Policy LCA: Policy on Educational Research

The superintendent, subject to the approval of the School Committee, is authorized to cooperate with colleges, universities, and other recognized research agencies and researchers in promoting potentially useful research. Because of the potentially large number of requests for studies in our schools, it is necessary to limit the number and establish guidelines for the approval of studies.

Decisions in connection with outside research involving students, teachers, or other employees will be influenced by the following factors:

  1. The objectives of the research should be clearly stated and should be designed to produce valid and reliable results that will then be made available to the Amherst-Pelham schools.
  2. The research should be expected to contribute to the general improvement of the education or welfare of students attending the Amherst-Pelham Schools.
  3. Data from school records, interviews, or questionnaires which may have potential for invasion of the privacy of students or their families must be authorized in advance, in writing by a parent or guardian, even though the data are to 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 Amherst-Pelham students and staff members.
  5. In general, instructional activities will not be interrupted unless there is a clear significance for the educational program of the Amherst-Pelham schools.
  6. Projects involving student researchers must have the prior written approval of a faculty member of the institution in which the student is enrolled. This faculty member must have direct responsibility for supervising the student’s research.
  7. The Human Subjects Review Committee of the university, college, or research agency in which the researcher is employed should also approve the project. If the researcher is not associated with a college, university, or research agency, the superintendent will make a determination on the suitability of the proposed research design.
  8. All research projects shall be conducted under the auspices of the superintendent or his/her designee. The school system reserves the right to discontinue a project if it becomes disruptive to the school process or is not carried out in accordance with agreed upon conditions.
  9. The school district will make a determination about the level of parent consent needed in each project.

Please refer to School District Guideline 33, as it pertains to notification of the right of parents and students over 18 years of age to opt out of participation in certain surveys.

Region Voted to Approve: 4/23/01
Amherst Voted to Approve: 6/19/01
Pelham Voted to Approve:
Effective Date: 4/23/01
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