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January 28, 2023

Soledad school board evaluates independent learning

District sees large interest in program with 173 enrolled and waiting list

SOLEDAD — Soledad Unified School District Superintendent Randy Bangs delivered a report on the independent study program at the Aug. 11 school board meeting.

At the start of the current school year, Bangs noted there is a waiting list of students trying to get in as the district manages class sizes with 173 students currently in the program.

“We’re building this as fast as we can and want to make sure our rosters are in place,” he said. “The contact between teachers and parents in the next couple days will provide assurances to those parents.”

Bangs explained the independent study program has classrooms being used on district school sites. And, though it is being designed to be different, it also needs to be stable. He said students and teachers couldn’t simply be switched from one format to another.

For students involved in the program, their submitted work will be used for purposes of attendance.

“There’s a lot of record-keeping and work that goes into this program both on the part of the teacher and other staff,” Bangs said.

Students in the independent study program have a written learning agreement as a requirement, which they must complete within 30 days of the beginning of the school year.

In addition, students must make contact with their teacher daily, which usually takes place as part of daily synchronous instruction. They learn in small cohort groups of fewer than 11 students.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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