Independent Study Program (ISP)

  • The Malibu High School Independent Study Program (MHS ISP) is an alternative education program provided by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). It is an alternative educational option to the traditional classroom instruction model. The program utilizes an alternative instructional strategy in which students work independently, according to a written agreement and under the general supervision of a credentialed teacher. While independent study students follow the District's adopted curriculum and meet the District's graduation requirements, independent study offers flexibility to meet individual student needs, interests, and styles of learning. ISP is a personalized educational alternative in which students work closely with an ISP teacher in one-on-one meetings or small group instruction. Enrollment in MHS ISP is a voluntary educational option chosen by students and parents.

    To graduate from Malibu High School an ISP student must successfully pass 220 semester credits in grades 9-12. The 220 credits are divided into 155 credits called The Basic Program of Required Courses and 65 elective credits. Additionally, students must complete 80 hours of Community Service Learning (CSL) at a rate of 10 hours per semester.

    Additional Information:

    • The student agrees to meet with or report to the teacher regularly, in accordance with the location, frequency, day(s), and time specified here or on the course contract and work-record form.
    • The Independent Study program is designed to help students meet the requirements for a high school diploma from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
    • Four-year universities have very specific requirements for lab science and visual and performing arts classes. As such, to meet UC/CSU eligibility, students must take their biological science, physical science and VPA courses outside of the IS program. Options include: taking a maximum of 20 credits per year through the traditional MHS program; EdAhead Summer School, and additionally, with pre-approval, we would allow students to take outside courses that are WASC accredited and UC/CSU A & G approved for lab science, language, and VPA. All other required course work for graduation must be completed through MHS IS program.
    • Independent Study students may take up to a maximum of 20 credits per year on the MHS campus. IS students will be placed, space permitting, only after all traditional students have been scheduled into their classes.
    • This program is not intended for acceleration for early graduation. AP and honor classes are also not offered in this program.
    • The coursework in IS may or may not be accepted by the NCAA eligibility center for a Division I or Division II school athletics programs.