A new independent-study charter school in California's San Diego County is using personalized instruction to offer a fresh academic start for its students, many of whom are working to support families or have dropped out of more traditional schools. Much of the instruction at the charter school is one-on-one or in classes of up to 10 students. Without the extracurricular frills offered at conventional schools, a business-like atmosphere sets the stage for students to take their education more seriously, the school's principal said.

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