Independent Study

There are two alternative options to the regular instructional programs offered through Willows Unified School District.


Short-Term Independent Study

  1. Talk to your school counselor and request Short-Term Independent Study in advance of when you would like to begin Short-Term Independent Study so that the teachers can gather the work for your student.
  2. Complete the Short-Term Independent Study application form and submit it to the front office.
  3. Connect with the Short-Term Independent Study facilitator for your school site:
    • Murdock Elementary:
Jennifer Dace  -
    • Willows Intermediate School:
6th Grade: Cathy Fleming -
7th & 8th Grades: Dianna Abold -
    • Willows High School:

Please note: 
  • The minimum period of time to enroll in Short-term Independent Study is three (3) consecutive days. The maximum period of time is fourteen (14) consecutive days.
  • Attendance during Short-term Independent Study is not counted unless the work and assignments provided to the student are submitted to the teacher of record and graded by the teacher of record. This graded work needs to be given to the Short-term Independent Study site facilitator. They take care of the attendance reporting based on this submitted and graded work.

Long-Term Independent Study

Here are some of the updates to this year's Long-term Independent Study (LTIS) program:
Acceptance into the Long-term Independent Study program is not guaranteed this year. The state has changed the requirements of the program. There is no longer a required placement into LTIS within five days of the request. Because of this change, this is the procedure WUSD will follow for the 2022-2023 school year:
  • Talk with your school counselor and request Long-term Independent Study at least 48 hours in advance of when you would like to begin Long-term Independent Study
  • Complete the Long-term Independent Study application form which will be reviewed by the WUSD Director of Instructional Support Services
  • The Director of Instructional Support Services make contact with you and schedule an appointment to meet
  • Meet with the Independent Study teacher, counselor and the Director of Instructional Support Services
In addition to changes in the WUSD process, the state has made some changes in its requirements:
  • Students with an IEP must have Long-term Independent Study written into their IEP for them to participate. Additionally, their case manager must sign the LTIS contract.
  • Missing too many assignments or weekly meetings will trigger an evaluation meeting and the implementation of tiered reengagement strategies to address the chronic absenteeism. Completion of assignments and synchronous/face-to-face meetings are how attendance is generated in LTIS, so if your student is not completing the assignments or meeting via Zoom, they are considered absent. 
  • Participation in LTIS does not begin until a contract is signed by the parent, student, teacher, and principal.
Long-term Independent Study Application (English)
Long-term Independent Study Application (Spanish)
For any questions about the Independent Study program, please contact Michelle O'Dell, Director of Instructional Support Services at (530) 934-6600 ext. 8107.