Independent study and who it affects

By Gerardo Lopez, Clarion Staff Reporter

Independent study is a term that students have thrown around recently, especially since the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) has declared that students who are unvaccinated (and are 12 years or older) will be moved to independent study on February 28. This deadline was moved from January 31st since only half of district students reported their vaccination status to SCUSD. Many parents and students have asked themselves how independent study will work and what learning will be like for them in their new environment. 

Independent study is an alternative to in-person learning that students can take voluntarily if they do not want to continue in-person learning (for example, if they do not feel comfortable). Independent study has schools all around Sacramento, there are approximately 20 schools in the Sacramento area with campuses just like Kennedy. Students will see their independent study teachers one-on-one at least once a week in order to see their learning progress. Independent study has a lot of similarities with the distance learning program of 2020 and early 2021 when students communicated remotely with their teachers via Zoom and Google Classroom.

As noted earlier, the deadline was originally January 31, 2022 – the start of the second semester – but was moved back a month because not enough students had reported their status to SCUSD. Up until now, unvaccinated students needed a COVID test every week at least once until the district can move the unvaccinated students to independent study. 

For students who don’t want to get moved to independent study, it is best to get vaccinated or file for an exemption; however, the exemption may take months to process since there are so many students filing them and the district has to review all of them. 
There are at least 20 schools in the Sacramento area that offer independent study, and one of the most well known is Capital City Independent Study.. More information about the entire scope of independent study at the SCUSD website.

Data wrapper chart of John F. Kennedy Vaccination Status by Gerardo Lopez, Clarion Staff Reporter. Information from SCUSD COVID-19 dashboard.

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