Questions to Consider When Researching a High School Program





Are you accredited?

We are fully accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Our schools have earned 6 year accreditations--the highest accreditation available.


What is the instructional funding for a high school student?

$3000/year for high school students.  These funds are used for classes, curriculum and materials.

What additional low cost and free services and materials beyond the instructional funding do you offer?

For the 2018-19 school year, in addition to the instructional funding, we also offer:

  • Low cost weekly supplementary instruction for most college prep (a-g) courses. These are online courses with a low student count.
  • Free materials and limited 1:1 tutoring for students who are struggling in the areas of reading and/or math.
  • Free subscription to Discovery Education and other online curriculum and programs
  • Many textbooks (including college prep/a-g) are available for free checkout from our curriculum libraries.
  • Many materials are available for free checkout from our curriculum libraries. This can include computers, tablets, printers, microscopes, telescopes, musical instruments, lab materials and kits, games, and much, much more
  • Low cost services from an expert teacher when needed for high school courses
  • Frequent field trips are low cost or free of cost
  • Free vocational classes leading to career certifications from Brighton College, an online college
  • Weekly online social clubs for teens. We presently offer: book club, geography/history club, math club, and esports club
  • Free class to 2nd semester 11th graders to help them choose a college and prepare college applications.
  • Free YUP tutoring in math and science. YUP offers tutoring in physics, chemistry, and math! YUP’s “homework help” occurs instantly, with 24/7 access, through a cell phone app or tablet. No cost to enrolled students in grades 6-12;
  • Free a-g science labs and math tutoring through our Mobile Science labs; at a park near you!

Guidance Counseling

Do you offer an individualized learning plan for high school?

Yes!  Students can work along with their ES and Guidance Counselor on a HS pathway/plan just for them.

Do you offer guidance for college/career planning?

Yes! Guidance Counselor work with individual students on College and Career planning. Each school has at least 1 full time, dedicated guidance counselor.

Will we receive instructions on how to apply to colleges (deadlines etc)?

Yes we have a regular newsletter as well as parent seminars on college applications and financial aid. This year, we will also offer a free class to second semester 11th graders to help them choose colleges, prepare essays, and college applications.

Student Support

How do I go to get help for my child and can I meet with someone before applying?

Yes, you will get a phone call from someone before you complete the application process. You will have the opportunity to ask questions then.

Once enrolled in our school, you will be assigned a credentialed teacher (ES). S/he is trained in all aspects of the school and will respond back to you within 24 hours. Additionally, we have a full guidance staff available to meet with parents and students. In guidance meetings, the guidance staff member will assist in planning high school courses, talk to the student about future goals, and help to create a path to future success through recommendations of coursework and other high school activities.

Do you offer Special Education services and Individual Education Plans (IEP, 504)?

Yes.  We have a Special Education Department that works with parents, students and their teachers to develop and follow an individualized plan tailored to your child’s needs. Additionally, when you meet with guidance staff, we invite someone from special ed services to the meeting to ensure seamless coordination between general and special education.

My child is working above grade level. Can you help?

Yes! We have many students in our schools who are working significantly above grade level. Working with your credentialed teacher (ES) and your guidance counselor, we can tailor a program just right for your child’s needs and interests. This may include college prep, honors, Advanced Placement, and community college courses. It may include custom made courses, tailored to your child’s learning. It can also include planning for early graduation.

My child is working below grade level. Can you help?

Yes! We can tailor your child’s course of study to his/her academic needs and learning style. We can help you to assess issues and custom build courses. When needed, your credentialed teacher (ES) can work weekly with your child. We also have several free services including online programs, materials and limited 1:1 tutoring to help your child get back on track for graduation.

My child is behind on credits for graduation.  Can you help?

IEM schools have successfully helped many students graduate, including those who are significantly behind on credits when they come to us. We will help assess your child’s learning style, work to find learning passions, identify learning needs, and design a course of study that’s just right for your child. This might include: studying at home, online study, taking local classes, taking live-online classes, working with a tutor, taking courses at the community college, studying for a vocational (career technical) certificate, or a combination of these! It could include working weekly, rather than monthly with your ES. At IEM schools, you not only have the assistance of your certificated teacher (ES), you have the help of a team working for your child’s benefit.

If my child hasn’t met all his/her credit requirements by 18, can s/he stay enrolled until earning enough credits to graduate regardless of age?

Your child must be continuously enrolled after age 19 in order to be able to graduate and must complete all coursework by age 21.

Do you offer tutoring?

We do offer tutoring in nearly all subject areas, both in person and online. Most tutoring will use instructional funding, but there are some instances when tutoring or small group classes are offered free of cost to the student. This year, we offer free online tutoring in math and science through YUP.

Does your school offer classes with vendors?

Yes, our school has over 2500 vendors approved, one of the largest vendor lists of any independent study school in California.  With school instructional funds, students may use these vendors to order materials (print and online curriculum, computer or iPad, musical instrument, etc) or register for a variety of classes (music lessons, science labs, fencing lessons, etc).  We strive to give families the maximum amount of choices and learning opportunities. Some of these local vendors offer a-g (college prep) courses to our students.

Will someone help me understand what courses my student needs to take to graduate?

Yes! You can meet with your guidance counselor. She will help map out the courses needed for graduation.

Can I enroll mid-year or mid-semester?

Yes! We will help to make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your child. When you enroll, your guidance counselor will set up a meeting with you, your certificated teacher (ES), and your child to determine courses and materials needed and set a learning path to success for your child.

Will there be subject area teachers that can assist me?

Yes.  We meet the needs in a variety of ways.  We have expert teachers that offer online support classes and/or full classes.  We also offer the opportunity to take classes from other online and local vendors as well.

Graduation, Awards and Ceremonies

Do you have a graduation ceremony?

Yes! We have a traditional cap and gown graduation ceremony with school embossed diploma covers each Spring for our graduates.

Do you offer graduation honors?

We offer the following graduation honors:

  • Honor Roll
  • National Honor Society
  • Golden State Merit Award
  • Biliteracy Seal
  • Eligibility in the Local Context
  • A-g completion
  • Math scholar

The honors graduates wear a colored cord at the ceremony for each honor they earn.

Can my child graduate early?

Yes, your credentialed teacher (ES) and guidance coordinator will help you to plan the best course of study to graduate early.


How many a-g (college prep) courses do you offer?

We have over 100 locally written a-g (college prep) courses, tailored for flexibility and choice to enhance the independent study experience. We also offer over 150 a-g (college prep) courses through our online vendors. Every year, we add more courses. Check out our present list: IEM schools a-g course list

For our locally written college prep (a-g) courses, we offer a low cost weekly small group class to supplement their learning. This online class does not give homework, but simply supports the learning that is occurring in the syllabus through discussion and lecture in a question/answer setting. For students wanting a full course, we do also offer online ESi instruction with a subject expert.  IEM a-g course catalog.

What honors courses do you offer for your high school students?

We offer honors courses in many subject areas; some online and some are our own honors courses that can completed at home. These include: English, US history, World History, pre-calculus, biology, chemistry, and physics

Do you offer AP courses?

Yes, we offer 17 online AP courses.They include:

  • AP Computer Science,
  • AP Microeconomics,
  • AP Macroeconomics,
  • AP Psychology,
  • AP Spanish,
  • AP French,
  • AP Biology,
  • AP Chemistry,
  • AP Statistics,
  • AP Calculus AB,
  • AP Calculus BC,
  • AP Language and Composition,
  • AP Literature and Composition,
  • AP Human Geography,
  • AP US History,
  • AP Government and Politics,
  • AP European History.

Do you offer customized courses and non a-g (non college prep) options?

Yes, we are a parent choice school that offers many options in high school coursework. You as a parent can choose a vendor or curriculum that works best for your child’s learning style. With the help of your credentialed teacher (ES), you can tailor a course to your child’s needs and learning style.

What vocational and career technical education do you offer?

We offer a variety of vocational or career technical education (CTE) opportunities.

  • We have career exploration courses that can be tailored to a student’s possible career path. We offer credit for work experience including volunteer time.
  • Additionally, we also offer online career exploration courses through several of our vendors. Check out one of the more popular vendors, eDynamic Learning.
  • For students in grades 10,11, and 12, we have partnered with Brighton College (an online college) to offer a variety of career pathways, many with an option to test for a certificate that can be used for employment when the student graduates. Since these courses are paid with school funds, the family does not need to pay instructional funding to pay for the cost of the courses. For more information, check out Brighton College info
  • Finally, many local community colleges now offer CTE options to high school students. Your guidance coordinator can help you choose the pathway that is just right for you.

Can my child take courses at community college while enrolled in your school?

Yes, we help high school students to take up to 2 courses each semester at their local community college with your credentialed teacher (ES) and guidance counselor approval. In many cases, your “instructional funding” can be used to purchase books and materials. While we can’t pay for college tuition, many community colleges are now offering free tuition for high school students. Additionally, those who qualify financially can apply for the California Promise Program (formerly known as the BOG waiver) for tuition waivers.

Can my student earn high school credits in middle school?

Yes, following CA education code, your Guidance Counselor and credentialed teacher (ES) will assist you in choosing appropriate high school courses for your middle school child.

How are PE requirements covered?

We require 2 years of PE coursework for graduation. This can be done at home or through a local class. Your credential teacher (ES) can help you design the course that’s best for your child.

Do you have a set curriculum?

No, although we can recommend curriculum for your child based on interests, abilities, and learning styles.

Will someone help me choose the curriculum if I don’t know what to choose?

Yes! Your ES is available to help with this! We also have curriculum experts who are available to help, including through pages on our websites and parent webinars on our parent YouTube channel.

What is the min/max credits my child can take?

The minimum credits/semester is 25 (typically 5 classes) and the maximum credits/semester is 40 ( typically 8 classes)

Socialization and Extra Curricular Opportunities

What types of socialization opportunities do you offer?

  • We have many local vendors where our students can take both core academic classes as well as electives classes with other students
  • field trips available throughout the semester
  • We offer free weekly teacher-led social clubs:
    • Book club
    • history/geography club
    • Math club
    • Esports club
  • High school orientations and social events during family days (one each semester)

Can my child play in sports at our local high school?

This can be challenging. You would need approval from the local high school and our school would need to be able to comply with any insurance requirements the local school may have. It typically does not work out.

Are you NCAA approved?

No.  We are NOT NCAA approved. If your child is planning on receiving a scholarship to play at a Division 1 or 2 university, we recommend attending to a local brick and mortar high school with a sports program.

Do you have a senior trip?

We do not presently have a senior trip.


Contact Us

4535 Missouri Flat Road, Suite 1A
Placerville, CA 95667

Counties Served

San Benito
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
San Mateo



WASC Accredited
Independent Study
Individualized Learning Plans
Parent Choice