Programs and Academics » Independent Study

Independent Study

Interested Applicants

Please visit our application site at to submit an application. Open Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year will be from February 19, 2021 through noon on March 19, 2021.

How do I enroll my student in OPA’s Independent Study Program (IS)?

To apply for the Independent Study Program, fill out an application on our application site, Open Enrollment for the 2021-22 school year will be from February 19, 2021 through noon on March 19, 2021. Enrollment in the IS program will be granted based on the waiting list generated during the random public lottery, which is scheduled to take place on April 28, 2021. Once a student has been granted a space in the program, the parents will be notified by the registrar and given instructions for how to complete enrollment.


If my student is currently enrolled in OPA’s seat-based program, can I switch to the Independent Study Program?

OPA’s Independent Study Program is open to all current and prospective families. However, if a student switches from the seat-based program to the Independent Study Program, his or her seat-based enrollment will be terminated. If the student wishes to return to the seat-based program, he or she will be placed on the waiting list if it is during the current school year, or he or she will need to apply through the lottery if it is for the next school year.


If I am on the waiting list for the seat-based program, what happens if I apply for the Independent Study Program?

If you apply for the Independent Study Program, you will still remain on the waiting list for the seat-based program. However, if you switch to the seat-based program, your enrollment in the IS program will be terminated and you will have to go onto the IS waiting list to switch back.


Will IS students have scheduled Zoom meetings with teachers and classmates?

The OPA IS program combines synchronous and asynchronous instruction and activities. Students will attend regularly scheduled Zoom sessions each week for all academic subject areas. Students will also attend regular weekly small group support sessions for targeted intervention and enrichment. Students will also be required to complete asynchronous, independent activities and assignments.


Will Middle School IS students still have the opportunity to take a world language?

Like all OPA middle school students, IS students will be enrolled in a world language (Mandarin or Spanish), where they will participate in synchronous and asynchronous instruction and activities.


Will IS students participate in physical education?

Per California Education Code §51222, all students are required to have a specific amount of physical education minutes per week. IS students are not exempt from this requirement. Therefore, IS students will be required to complete synchronous and asynchronous instruction and activities to meet the physical education requirements.


Will Independent Study students use the same curriculum as seat-based students?

All OPA students use the same adopted, standards-based curriculum for core academic subjects.


What is synchronous and asynchronous learning?

Synchronous – live instruction done virtually via videoconferencing in real time. Students and teachers meet together virtually at specific times. Incorporates face-to-face interactions for students and teachers.

Asynchronous – coursework delivered through the web, email, google classroom, etc. Not real time. Does not include real time interactions between teachers and students. May include videos or independent activities.


If you have additional questions, please email your school chancellor:

Garrett Bridges (Saddleback Valley) -

Denise Alvarado (South Orange County) -


Independent Study Informational Meeting 6/4/2020