Last Updated 10/2/21

Table of Contents

Disclaimer  

Overview  

*Recent Changes to Aeries

*In Development

Future Considerations  

Additional Resources  

Webinar Sessions  

Quarantined Students

AeriesCon - Independent Study/AB130 Roundtable sessions  


Disclaimer  

It is important to note that the AB-130 situation is ever evolving, so all information provided pertains to the time of this communication, and is subject to change based on the CDE requirements. It is not the intent of Aeries to make decisions for a district about any guidelines from the state, including Independent Study and Attendance; that is the responsibility of the district. When your district has determined what the CDE is requiring and has set up Board Policy for implementing Independent Study, Aeries Support Staff can help you. Programming has identified the current items needing to be developed/implemented to comply with the AB130 legislation. Although we do not have a specific ETA, the Programming team has its eyes set on releasing some basic functionality to assist our customers by the end of August.


Overview  

With the COVID-19 epidemic still active in communities around the country, it is anticipated that a significant number of families will choose to keep their students at home, even as schools in CA return to offering in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.  This will result in a significant increase in Independent Study programs across the state.  As a result of this and in response to the recently enacted AB 130 law, which establishes new requirements for Independent Study programs, the Aeries SIS is being enhanced to better support Independent Study management.


*Recent Changes to Aeries  

Here are the areas we focused on first, all are currently available:


Student Class Schedule Management

A new school option has been added to allow enabling Alternative Education Scheduling for only specific sections in a school’s master schedule. This will allow Independent Study programs to more effectively be maintained inside a traditional school’s Aeries School Code.  It does this by protecting the integrity of traditional sections while providing flexibility to Independent Study classes. Here is a link to the documentation on this feature: Alt Ed Scheduling for Individual Sections

Independent Study Agreement/Contract Management

*Enhancements were added to track Independent Study Agreements/Contracts for both Traditional Independent Study (TIS) and Course Based Independent Study (CBIS). This new area of the system will allow for the ability to record manual and digital signatures, track work product, and drive ADA for students.

A new page, called Independent Study Agreements has been added to Aeries where office staff can record agreement details for individual students.  Currently, contracts/agreements are able to be uploaded into the system. 

Digital Signatures for Independent Study Agreements by parents, students, teachers and users can be collected or recorded directly in Aeries. Additional versions of Independent Study Agreements and Addendums will also have the ability to be tracked and included in Signature Collections in a future update. Here is a link to the documentation on this feature:  Independent Study Agreements

Gradebook Assignment Management 

The ability to create recurring assignments in Gradebooks has been added to Aeries.  This will allow a teacher to create daily or weekly assignments for Independent Study Students where details of expected work can be recorded for each student as the year goes on.  Here is a link to the documentation on this feature: Add Gradebook Assignments


Attendance Rulesets 

Teacher Attendance and Attendance Notes Rules for Independent Study Classes - This allows a school to customize the rules for Teacher Attendance and Teacher Attendance Notes for Independent Study Sections.  Here is a link to the documentation on this feature: LINK 



*In Development  

These items are currently being developed, and will be released as soon as they pass User Acceptance Testing:


*A new page, Independent Study Agreements Dashboard, is being created to monitor and track the status of Independent Study Agreements. This new page will be made available to office staff as well as teachers. 


For proper accounting and auditing, a new Work Product Evaluation feature will be created where student completion of Independent Study work can be recorded and will drive the automatic management of student attendance for ADA tracking.  


Future Considerations  

As we look towards optimizing Independent Study Agreement Management in Aeries, additional changes are being considered:

  • Gradebook Adjustments to Optimize the Independent Study Experience for Teachers - This may include targeted features for Individualized Learning and tracking minutes/hours for specific assignments.

  • Gradebook Data Integration with Attendance - This may include automatically or easily using gradebook information to drive regular recording of student work product and attendance/ADA.

  • *Independent Study Agreement Templates to be defined by the district  in Aeries and applied to individual students and customized.  Student Class Schedules will automatically be included in the agreements although Individual Course Agreements for CBIS will also be able to be managed.  


Additional Resources  

Here are some resource links from the CDE and other entities that may be useful


Webinar Sessions  

Scheduled (FREE) Webinars and Slide Decks:


Webinar Wednesday - AB/SB 130 Revisions - Best Practices for Independent Studies 2021 (FREE)

August 11, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Zoom Link:

 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81683098704?pwd=UWhEZlBMaHpXVGVIWXk4WlZuVkVFQT09

Slide Deck: 

https://aeriessoftware.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/EWxOyHkNEF9IiL94wYxSgyoBS0G5JqPbN9W9TBEttdvkQA

Recording: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/keBf6rBTeqKFtUF9glUWkNB7kXGxwzJ7pwFjErQIwP7mcR-nt6Pl61sfsmg3pTyM.HEdwkCGH3iI4dtEG?startTime=1628718612000


Quarantined Students  

Due to the passage of AB167, LEAs can now claim ADA for quarantined students who are put on Independent Study contracts, beginning on the first day of quarantine. The Aeries FAQs for AB130 Independent Study  have been updated with the latest information.


AeriesCon - Independent Study/AB130 Roundtable sessions  

We are planning two Roundtable presentations on Independent Study/AB130, one for onsite attendees, and one for virtual attendees. If you haven't already registered for AeriesCon, here is a link to get you started: AeriesCon Fall 2021