Last Updated 11/04/21
Table of Contents
- Student Class Schedule Management
- Independent Study Agreement/Contract Management
- Gradebook Assignment Management
- Attendance Rulesets
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.
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 track 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
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: Attendance Ruleset Documentation.
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 Management Page, 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 track the 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:
Additional Resources ↑
Here are some resource links from the CDE and other entities that may be useful
- CDE Templates for Independent Study Contracts and Board Policies (linked below)
- CDE Tuesdays at 10 Q&A link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9H-iBRoSSV6YDP9CBrdtsA
** Please include your question(s) in advance at the time of registration **
- CDE School Fiscal Services Division FAQs and Resources
- CDE - What’s New in Independent Study? 2021–22 **
- CCSESA Independent Study Flip Book
- LACOE Independent Study (IS) LEA Leader Toolkit
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
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.