SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – With no signs of the omicron variant slowing down anytime soon, some parents are opting to have their child enrolled in independent studies, with the Sacramento City Unified School District seeing a major uptick in families choosing that option.

Every morning, Shaemus McCoy and his dad Justin McCoy have their own routine. School takes place at home for the McCoys through the independent study program at Capital City School, run by SCUSD.

It’s an option Justin McCoy opted for out of safety concerns.

“School starts at 8 o’clock for us, and we get up in the morning, have breakfast, and he’s normally in here in the studio with me,” Justin McCoy explained. “We’ve been planning to return at the top of February, but now that the district is literally begging for parent volunteers to supervise classes, and there’s staff shortages, and omicron is running rampant through the campuses, it looks like we’re going to stay longer.”

 For Justin McCoy and his family, he believes keeping his son enrolled in independent study through Capital City School here is the only option at this time.

“Both because of the risk and because the quality of education simply cannot be guaranteed by the district at this point,” he told FOX40.

Right now, the district has a short-term independent study program for students who are sent home for covid related quarantine or sickness. It’s an option superintendent Jorge Aguilar is seeing more families favoring.

“What we have seen is an increase in independent study students to about 1,200 students that have enrolled since we started the academic year,” Aguilar said.

For comparison, Aguilar said that the program typically only sees about 300 students, with the rise due to families feeling less comfortable about learning in person.

“We don’t have the ability to provide distanced learning, we can only provide in-person instruction or independent study,” Aguilar explained.

As the district continues to try to work out the challenges with more students and staff testing positive, Justin McCoy said he and his family are grateful for the independent study program.

“Between my support and his teacher, Ms. Dennis, I feel that he is getting quality education right now,” he said.

The Twin Rivers, San Juan and Elk Grove unified school districts are also both participating in this short-term independent study program to allow students to complete their assignments while in quarantine.