Programs and Academics » Independent Study

Independent Study

Interested Applicants

Please click here to fill out our online application form.

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

To apply for the Independent Study Program, fill out the Online Application Form. Once this form is completed, your student will be placed on the IS waiting list. Enrollment in the IS program is on a first come, first served basis, according to the date the online application form is submitted. 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 go 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 new 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