Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of common questions we receive here at SOAR Independent Study:

  1. Who do I contact to enroll in SOAR Independent Study?
  1. What type of program is SOAR Independent Study?
  • SOAR offers independent study whereby a student completes part of or all of his/her school. At a comprehensive school, the full-time student would complete a minimum of six hours daily. In independent study, the student completes the same amount of work at home and reports to the school as often as necessary to discuss his/her work with the teacher.
  1. Is independent study easier than regular school?
  • No. It is more difficult for most students. Disciplining yourself to study at home six hours or more each day is harder than many students envision.
  1. How do I enroll?
  • All new students must enroll with the SOAR counselor at the main site after being referred by their home school, and after passing the SOAR reading test. Students may enroll in the SOAR program at any time.
  1. Can I get credits faster in SOAR?
  • In comprehensive schools, most students earn 5-6 credits per semester by taking six classes daily. Independent study students generally work on only one course at a time but can earn the same number of credits per semester. Each course constitutes 90 hours of work and must be finished in three weeks. Each three week class is equivalent to a semester long class at a comprehensive high school. When one course is completed, students are immediately enrolled in the next course.
  1. How do I know if I'm working on schedule?
  • When you begin a class, you and your parents sign a contract or written agreement. The contract specifies what work must be completed each week. If in doubt, ask your teacher.
  1. Can I work faster?
  • The minimum amount of work due weekly is 30 hours. You can set the maximum, based on how many additional hours you are willing to work on top of the 30 hour minimum. You should inform your teacher if you wish to accomplish more than the minimum and make arrangements to complete a course as quickly as you are able to. If you complete your work early, call and then bring in your work so you can proceed faster on your contract.
  1. Can I come into school as often as I need help?
  • Tutoring is available in the SOAR Independent Study office every day from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. If you feel as though you need help with a subject either notify your teacher or the SOAR tutor.
  1. What are the requirements I need to receive a high school diploma from SOAR?
  • Upon completion of all district high school course requirements, a GPA of 2.0 or above, and a passing score on the High School Exit Exam then you will receive a Mark Twain High School / SDUSD Diploma.
  1. Can students participate in activities and clubs offered at the main Mark Twain High School campus?
  • Yes. Students enrolled in SOAR Independent Study are part of the high school and are allowed to actively participate in any clubs and activities offered at the school.
  1. What special resources does SOAR Independent Study Offer?

SOAR students may take advantage of a variety of resources:

  • Media Center/Library:
    • A large collection of books and computers are available for students to use for research during school hours.
  • APEX Credit recovery:
    • Earn credits in classes that you have fallen behind in or received a not passing grade.
  • iHigh Dual Enrollment:
    • Enroll in online classes and earn credits in addition to credits being earned in the SOAR Independent Study program.
  • Tutorial services:
    • Tutoring is available every day in the SOAR office from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.
  • Career center:
    • Assistance is available in a wide range of topics including community service, job listings, college information, and FAFSA applications.
  • Joint High School Diploma / Middle college:
    • Earn college credit at no cost while attending SOAR.
  1. Is there a graduation ceremony?
  • SOAR Independent Study students attend the main Mark Twain High School graduation ceremony. Graduation ceremonies at Mark Twain High School are traditional cap and gown events. You may attend the ceremony if you earn 44 credits/Option 2 requirements, and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Students who graduate before June must return and attend the formal ceremony. Students may also attend grad night, prom, and any other senior activities.
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