The laws regarding independent study, which are already complex, have been amended. These amendments have come through the recently passed education trailer bill, so many, but not all, go into effect immediately. Other amendments will become effective for the 2015-2016 school year.
Some of the immediate changes are to rules regarding calculation of maximum student-to-teacher ratios, allowing districts to collectively bargain alternative student-to-teacher ratios, and requirements regarding documenting time value of pupil work. Changes for the 2015-2016 school year will include a requirement that students and teachers communicate at least twice per month in-person, by telephone, or by any other live visual or audio connection to assess the student's educational progress.
Participating school districts should be aware of their responsibility to ensure their independent study programs are in compliance with the law, as compliance is essential for receiving and retaining funding.
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