It shall be the policy of The Linn-Mar Community School District to encourage and participate in evidence based or empirical research and experimentation opportunities or projects for the development and improvement of day-to-day educational practices or to contribute to the body of research for the field of education
Research Project Requests:
Requests for research projects from agencies or individuals outside the district or from staff members within the district shall be submitted to the superintendent [or designee]. Permission or denial to conduct such studies will be granted by the superintendent [or designee]. In exercising this discretion, the board encourages the superintendent [or designee] to inquire into and examine the motivations of the researcher performing the study to ensure that the study furthers legitimate educational research. The superintendent [or designee] is therefore authorized to review prior research by the potential researcher and conduct any review of the credentials of said researcher deemed necessary to assist in this determination. An application in writing for research approval is to be made at least 60 days prior to the requested date for initiating the study. Approval granted by the superintendent [or designee] is conditional pending the advice and input of the building principal responsible for the students and/or records proposed to be part of the research. The superintendent [or designee] retains the right to rescind the conditional approval at any time.
The following criteria shall be used in considering each request:
- The privacy and dignity of all individuals (i.e., students, teachers, principal, or parents) must be assured in any study. The research respects the privacy, informed consent, and due process rights of students and employees. Procedures for maintaining confidentiality of students and staff are required. The district requires each researcher to obtain appropriate informed consent from students and/or their parents or guardians. Informing researchers of the ethical and legal requirements for obtaining informed consent of participants in action research is the responsibility of the cooperating college or university.
- Each project must comply with federal and state laws. The study must not be detrimental, either physically or psychologically, to any of the participants. The proposal must contain full disclosure of the treatment to which the participants will be subjected. Approval of parents/guardians of students under the age of 18 or of students 18 or older is necessary when required by federal or state law.
- In any research project that originates outside the district, the participation of licensed, classified, administrative employees and students shall be voluntary. In studies initiated at the district, full staff participation may be necessary and cooperation of all district personnel may be required. Teachers shall be encouraged to participate in research and experimentation in the interests of the development and improvement of education. No district professional employee, including district administrators, shall conduct educational research studies involving district students or conduct a survey involving district students outside the scope of their employment without the prior consent of the superintendent [or designee]. If a teacher plans to engage in a research project for use in classroom instruction, details shall be made known to and approved by the building principal. If such a study results in materials which would be useful to other teachers, it is recommended that it be made available for distribution throughout the district.
- Research must have direct application to the educational program or decision-making process of the district. The researcher agrees to provide the district with a copy of the completed research. The district reserves the right to use research findings for programmatic revision/decision-making as appropriate. The researcher will receive appropriate acknowledgment when their findings are used or cited.
- The research does not interfere with the educational program of the district. A balance will be maintained to assure that individuals (students or teachers) participate in a limited number of studies in any given year. Research must minimize disruption to district, school, and classroom operations.
- All communication with parents/guardians and/or students must have the prior review and approval by the building principal before such communication is initiated.
- All parties conducting research in the district are to assume responsibility for making themselves available to answer questions from district personnel regarding the research proposed and data to be collected.
Student Surveys Conducted by the District:
General Procedures: From time to time the district may administer surveys to students in the course of developing and evaluating programs and services offered in the schools. The school building will comply with applicable laws and regulations concerning the administration of surveys and the use of personal information about students for marketing purposes as outlined in this policy. If prior notice and written parent/guardian consent or the written consent of emancipated students or students over 18 years of age is absent, then students will not be required to submit to the survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parents/guardians
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family
- Sexual behaviors or attitudes
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behaviors
- Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships
- Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student's parents/guardians
- Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program)
Notice to Parents Regarding Surveys: A copy of this policy, or a summary of this policy, will be included in the student handbook for each building.
Procedure for Inspection of Surveys and Related Materials: Parents/guardians have the right to review any survey, teacher's manual, film, tape, or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey created by a third party before it is distributed or administered to students.
Parents/guardians may request to inspect surveys or related instructional materials by submitting a request in writing to the superintendent [or designee] within 10 days of receiving notice that a survey is to be administered. The superintendent [or designee] shall make arrangements for the parent/guardian to inspect the survey and/or materials within a reasonable time prior to the scheduled date of the survey.
The district does not collect, use, or disseminate personal information about students for marketing or commercial purposes.
The superintendent [or designee] shall be responsible for ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to ensure that student privacy is protected when surveys are administered or personal information about students is collected, disclosed, or used for marketing purposes. The district will use the procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of student education records under applicable laws.
Students over 18 and/or Emancipated Students: In the case of emancipated students or students over the age of 18, the parent’s/guardian’s rights described in this policy transfer to the student.
Reviewed: 3/13; 4/14; 6/15; 7/19