Teachers and students may at times wish to take advantage of the flexibility and academic freedom offered by an independent study course. Though self-directed, an independent study course must have a clearly defined curriculum and include a description of the student's final product (e.g. research essay, analytical essay, web page, musical composition, computer program, etc.). The following guidelines apply to truly independent courses, i.e. courses not already offered as part of the MBS curriculum and where course content, schedule of meetings and nature of assessments are determined by the student and teacher.
Once a student and teacher have agreed on an area of study, the student should obtain an Independent Study Proposal form, kept in the Upper School office, and begin obtaining necessary signatures.
The following approval process will be made: the Department Chair will approve the faculty member, the Head of Upper School will clear the student and the Dean of Faculty will approve the curriculum.
Students are responsible for providing all requested information. Proposals not submitted according to printed guidelines will not be approved. When the proposal form is completed the student will bring it to the Registrar, who will officially include it in the schedule.
Students and teachers will structure the course as suits their needs. Independent Studies do not need to meet during a regularly scheduled period. One key feature of the program is to provide flexibility in meeting times; it is assumed that students and their sponsoring teachers will meet on a regular basis, but they are not tied to the School's daily schedule.
Independent study courses are graded like all other semester courses. Barring special circumstances, they run for one semester and are taken for regular credit. Similarly, barring special circumstances, they consist of one student and one teacher per course. Exceptions need to be approved by the Head of Upper School or Dean of Faculty. Teachers are strongly encouraged to limit their independent studies commitments to one course per semester, as are students.