SHNS Academic Programs

  • The mission of Susan H. Nelson School is for our diverse learners to graduate as critical thinkers who are technologically confident and life-long, collaborative, and positive contributors to a global society. We accomplish this through a collaborative partnership among all stakeholders in a multimodal environment in which individualized student learning goals are made relevant and meaningful through a blended learning model.


    As explained by the California Department of Education:

    Independent study is a different way of learning. In independent study, a student is guided by a teacher but usually does not take classes with other students every day. The student works independently. … Students and parents choose this type of study on their own. Independent study programs are designed to help students who have health problems, are parents, are gifted, are working, or who find that regular classroom settings do not meet their needs. 



    The Nelson High School Independent Study program provides and educational alternative for secondary students who have the ability, study skills, motivation, and self-discipline to learn independently under the supervision and support of a credentialed secondary education teacher who assigns and evaluates all coursework. 

     Independent Study students may desire an accelerated learning program, a flexible schedule to pursue a career goal, or may simply learn better in an independent program with one-to-one interactions with a single teacher. 

     The traditional Independent Study setting works well for students with little access to technology/ regular internet service in the home setting. This program is also beneficial to students who work best when they are able to interact with materials in a tactile. 



    Students at Temecula Advantage Virtual School (TAVS) attend a program considered “hybrid” in nature, meaning students work within one or more of our three adopted systems (APEX, Haiku, and Odysseyware) to complete required coursework, but must attend school for support and test-taking purposes, as well as for specified course meetings.

     Graduation requirements at TAVS are the same as those at the comprehensive high school. These requirements include: 220 credits, and documented forty hours of community service. Our courses are offered on a quarterly basis. Students take three courses every quarter, totaling six courses each semester. Just as with our traditional secondary settings throughout TVUSD, courses are reported as semester courses on student transcripts because the coursework is comparable to that of the other districtwide semester courses. 

     Enrollment at TAVS is considered on an individual basis, this program is considered an Independent Study option within the Temecula Valley Unified School District and it is a “program of choice”.

     Please visit our website for more information:



    Students who have been enrolled in RVHS may be enrolled in Excelsior Academy. The Excelsior Academy program utilizes the APEX system and is considered another independent study option within the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Graduation requirements at the Excelsior Academy are the same as those at Susan H. Nelson School (SHNS), and students are considered for enrollment in the following order: fifth-year seniors, current seniors, and current juniors.  

     Enrollment at the Excelsior Academy is very limited and students are not admitted for enrollment directly from the comprehensive high school setting; they must instead, go through Rancho Vista High School (RVHS).  Upon becoming current with their credits and graduation requirements, students are able to transfer back (through RVHS) to their home high school upon administrative approval, though enrollment is not guaranteed.