The potential contribution of appropriate educational research to teaching and school administration is recognized by the School Board, and it will cooperate to the extent feasible with colleges, universities, and other recognized agencies to promote research that will:


1.   Increase professional knowledge of teaching and learning processes and the social setting in which the operate.


2.   Sharpen perception of instructional and administrative problems.


3.   Establish instructional and management objectives.


4.   Assess progress toward accomplishment of school system objectives.


The appropriateness of all requests involving research projects to be conducted in the public schools will be judged by the School Board after they have been reviewed by the Superintendent and as appropriate, school administrators, department heads, and/or program directors.


To achieve the maximum mutual benefit to the research worker, to the school, and to the pupils, professional standards must be observed in all phases of the work.  This is a mutual responsibility of the Superintendent and school to the self-esteem of the pupil or to the reputation of the school system. The possibility of harm from over-generalization or misinterpretation of test results or observations must be kept in mind.  This possibility can be best guarded against by adequate research design.


The decision to involve students, teachers, or other employees in any research project will be based on the following:


1.   The objectives of the research should be clearly stated and the design should produce valid and reliable results which will then be made available to the public schools.


2.   The research should be expected to contribute to the improvement of education or the general welfare of children.


3.   The privacy of those involved in any research project must be protected.  The confidentiality of records will be maintained at all times.  Further, data derived from school records, interviews, or questionnaires which have a potential for invasion of privacy of students or their families or staff members may not be used unless advance written authorization has been given by the staff member or student (or his/her parent or guardian as appropriate) even though the information will be collected and reported under conditions of anonymity.


4.   Research proposals should be of sufficient scope and depth to justify the time and effort of students and staff members.  Using the time of teachers and students in any research activity is an investment by the school system which should increase the effectiveness of the educational effort.


5.   In general, instructional activities must not be interrupted unless there is a clear significance for the educational program of our schools.


6.   Projects involving student researchers must have prior written approval by a faculty member of the institution in which the student is enrolled.  The faculty member must have direct responsibility for the student's research.


Adoption Date:           April 8, 1993