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Independent Directed Studies Policy

Independent Directed Studies (IDS) Overview

Under teacher supervision, students can earn additional Independent Directed Study (IDS) credits by pursuing curriculum in more detail of a course they’re enrolled in or by focusing on the learning outcomes of a course that they’re not taking.

To participate in this method of learning, students must demonstrate the ability to work independently. Along with their teacher, they should also develop an Independent Directed Study plan that includes:

  • A process for ongoing facilitation and assessment
  • Criteria for determining successful completion
  • A credit value (one, two, three or four credits) for the proposed IDS

Students do not need to complete the approved classroom course curriculum before they pursue an Independent Directed Study in that course. However, an IDS must be based on the curricular competencies of a Ministry-Developed or Board/Authority Authorized Grade 10, 11 or 12 course.

IDS Policy

This policy enables students to initiate their own area of learning and to receive credit towards graduation. The policy also allows schools to recognize learning in a Ministry-developed or Board Authorized course that a student may not have completed. This policy is not a student entitlement but an enabling policy intended to encourage schools to allow students to pursue further studies of interest.

IDS credits may be awarded by boards to students who have successfully completed independent work based on a subset of learning outcomes of Grade 10, 11 or 12 Ministry developed courses or Board Authorized courses. A student may study one or more curricular competencies in depth, or study more broadly a wide variety of learning outcomes from a single course.

IDS credits may only be used to satisfy elective requirements.

The maximum value for a single IDS course is four credits, but there is no limit to the total number of IDS credits a student may earn. The number of credits a student earns for an IDS will be set out in the plan developed by that student and a teacher, and approved by a principal. Grade 12 IDS credits may count toward the minimum of 16 grade 12 credits required for graduation.

IDS Procedure:
  1. Student and teacher create a course plan that includes curricular competencies and overview.
  2. Teacher will complete the Independent Directed Studies (IDS) Form. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that all requirements are met. 
    Independent Directed Studies (IDS) Form
    • Teacher will then send the form to leadership for approval and course creation.
    • Leadership will present the form to the Heads of School for approval.
    • Heads of School will approve, reject, or ask for revision of the IDS form.
      • If approved:
        • Heads of School will sign IDS form and give it back to leadership.
        • Leadership will create the IDS course and then send the approved form to teacher.
        • Teacher will upload the IDS form along with the proof of work assignment into Encom at the time of activation.
      • If rejected:
        • Leadership will notify teacher of rejection along with the explanation of why approval was not granted.
        • Teacher can choose to modify course then resubmit form.
      • If asked to revise:
        • Leadership will explain areas that need revision.
        • Teacher will revise from and resubmit to leadership.