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Request to Conduct Research

Guidelines for Submitting Requests to Conduct Research

Requests to conduct research in the Bibb County School District must be reviewed and approved by the district. Procedures for submitting a research request are provided below.

Note: All Bibb County School District’ teachers and staff who would like to conduct research as part of their studies (college/university courses, Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral programs) which will necessitate gathering or collecting data, must submit a Research Request Form.

Complete and submit the Research Request Form (RRF):

  • All sections must be completed
  • All required signatures (written or electronic) must be included
  • Submit the Research Request Form electronically (instructions appear on form)

The Research Request Form (RRF) includes the following sections:

  • Applicant contact information: name, address, phone and email
  • For students/university faculty: university affiliation and if applicable, degree sought, advisor name and contact information, and advisor’s signature
  • Title of project, purpose of research and primary research questions or hypotheses
  • Study target group(s) and the expected number of participants
  • Research activities and the amount of time involved for the study participants
  • Data to be collected and/or the data needs requested from the district
  • Benefit of research to district/school/participants
  • Acknowledgement of privacy rights
  • Study start and completion date

Instrument(s) or survey(s):

Submit copies of any instruments or surveys to be used in the study, unless the instruments are published or commercially available and copyrighted. In this case, provide the name of the instrument, edition, and publisher. If the instrument is under development or the study involves field testing a new instrument, then draft forms of the proposed instrument or survey must be submitted with the RRF. All instruments should be emailed to the REAA Secretary to the Director.

If the research involves students, a copy of the parent notification/consent form (or letter) must be submitted with the RRF. The individual conducting the research is responsible for generating the parent notification/consent form. The form must state the purpose of the research, the information to be collected, explicitly state that participation is voluntary, and provide two signature lines – one for giving permission, one for refusing. Translated versions should be made available to non‐English speaking parents and are the responsibility of the researcher to secure.

Considerations when requesting data from the school or district:

The state and district websites provide access to a large array of district, school, staff and student data. To reduce the burden on schools, data that are published and available on state and district websites should be obtained directly from those sources and not requested of the school and/or district.

Non‐published data or individual student data/records requested as part of the research must be clearly specified. For example, rather than stating “test scores,” a specific request for “2018 and 2019 GA Milestones ELA Achievement Level Scores for current 9th grade students, sorted by school” will assist us in determining if the request is feasible. If the research requires that the district compile or generate data specific to the study, the applicant must submit a detailed description of the data sets requested, specifying variables and the data elements needed.

If the data or data files requested are not routinely produced or published by the school/district, the requestor may be asked to pay for costs associated with the additional work necessary to analyze, compile and produce the data.

The researcher’s request for special analysis or file creation may be denied if the timeline or staff resource requirements interfere with the department’s schedule of work.

Approval process and timeline:

Contact Appropriate Building Administrator. 
Before submitting a RRF, individuals interested in conducting research in a specific school or department must reach out to the principal or director to provide written notification of the proposed project. The written notification will consist of a one-page concept paper (one or two paragraphs) to provide the principal or director with the opportunity to determine if the research or study is appropriate for the school or department. If interested, the principal or director will suggest that the researcher submit a full proposal by submitting a Research Request Form, as described below. The interest of a principal or director does not mean the project has been approved by the District through the REAA Department.

The Research Request Committee meets monthly to review submitted applications.

Please allow FOUR weeks for the review process, and longer if the application is submitted prior to holiday breaks or at the beginning/closing of the school year.

Additional information or clarification may be requested prior to district approval. In some cases, the request may be denied if the level of district/school support needed compromises the department’s ability to complete priority tasks or if the intrusiveness of the research outweighs the potential benefit to the district.

The requestor will be notified of the district’s decision to approve or deny the request and the completed and signed RRF will be returned to the applicant.

Consideration following district approval:

Please note that approval by the district signifies that the requestor has been cleared to contact schools to invite school administrators/teachers/students/parents to participate in the research study. The researcher must make it clear to the individuals selected for the study that their participation is voluntary.

If the approved research involves school visits:

Security clearance from the district must be obtained by non‐district employees in order to visit the schools by completing the Volunteer/Chaperone Application.

Researchers will be responsible for any costs associated with clearance such as fingerprinting and background checks. Additionally, approval of the school principal must be obtained prior to seeking the cooperation of staff and/or students.

If the research involves students:

Parent permission must be obtained by the researcher prior to commencing the study if activities include photographing or filming students. The researcher must check with the school administration to ensure the parent of each selected student has a media “opt‐in” form on file.

Please note that the approval to conduct research is valid only for the period of time specified in the application. If it is necessary to extend the research period, such requests must be submitted in writing.

For additional information regarding conducting research within Bibb County School District, please contact the Department of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Accountability at (478) 765-8600.