Ukiah Independent Study AcademyUkiah Unified School District

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Student Handbook


Ukiah Independent Study Academy, K-12

2023-2024 Student Handbook


UISA Mascot


Bob Dieffenbach, Principal
Ukiah Independent Study
1000 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
Main - 707.472.5906
Fax - 707.463.2120

Ukiah Unified School District

511 South Orchard Avenue, Ukiah, CA 95482

Board of Education District Administration
Tyler Nelson, President Debra Kubin, Superintendent
Megan Van Sant, Vice President Debbie Ornelas, Executive Assistant
Fred Keplinger, Clerk Steve Barekman, Chief Business Official
Beatriz "Bea" Arkin Katie Sommers, Asst. Superintendent of Educational Services
Carolyn Johnson Frankie Alvarado, Asst. Superintendent of Human Resources
Zoey Fernandez Phone: (707) 472-5002
  Fax: (707) 463-2120

Ukiah Independent Study Academy

Table of Contents

(clicking any link will take you to the corresponding section)

UUSD Mission Statement Independent Study Policy
School Goals

Student Behavior

UISA Statement Academic Honesty
School Vision Dress Code
School Purpose Drug & Weapon Free Zone
ESLRs Electronic Devices on Campus
Admission Procedures Harassment
Criteria for Participation Skateboards/Skates/Bicycles
Eligibility for UISA Use of Trained Dogs
Intake Process Tobacco-Free Policy
Steps for Student and Parent/Guardian Vandalism
Educational Options for UISA Students Use of the Internet
Concurrent College Courses Common Area Rules
Blended Learning Food Services
Hybrid Enrollment at UHS Mealtime
Tutoring Services Master Agreement
Sports Voluntary Statement
UHS Agreements Objectives
Graduation Requirements Assignments
A-G Requirements Resources and Services
College Entrance Student Responsibilities
Subject Requirements Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Responsibilities
Exam Requirements  
NCAA Requirements  


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UUSD Mission Statement
511 South Orchard Ave.
Ukiah, CA 95482

“Focusing on Success for All”

The Ukiah Unified School District will provide an educational experience that instills and enhances self-esteem, assures success on the basis of individual interests and abilities, and fosters constructive relations among students, teachers and parents. Students will benefit from their educational experiences by acquiring knowledge and skills that provide them with choices about continuing formal education or entering the work environment. Students will be prepared to contribute to their communities, be responsible to themselves and others, and deal appropriately with issues impacting the society in which they live.

All students will successfully participate in their academic, physical and emotional growth in preparation for life. The following goals have been established to support student growth and development:

Students will be able to:

  • Communicate Effectively: Students will be effective communicators, displaying literacy (reading, written and oral), computational skills, appreciation of the arts, and the ability to use technology as a tool for communication and expanded learning opportunities.
  • Think Critically and Problem Solve: Students will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to enhance their ability to live and work cooperatively with others.
  • Demonstrate Physical and Emotional Fitness: Students will appreciate personal physical fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being necessary to meet the challenges of a productive life.
  • Apply the Concepts of Stewardship: Students will understand their responsibility as stewards for the environment and society and will appreciate cultural diversity.
  • Pursue Vocational or Post-Secondary Education: Students graduating from the Ukiah Unified School District will be prepared to become productive and participating citizens with the skills to pursue post-secondary education, vocational training, or enter the work environment.

The Ukiah Unified School District serves a population of approximately 5800 students, preschool through adult age. The district comprises 6 neighborhood elementary schools, 2 middle schools and a comprehensive high school. In addition, our district offers an early education preschool, independent learning opportunities for elementary and high school students, an alternative education high school and an adult learning center. We serve students from the city of Ukiah and the surrounding communities of Redwood Valley and Hopland.

Ukiah Independent Study Academy (UISA)
Vision & Purpose Statement



Ukiah Independent Study Academy students will become self-directed, confident, creative learners who are responsible and productive contributors within their communities.

Purpose Statement

Ukiah Independent Study Academy is dedicated to providing all students with a strong academic environment and curriculum that satisfies the district’s courses of study and state standards for each grade level, as well as enrichment opportunities to support student learning, foster self-reliance, develop community connections, and build meaningful relationships.

At the elementary level, UISA creates a partnership between parents, students, teachers, and the community that will inspire students, equip parents to be the most effective teachers of their children, and provide the community with a flexible, public, home-based educational option.

At the secondary level, UISA provides students with an alternative education that meets college and career readiness and is tailored to individual student goals. Developed collaboratively with students and parents, individualized learning plans maximize each student’s unique strengths, talents, and abilities.


Student Learner Outcomes
Self-Directed Lifelong Learners:
  • Set and achieve goals
  • Persevere
  • Develop responsible independence
Critical Thinking Problem Solvers
  • Develop problem-solving strategies
  • Distinguish fact from opinion
  • Connect ideas across subject matters to accomplish meaningful tasks
Academic Achievers
  • Demonstrates the ability to read, write and listen reflectively and critically
  • Proficient in all academic studies
  • Technologically literate
Socially Responsible
  • Respectful of themselves, others and the environment
  • Demonstrates the qualities and responsibilities of being a good citizen
  • Demonstrates knowledge of human diversity and understands the importance of individual differences
  • Reflects positive values of our community
  • Exhibits confidence and maturity

Ukiah Independent Study Academy (UISA)

Admission Procedures

Students who choose to enroll at Ukiah Independent Study Academy are considered as follows:

Criteria for Participation

The Ukiah Independent Study Academy is for students in situations where their special interests, abilities or individual needs are not being met through traditional instructional approaches. These students must have the willingness and ability to successfully complete the educational requirements of Independent Study. Students who may be appropriately enrolled in Independent Study include, but are not limited to, students who:

  • have an understanding of and commitment to Independent Study;
  • have learning styles that can best be met through Independent Study;
  • are exceptional or gifted and need in-depth opportunities, which may include concurrent enrollment in post-secondary education or participation in visual or performing arts, athletics and/or sports; and
  • have experienced difficulty in adapting to the classroom setting, achieving academic success, or conforming to school rules and are ready to or have dropped out of school.
Eligibility for Ukiah Independent Study Academy (UISA)

The Independent Study Administrator may approve the participation of a student who demonstrates the motivation, commitment, organization and academic skills necessary to work independently. For an elementary student, the Independent Study Administrator may consider the parent/guardian’s level of commitment to assist the student.

The District/School is/are not obligated to permit a student to engage in Independent Study if it is not determined to be an appropriate alternative for the student (Title 5 Codes of Regulations 11700(d)).

Selection or Intake Process
  1. If you are currently enrolled in the Ukiah Unified School District you will need to contact your current school Administrator/Counselor and they will submit a referral to our office in the L Building 1000 Low Gap Rd. Ukiah, CA (707) 472-5906 or via email to [email protected].
  2. If you reside outside of the Ukiah Unified School District you must contact your local school district to request an inter-district transfer.  (See the attached Guidelines for Enrollment of Interdistrict Students.)
  3. Parent and student submit a letter to the UISA administrator.  The letter should explain the following:
  4. Student’s Letter:
    1. Why the student wants to attend UISA
    2. The student’s plan for being successful at UISA
      1. Plan for completing homework on time
      2. Location of quiet study place where coursework will be completed
      3. List of activities in which the student participates
      4. Scheduling of weekly 20 hours of coursework considering outside/extra curricular activities
      5. High School Students: State your plans after graduation from UISA
  5. Parent’s Letter:
    1. Reason for requesting that your student attend UISA
    2. Plan for parental support of student’s academic progress
      1. Location of quiet study place for completion of coursework
      2. Scheduling of weekly 20 hours of coursework considering outside/extra curricular activities
      3. Plan for parental assistance/support with academic coursework in the home
  6. After Ukiah Independent Study Academy receives the referral and letters, UISA will contact you to set up an intake conference to determine if the student meets the criteria for Independent Study. The independent Study Administrator will approve/deny any student participation.
  7. If participation is approved, and space is available at UISA, parent will submit enrollment packet and student will complete withdrawal process from his/her current school.
  8. Complete and submit all elements of the Independent Study Master Agreement with the supervising teacher and/or administrator.
Educational Options for UISA Students

In order to provide educational enrichment and support to our students we offer the following opportunities:

Concurrent College Enrollment

Mendocino College admits a limited number of pre-high and high school students who may then enroll in up to 11 units per semester. Special admit students are exempted from paying the enrollment fee (other fees still apply) and credits earned through these enrollments may be used to fulfill high school in addition to college certificate, transfer, or graduation requirements.

To be admitted, you must complete an Application of Admission as well as the 9-12 Special Admission Application. The 9-12 Special Admission Application must be approved by your school principal/designee and parent/guardian. 9th - 10th grade students must also obtain the permission of the college instructor and all students age 13 and younger must obtain the permission of the Dean of Instruction. Please note some courses may require a placement test or other prerequisites.

The completed 9-12 Special Admission Application can be submitted to the Office of Admissions & Records by fax (707-468-3430), email ([email protected]), or it can be hand-delivered to the Ukiah Campus, the Lakeport Center or the North County Center.

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Benefits of Concurrent Enrollment

Ukiah Independent Study Academy (UISA) has a limited selection of foreign language and  higher level math courses and offers only Biology as a lab science course. Students who are applying to four year colleges should have these courses. Taking courses at the community college also allows students to explore different career options. Students may also choose this option to make up lost credits in their earlier high school years. In some instances, completed courses at the community college level can be used for both high school graduation and college graduation requirements. In addition, courses which are transferable to the University of California are given weighted grades on the high school transcript, which can raise a student’s GPA.

Mendocino College Units to Ukiah Independent Study Academy Credits
Units at MCC Credits at UISA
5 16.5
4 13
3 10
2 6.5
1.5 5
1 3
0.5 1.5


Blended Learning

Students participate in both online and traditional independent study courses. Ukiah Independent Study Academy (UISA) offers Online courses through Cyber High and Odysseyware. Students are successful in blended online classes when they are self-motivated, can stick to a schedule, resourceful enough to seek out help if they have trouble with an assignment or online task, and are good at following written directions. Students that do not complete weekly work, will be referred out to a traditional independent study course.

Hybrid Enrollment at Ukiah High School

Students have the opportunity to take classes at Ukiah High School that are not offered through Ukiah Independent Study Academy. Availability of classes is determined by Ukiah High School and not guaranteed. Students on a Hybrid Schedule are required to follow guidelines listed in the Student Hybrid Contract. CTE opportunities are available through hybrid enrollment.

As an Ukiah Unified School District Student, enrolled in one or more courses at a site other than my school of record, I am aware that:

  • It is a privilege to participate in a hybrid schedule, therefore, I am expected to adhere to the highest codes of conduct, integrity and attendance.
  • I must meet the minimum day requirements for attendance at my school of record.
  • I must follow all of the policies of the school in which I am in attendance at that time.
  • Attendance is important for classroom success.  Absences of 5 or more per semester may lead to a drop in enrollment and/or a failing grade in that course.
  • If taking a course at Ukiah High School, credit is assigned when passing standards are met at the end of a semester.  This course will be listed on my transcript and the grade assigned will be part of my record and included in my cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Anything I do in a course besides my school of record can be retrieved and monitored by my Teachers.
  • It is my responsibility to submit the paperwork to enroll in the course.
  • I agree to have regular communication with my teacher, counselor or administrator on the status of my success in the hybrid classroom.

Consequences for violations:

  • 1st Offense: I will be given a verbal warning. My parents will be notified.
  • 2nd Offense: I will be given a written warning. My parents will be notified. I may be removed from the course.

Severe Misconduct:

Regardless of whether the offense is a first time offense, I will be removed from the course which may result in a grade of “Failing”.

Tutoring and Educational Workshops

We offer tutoring in math and writing, and art workshops at scheduled times during the week. We are currently working on expanding workshops in science, college readiness and careers. Students are encouraged to participate in tutoring and workshops offered through UUSD at other school sites.


High School students are able to participate in the UHS Athletic Program if eligibility criteria is met according to the CIF, NCS, NBL and UHS by-laws. At every academic grading period, a student must maintain a unweighted GPA of 2.0 or higher and be making minimal progress towards graduation.  This is defined as being on track to pass 20 credits/semester and not more the 20 credits deficient towards graduation.

If a student is planning to participate in a Division I or II collegiate athletic program, he/she must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at and meet eligibility criteria for admissions. If a student is planning to participate in a NAIA college athletic program, he/she must register at  UISA is registered and certified with both organizations.  See the school administrator for more information.

Agreements with Ukiah High School

Transfer From UISA to UHS (Senior Year)

Students transferring from UISA to UHS or from UHS to UISA during the senior year must complete this transfer by the first week of the second semester.  These students would graduate from the respective school and receive a diploma from that school.

Student Activities

UISA students may attend UHS dances using an In-District Guest Pass. They no longer need to be a guest of a UHS Student. 

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Ukiah Independent Study Academy

High School Graduation Requirements

The Ukiah Unified Board of Education approved the following requirements for graduation:

ALL STUDENTS must successfully complete a minimum of 230 credits, not more than 40 of which may be physical education, or work experience.

Graduation Requirements include:

  1. Four Years of English
  2. Three years of Social Studies including:
    • One year of World History OR AP European History
    • One year of U.S. History OR AP U.S. History
    • One year of American Institutions/Economics
  3. Two years of Mathematics, including one year of Algebra I
  4. Two years of Science: one Biological, one Physical OR two years of Agriculture OR one of each;
  5. Two years of Physical Education.
  6. One year Visual or Performing Arts (VPA) OR one year Foreign Language (FL) OR one year of a Career Technical Education Course (CTE)
  7. 90 Electives
  8. A record of responsible citizenship.
  9. Repeat courses for credit.

College Entrance Requirements

Ukiah Unified School District in Grades 9-12

California School of Higher Education

California Community Colleges

California Community Colleges are schools such as Mendocino College, Santa Rosa Junior College and College of the Redwoods. All high school graduates are eligible for admission. There are no specific high school courses or grade point averages required for entrance, but a lack of prerequisites may prevent enrollment for the desired college courses.

High School Enrollment In Community College Courses
A high school student may be eligible to take courses at Mendocino College. See your counselor for details.
Subject Requirements
  1. History/Social Science - 2 years required : Two years of history/social science, including one year of U.S. History or one-half of U.S. history and one-half of civics or American Government; and one year of world history, cultures.
  2. English - 4 years required : Four years of college preparatory English that includes frequent and regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature. Not more than two semesters of ninth grade English can be used to meet this requirement.
  3. Mathematics - 3 years required, 4 years recommended : Three years of college preparatory mathematics that includes the topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two and three dimensional geometry. Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or this entire requirement, as may math courses taken in the seventh and eighth grades that your high school accepts as equivalent to its own math courses.
  4. Laboratory Science - 2 years required, 3 years recommended : Two years of laboratory science providing fundamental knowledge in at least two of these three disciplines: biology (which includes anatomy, physiology, marine biology, aquatic biology, etc.), chemistry and physics. Laboratory courses in earth/space sciences are acceptable if they have as prerequisites or provide basic knowledge in biology, chemistry or physics. The appropriate two years of an approved integrated science program may be used to fulfill this requirement. Not more than one year of ninth grade laboratory science can be used to meet this requirement.
  5. Language Other than English - 2 years required, 3 years recommended : Two years of the same language other than English. Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and include instruction in grammar, vocabulary, reading and composition. Courses in language other than English taken in the seventh and eighth grade may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if your high school accepts them as equivalent in its own courses.
  6. Visual and Performing Arts - 1 year required : One unit (one year or 2 semesters) of coursework in visual and performing arts (dance, drama/theater. Music or visual arts).
  7. College Preparatory Electives - 1 year required : One year(two semesters), in addition to those required in “a-f” above, chosen from the following areas: visual and performing arts, history, social science, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science and language other than English (a third year in the language used for the “e” requirements or two of another language).
*UC/CSU does not accept any grade lower than a “C” in any if these subject areas.

Exam Requirements
  • UC requires the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT with Writing. Only the UC system requires the writing portion of the ACT, SAT III subject area tests are recommended for certain majors at certain colleges. Please check online for verification. Eligibility is based on a combination of SAT Reasoning Test or ACT, SAT II, and grade points earned in 10th and 11th grades in A-G courses. Up to four AP courses taken during the last three years of high school are awarded an extra grade point for letter grades of A, B, or C. The UC system takes the best scores for each subject in a sitting. They do not mix and match scores.
  • CSU requires either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. The writing portion of the ACT is not required for the CSU system. The CSU system will take the best individual scores regardless of sitting.
  • Registration for SAT Reasoning Test, ACT and SAT II Tests are done online.
  • To register for the SAT, go to To register for the ACT, go to

NCAA Requirements

Students who are considering athletics at a Division I or a Division II college after high school need to register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Center

Please see your counselor for more information.

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Ukiah Independent Study Academy

Student Behavior Expectations

Academic Honesty

Any form of cheating/plagiarism identified by a teacher will result in the student receiving zero credit for the assignment/test without the possibility of a rewrite or makeup.

A phone call by UISA’s administrator to his or her parent/guardian will be made in the addition to the consequences.

 Dress Code
The California Administrative Code, Section 302, states: “A pupil who goes to school without proper attention having been given to personal cleanliness or neatness of dress, may be sent home to be properly prepared for school, or shall be required to prepare himself for the school room before entering.” Any student wearing or carrying overt gang paraphernalia or making gestures that symbolize gang membership shall be referred to the principal/program administrator or designee. The student’s parent/guardian shall be contacted and the student sent home to change clothes if necessary.
  1. Good taste, safety and health will determine our policy on school dress.
  2. Barefoot, beach wear, or clothing bearing words or pictures that are obscene, suggestive or inappropriate for school wear will not be allowed on campus.
Drug Weapon Free Zone

State law forbids anyone except a police officer to bring any type of weapon or explosive onto a public school campus.

Included under the prohibition are fireworks (including firecrackers), knives (knives include buck knives, penknives, and pocket knives), handguns, rifles or any dangerous objects.

Electronic Devices on Campus
  1. CD/MP3 players and iPods are not allowed on campus or on district school buses unless they are listened to only with earphones.
  2. Confiscated CD/MP3 or iPod players will be returned only after a parent/guardian contact.
  3. Confiscated iPods used in violation of teacher/classroom rules will be returned after a parent/guardian contact.
  4. All electronic devices/cell phones are allowed on campus but must be turned off during class time.
  5. Failure to surrender a cell phone etc. when asked for by school personnel will result in a defiance referral.
  6. Electronic devices are the #1 stolen items on campus. It is your responsibility to keep track of your property. Keep a watchful eye on your property and do not loan it out or leave it unattended. For your convenience you may register your property with UHS Campus Supervisors in A-22 by providing serial numbers so that stolen property may be returned to you if found or confiscated.


As defined by California Education Code, Section 212.5: “Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, made by someone from or in the work or educational setting.”

It is deliberate or repeated sexual attention that is unwelcome, unwanted, and not returned. If you feel you are being harassed, you are encouraged to immediately report such incident(s) to your counselor or to the Assistant Principal without fear of reprisal. If you are a student, you or your parent/guardian are encouraged to report any such incident immediately to the school administration or to the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Student Services in the District Office – 463-5208.


Skateboards, bicycles, scooters and roller-blades may not be ridden ON THE CAMPUS AT ANY TIME.

Violations of this rule will result in confiscation of the Skateboard/Skates/Bicycle etc and parents will be required to pick the skateboard up at the secretary office.

Use of Trained Dogs

In an effort to keep the schools free of drugs, the district may use specially trained non-aggressive dogs to sniff out and alert staff to the presence of substances prohibited by law or district policy. The dogs may sniff the air around desks, bags items or vehicles on the district property or at district sponsored events as long as they are not allowed to search any person. Items shall not be sniffed if a person is close by. The inspections shall be unannounced and may be made at the discretion of the Administration. Students and parents/guardians shall be informed of this policy at the beginning of each school year.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Possession and/or use of any form of tobacco (both chewing and smoking) is not allowed at school, within two blocks of school, on a bus or at any school activity (this includes having CHEW GRAINS in teeth and tobacco-less chew).

*Students under 18 years of age will be cited for possession by the Ukiah Police Department.


Vandalism includes defacing, damaging, or otherwise destroying school or personal property. This includes all school property, such as buildings, walls and fountains, restroom fixtures, books, desks, lockers, lights, buses, computers, equipment, tables, etc., and/or property belonging to other persons.

Use of the Internet

Students shall not use school computers for any illegal or fraudulent purposes, such as changing data stored in the computer, destroying any data in the computer, or duplicating, faking or stealing any school records, discs or forms.

These offences will be dealt with in a serious manner including possible police contact and expulsion.

Computer Vandalism

Users found to have committed acts of vandalism shall be subject to the cancellation of computer, network, or Internet services.

(Students who harass or make threats either sent or received from computers at UHS are subject to consequences per school policy of threats and harassment).

Vandalism is defined as any intentional act which causes, or attempts to cause, damage or destruction to the electronic data of another, to any computer, to any Internet resource, to any software or hardware, or to any software or data which is the result of the introduction or creation of any computer virus or program designed to cause such damage or destruction.

Common Area Rules
We are proud of our common area, it is used for studying, group and individual tutoring and workshops. In order to make it a positive environment for all, please remember to adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Maintain quiet voices
  • Be respectful
  • Use technology appropriately and without sound
  • Leave area clean and neat looking


The location of the Cafetorium is located on the Ukiah High School campus in the B building.

Breakfast and lunches are available to all UUSD students free of charge.

Ukiah Independent Study Academy Master Agreement

 Voluntary Statement:

Independent Study is an optional educational alternative that students voluntarily select. All students who choose Independent Study must be offered the alternative of classroom instruction, and they must have the continuing option of returning to the classroom.

Objectives, Methods of Study, Methods of Evaluations, and Resources:

The major objective for the duration of this agreement is to enable the child to keep current with their current grade studies for the period covered by this agreement. Subject/course objectives reflect the curriculum adopted by the district’s governing board and are consistent with district standards. The specific objectives, methods of study, methods of evaluation and resources for each assignment covered by this agreement will be described in the student work assignment record, which is part of this agreement. Any subsidiary agreement(s) are also part of this agreement.


According to the district policy, the maximum length of time allowed between the assignment and the date the assignment is due is one week unless an exception is made in accordance with district policy. After three missed assignments in any one subject or two missed appointments with the supervising teacher without valid reasons, an evaluation will be made to determine whether Independent Study is an appropriate strategy for this student.

 Equitable Provision of Resources and Services:

The Independent Study option is to be substantially equivalent in quality to classroom instructions, and that students who choose to engage in independent study are to have equality of rights and privileges with students in the regular school program.

Student Responsibilities: 
  • Study for a minimum of twenty (20) hours a week.
  • Satisfactorily complete all assigned work.
  • Maintain an accurate daily log of my work when required and assume full responsibility for getting to appointments.
  • Set my own study schedule.
  • Bring all books, papers, time sheets, and supplies to appointments when required.
  • Return all books loaned to me in good condition.
  • Be liable for the cost of replacement or repair for damaged or lost books and other materials that are checked out to me.
  • Design my classes with the help of my teacher so that they are maximum interest to me.
  • Participate in required state testing
  • Maintain a high standard of honesty and integrity in all of my studies.  Any instance of less than honorable work may result in the loss of up to all semester credit in the affected subject, and/or transfer out of Independent Study.

Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Responsibilities:
  • Provide the student with an appropriate environment for studying.
  • Call in advice if illness or any other emergency prevents my son/daughter from making an appointment.
  • Supervise the students work on a daily basis and sign time sheets when appropriate.
  • Encourage the student to complete all assignments to the best of his/her ability.