Skip to main content

Distance Learning and Gateway: Overview

This page explains and summarizes our approach to independent study and distance learning.


What is Independent Study?

  • Our Center for Independent Study school is a University of California a-g approved program for high school students. It is designed to meet the same requirements as a traditional comprehensive high school. 
  • Students must transfer from their current high school to attend CIS full time. Most students graduate from CIS.
  • Students meet with a CIS teacher a minimum of one (1) hour per week to review assignments, progress, assess skills, and develop a graduation plan. Full time students must take a minimum of four (4) classes to be considered a full time CIS student. 
  • CIS students have the option to enroll in classes at their traditional high school for daily instruction concurrently, if it is necessary.
    • For example, many CIS students take Math at their high school to ensure they can successfully meet the Math requirements. 
  • CIS students have the option to attend classes at Diablo Valley College with CIS. Students may take one or two classes concurrently with Diablo Valley College to earn both high school and college credits. Students work with CIS teachers to choose the best courses based on their requirements. 
  • Gateway also offers classes for students who would like more support. There are classes offered in Math, Science, English, Art, and PE. This support will be available all school year and students will meet with their assigned CIS teacher to review their progress and schedule.
  • CIS students are able to play sports and attend activities at their comprehensive high schools as long as they are in good standing at CIS.


What is Distance Learning at CIS?

  • Distance Learning offers daily instruction remotely through virtual, online face-to-face meetings, online instruction, and daily communication. 
  • This distance learning interaction between teachers and students will be offered up until the COVID-19 pandemic regulations are lifted. It is a short term program.


Distance Learning and Independent Study

We recognize that each and every student is unique and adaptable to a wide variety of teaching settings and approaches. We have observed over time how students adjust to independent study (and distance learning). Students can be successful when both student learning style and academic curriculum match well. Here are some indicators of success that suggest how well students may perform academically at our school based on current and past student experiences.


Students who may do well with independent study

  • Are on track for graduation 
  • Are strong communicators and work well independently
  • Have a consistent attendance record
  • Have strong time management skills
  • Work well with flexible schedules
  • Are looking for a long term (one year or more) program for high school graduation
  • Enjoy working in small groups and need less social interaction
  • As an English Language Learner, has met the ELD level of 3 or higher to read the approved curriculum to meet UC a-g standards
  • Students who have IEP’s or 504’s that DO NOT require daily interactions or specialized instruction.

Students who may find independent study challenging

  • Are in need of credit recovery to graduate
  • Struggle with attendance
  • Students who enjoy attending school daily
  • Students who like the routine of daily classes
  • Students who enjoy daily social interaction with students and staff
  • Students who are English Language Learners and have an ELD level of 2 or lower may struggle to read the approved curriculum to meet UC a-g standards
  • Students with IEP’s or 504 plans that require daily support and interaction with trained specialists. 


Students who believe independent study challenging and are interested in other possibilities may consider additional support through Prospect High, Olympic High, or our California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) program.

If there are questions about our school and programs, please contact our school's main office.