variety of options for meeting high school graduation requirements.
  • To provide students with rich educational programs appropriate to their own goals, including immediate employment after graduation or continuation into post-secondary education.
  • To encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and progress and to help them master the skills needed to do so.
  • To help those students who have difficulty learning in a traditionally structured setting to discover their own best mode of learning.
Graduation Requirements
DSIS is a fully accredited high school program through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. To receive a DSIS Diploma, a student planning to graduate must successfully meet the requirements below.

Courses/Credits
English - 40
Mathematics - 20
Physical/Life Science - 20
Modern World History - 10
United States History - 10
U.S. Government - 5
Economics - 5
Geography - 5
Health - 5
Fine Arts - 5
Practical Art - 5
P.E. - 20
Community Service - 1
Electives - 59
Total Credits - 210