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Independent study is an optional alternative instructional strategy for pupils whose needs may be best met through study outside of the regular classroom setting. Independent study offers a means of individualizing the educational plan to serve pupils who desire a more challenging educational experience; or whose health or other personal circumstances make classroom attendance difficult; or who are unable to access course(s) due to scheduling problems; or who need to make up credits or fill gaps in their learning. 

- MDUSD Board Policy (4/26/2023) 

By law, independent study education is to be substantially equivalent to classroom instruction. Generally, success in independent study requires motivation and a strong commitment on the part of the pupil and, for most pupils, requires the support of parents, guardians, or caregivers. It also requires sufficient academic preparation to enable the pupil to work independently.

- California Department of Education (9/1/2023)