Independent Study

Independent Study Expedition

Information and Requirements


Independent study is a unique expedition opportunity, designed for students whose special interests, abilities or individual needs cannot be accommodated within in a regular expeditions program offering.


Important Information:

  • Students MUST take a one year Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) course before graduation!  Students and families are responsible for ensuring this happens.  Students are encouraged to meet this requirement their 9th or 10th grade year.
  • Students must exhibit the ability and willingness to work independently and successfully complete agreed to educational requirements with limited supervision by a teacher.
  • Students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) must have provisions in their plan allowing for them to participate in Independent Study.
  • A proposal must be for the entire school year. 
  • Independent Study courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. 


Requirements for Expeditions:

  • Submit a proposal that outlines a course focused on one major topic or area of interest.
  • Plan curriculum and experiences that will fill 208 hours for the entire year (26 hours each week) – students must turn in a detailed log of activity and hours spent each day at the end of each week of expeditions.
  • Student will attend a mandatory class on the first day of each expeditions session.  At the end of each session students must meet with the Supervising faculty member.
  • Each week students are required to submit a completed packet of all required work including full page typed journal entries (one each week= 8 total).  You will receive a list of suggested prompts
  • Student must seek out and secure the assistance of an expert in the community (other than a parent) who they will meet with a minimum of two times per week during each expeditions session.  This individual will be their Independent Study Supervisor and should have expertise in the topic of the proposed course and be willing to guide and advise the student.
  • Students are responsible for completing all forms and required documentation and turning them in as required by these Independent Study documents.
  • Complete a final end product.  Some suggestions are:
    • Construct something
    • Plan and hold an event/performance
    • Prepare a written report (5-10 pages typed, double-spaced)
    • Create a website about your topic
    • Create something (screenplay, choreography, short story, sculpture, painting, web site, travel guide, information brochure, etc.)
  • Participate in the Exhibition at the end of the school year.  Choose a format that will allow you to share what you have learned in a meaningful and compelling way
    • Video
    • PowerPoint Presentation
    • Tri-fold Display (required to be 48” wide x 30” high)
    • other 

        Steps to a Successful Independent Study:

    1. With a parent, read through and make sure you understand this Information and Requirements document.
    2. Set up a meeting with the Internship and Independent Study Coordinator to discuss your idea, ask questions about the proposal requirements and for feedback/coaching.
    3. Identify an Independent Study Supervisor (we can provide suggestions)
    4. Prepare and submit a signed Independent Study Course Proposal to the Internship and Independent Study Coordinator no later than 1 week before the first day of Expeditions!
    5. Complete the Course Request process listing IS as your first choice and identifying a 2nd and 3rd choice.
    6. Once your proposal is approved, complete an Independent Study Course Contract and return it with all required signatures to Internship and Independent Study Coordinator before the start of expeditions.
    7. You will receive a Course Confirmation packet. It will include the Independent Study Weekly Work Log, Journal Entry Prompts and the Course Completion Checklist.
    8. Check your e-mail regularly – the Internship and Independent Study Coordinators may need to contact you or provide you with important information.


Contact:              Internship and Independent Study Coordinator – San Jose: Linda Stevenin, 650-888-3804

Internship and Independent Study Coordinator – Redwood City: Kathryn Hopkins, 415-609-5127