• Online Independent Study FAQs

    What is the PCS Online Independent Study Program? Is it like distance learning?

    The PCS Online Independent Study Program is a District program that aligns to the law passed by the California Legislature outlining Independent Study requirements for the 2021-22 school year. The program will not look like the distance learning that was offered last school year. The new program will incorporate synchronous learning, and students will spend a significant amount of time learning independently (asynchronous). Students in synchronous and asynchronous learning time will meet the instructional minutes requirements.

    This program is a voluntary or optional alternative program for families to choose for their student(s) whose health would be at risk by in-person instruction.

    Is the PCS Online Independent Study Program available for all PCS students?

    Yes, the program will be open to all students. The Legislature wrote the law to allow this program to meet the needs of families who may be at risk of in-person instruction. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) require an IEP developed specifically for participation.

    Will the program run all year?

    Yes, the PCS Online Independent Study Program will run for the entire 2021-2022 school year.


    Is the PCS Online Independent Study Program run through my student’s current school/school of choice?

    No. The program will be a stand-alone program but will be associated with the PCS schools listed below. It is important to note that these schools will not become the new school of residence for students. In other words, after this year, students will re-enroll for the new year at their school of choice (pending space availability).

    • TK-6: Valley Vista
    • 7-8: Petaluma Jr. High
    • 9-12: Valley Oaks

    Will I be able to return to my student’s current school/school of choice during the year or for the next school year?

    Families choosing this option should plan to commit for the 2021-22 school year. If a family chooses to leave the program to return to in-person school, they may do so. In this case, we recommend that it happens at the end of a grading period. If space is available, students can return to their school of choice. If the school is at capacity, students will be offered another school for the remainder of the year.

    What will the PCS Online Independent Study Program look like for my student?

    Students will receive the same high-quality education expected from PCS. The classes and coursework will be academically rigorous. Student’s synchronous and asynchronous learning time (instruction, assignments, etc.) will meet the state’s instructional minutes requirements. Students will use an online platform, like Google Classroom or Seesaw, to access schoolwork and turn in assignments. Students are expected to check in with the school daily. Depending on the grade level, they may see their teacher daily for a set amount of time or weekly. Students will have deadlines to submit work.

    How will students be graded and evaluated in the PCS Online Independent Study Program?

    Progress reports and report card grades will align with the traditional school grading timelines. Elementary students will be on a trimester schedule, and secondary students will be on a semester schedule. Students in the PCS Online Independent Study Program will be evaluated on assignments that may include reports, presentations, projects, and tests. Students are expected to turn in classwork online and on time. Missed classwork could jeopardize their placement in the program. Missed assignments will result in a parent conference to determine if the program is appropriate or if another support is needed.

    What support will be available to my students if they are experiencing challenges through the PCS Online Independent Study Program?

    Students who have a hard time with certain subjects or courses will be offered tutoring and may be assigned intervention support.

    Will students in the PCS Online Independent Study Program be able to participate in extracurricular activities like band or sports?

    Yes, students may participate in extracurricular activities offered at the campus associated with the Independent Study home school.

    How do I enroll my student in the PCS Online Independent Study Program?

    Fill out the Online Independent Study Enrollment Form using the following directions:

    1. Download and save the PDF of the form below (make sure not to fill it out in your browser (e.g. Google Chrome) window):
      Online Independent Study Enrollment Form - English
       Online Independent Study Enrollment Form - Spanish
    2. Fill out the form completely. You will need to sign the form so please print and sign. You can then scan the form or take a photo with your phone of each page. If you take a photo, please make sure the page fills the frame and that you have enough light so that the image is not blurry.
    3. Optional: If possible, you may want to consider saving the form with the following filename convention "Last Name-First Name-Online-Independent-Study-Enrollment".
    4. After you finish filling out the form, please return it to the appropriate school. You can email it in or drop it off in person.
      • TK-6: Valley Vista - Send to Principal Catina Haugen (chaugen@petk12.org) AND Senior School Secretary Mary Pratt (mpratt@petk12.org)
      • 7-8: Petaluma Jr. High - Send to Assistant Principal Danna Rocca (drocca@petk12.org) AND Student Records Clerk Amy McCoy (amccoy@petk12.org)
      • 9-12: Valley Oaks - Send to Principal Becky Lofton (rlofton@petk12.org) AND School Secretary Susan Cook (scook@petk12.org)