ISOLDE the Movie.mp4

...the road less traveled.

This video gives you a brief overview of ISOLDE along with some advice from students who have taken coursework through our programs.

What is ISOLDE?

ISOLDE is Barlow's program for Independent Study, Online Learning, and Dual Enrollment. This page will guide you through our application process and expectations in order to help connect you with learning opportunities that fit needs and interests that reach beyond our current course offerings.

First, consider these three options to help you select the right path:

Independent Study

Independent Study is for students who design their own course of learning on a subject that is offered at Barlow. Most students in independent study work with an in-house advisor on our faculty.

Online Learning

Online Learning is for students taking classes not offered at Barlow taken through a college, university, or other accredited virtual academy offering taught and graded coursework through a website.

Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment courses are college classes that count for credit at both Barlow and towards a college degree. Our partnerships with Housatonic Community College, Norwalk Community College, Sacred Heart University, and Southern Connecticut State University provide both in-person and online early college opportunities to Barlow students. 

General requirements for ISOLDE

Requirements for Independent Study

Since you plan to study something that is outside of the curriculum available at Barlow, online, or at our local colleges, you will have to create your own syllabus, compose weekly journals, and decide what your final product will be. You should consult with your prospective faculty advisor when drafting your syllabus. Mr. Smith along with your counselor can help you find an advisor if you don't have one in mind.

This syllabus includes the following elements:

Here is a link to a model independent study syllabus

Weekly Journals:

In addition to the assessments, students in Independent study are required to write dated weekly journals completed BY SUNDAY night in a google doc shared with both their advisor and Mr. Smith, with the most recent entry at the TOP of the doc. Journals should demonstrate evidence of ...

Here are some things to DO:

Here are some things to AVOID:

Use these exemplars to as models to inspire you:

Requirements for Online Learning

Not all online programs are the same, so they must be screened before we can approve you getting credit for taking them. The market is constantly changing, so before signing up, it is important to communicate with your school counselor and the Director of Independent Learning to ensure your program matches your needs and interests. 

Therefore, please consult with Director of Independent Learning if you want..

Generally speaking, we will only approve online courses when:

Students choosing online learning are responsible for:

Requirements for Dual Enrollment

Barlow juniors or seniors with a 3.0 or better GPA can choose to broaden their opportunities beyond Barlow's curriculum with various early college programs offering both in-person and online coursework. Enrolled students can earn dual credit for their course work. First, students will earn one elective credit per course towards their high school graduation. Secondly, students will also earn three transferable college credits per course that may speed up and lower the cost of completing a post-secondary degree.

Early College Program courses can only be used toward elective credits and may not replicate/duplicate any classes (required or elective) offered at Barlow. Students can speak to their school counselor to see if this program is right for them, and they must also submit an application to the Director of Independent Studies and Online Learning.

High School Partnership

Joel Barlow High School has created agreements with Southern Connecticut State University, Sacred Heart University, Housatonic Community College., and Norwalk Community College encourage eligible high school juniors and seniors to enroll in college-level full-credit courses with no cost for tuition under the High School Partnership Program.

To be eligible for community college courses through our high school partnership program, students and parents must submit the following to the partner community college:

Interested students should contact their school counselor and the Director of Independent Studies and Online Learning.

Housatonic Community College:

Earl Graham, Director of Admissions (for Easton & Redding students)

Norwalk Community College:

William Chagnon, Director of Admissions (for Redding students)

Click here to search for dual enrollment courses that fit your interests and your schedule. (The site is flaky, keep clicking "ok" and it will eventually give you what you want.) Note that some courses are offered partially or fully online.

Taste of College:
The Taste of College Program is a special admissions category to encourage currently enrolled high school juniors and seniors who show exceptional academic accomplishments to participate in college level-courses. Students will receive three college credits after successful completion of the course. High school seniors must be recommended by their high school counselor. Course offerings vary each semester. A special reduced tuition per course is in effect for this program, with a maximum of two courses permitted during the summer. Students admitted under the Taste of College Program are responsible for the cost of their tuition, course texts, and transportation.

Interested students should contact their school counselor and the Director of Independent Studies and Online Learning

Southern Connecticut State University:
Starting in 2021, our new partnership allows qualified Barlow students to get free tuition for some courses offered through the Early College Program at SCSU during the summer, fall, and spring. Check out their website and email them here if you have questions about their offerings. 

Sacred Heart University:
Sacred Heart in Fairfield offers a Taste of College program. Contact Kevin Blake, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, at 203-257-1670 or to learn more about the Taste of College Admissions process. In addition, students may be able to earn elective high school credits through the many summer programs and classes offered by accredited colleges and universities. The Director of Independent Studies and Online Learning can review the coursework and answer any questions you have about obtaining credit.

Students choosing dual enrollment are responsible for:

Please see your counselor or email or visit Mr. Smith in A107 if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Randall Smith

Director of Independent Learning, Social Studies Teacher, Debate Coach