Lexington County School District One encourages research to improve
day-to-day educational practices or to contribute to the body of
research for the field of education.
As the article titled “Action Research in Education: Addressing Gaps
in Ethical Principles and Practices” by Amanda L. Nolen and Jim
Vander Putten, which appeared in Educational Researcher,
36(7), pp. 401–407 in 2007, states, “When discussing action
research, one must distinguish between joint projects, conducted by
a school and an academic researcher, and truly indigenous, insider
projects, conducted by a teacher or administrator within a school.”
Therefore, teachers may gather and analyze data at any time if the
data are being used solely for the improvement of their own
professional practice and if the collection of such data would be
part of ordinary instructional procedures for
their own students. Any research that goes beyond
individual use that is exclusively for improvement of professional
practice requires district approval.
In addition, Lexington County School District One
accommodates researchers from outside the district whenever their proposals
meet district criteria. The district requires that educational research
projects conform to ethical standards. Therefore, the district requires
researchers, including its own employees, to obtain written parent and/or
student permission when using student data and/or work samples in class
presentations, academic papers, conference presentations, publications and
All research conducted in the district must meet the
criteria set forth in
Board Policy IGB
Curriculum Research, as follows:
- The research is of value to the district.
- The research does not interfere with the educational
programs of the district.
- The research respects the privacy, informed consent
and due process rights of students and employees.
- The researcher agrees to provide the district with a
copy of the completed research.
These procedures and criteria are in place to protect
students and employees of the district. While the district welcomes research
studies, it is important to note that failure to adhere to district policy
and procedures will result in denial of the proposal.
Lexington County School District One expects college
and university faculty members to work with their students to develop,
review, edit and obtain institutional approval of proposals before they are
submitted to the district for review. Researchers who are submitting
proposals to meet requirements for a degree program at a college or
university must submit documentation that their proposals have been reviewed
by the institutional review board (IRB) of the college or university and
either approved or granted exempt status by the IRB.
The American Educational Research Association is adopting a
revised Code of Ethics in 2011.
The revised Code of Ethics reminds researchers that informed consent has
long been a basic ethical tenet of scientific research on human subjects
and, further, that “waivers of consent require the approval of institutional
review boards or, in the absence of such boards, from another authoritative
body with expertise on the ethics of research before proceeding with such
research.” The granting of exempt status by an institutional review board
does not necessarily relieve the researcher of the ethical responsibility to
obtain informed consent from participants.
Procedures for Submission
If the findings of research projects are to be
published or presented outside of the researcher’s school or district (e.g.,
in papers required for coursework, graduate classes, conference
presentations, dissertations, journal articles), research must be approved
through the district’s approval process.
Lexington County School District One also offers the
option of applying via an expedited review process, which is limited to
employees of the district who are conducting action research projects under
the supervision of colleges or universities with which the district has a
cooperative agreement. The expedited review process is explained in the last
section of this document.
Individuals should submit proposals that do not qualify for the expedited
process directly to the district’s Research Committee according to the
Proposals should be sent via a single email with all required documents
as attachments to
It is important that all applications be complete. Incomplete proposals
may be rejected without review. Each proposal must include:
review board (IRB) approval/exemption and a letter of support from
the advisor or sponsor (if the proposal is associated with a college
or university course or degree program) or authorization for the
study (if it is associated with a government or private agency)
- Rationale for
collection and analysis methodology
- For all
research instruments that are not part of the district’s existing
assessment program, submit either:
- copies of
the instruments; or
documentation with citations from recognized sources.
- Copies of
informed consent forms that comply with Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
(PPRA) guidelines. (See
- Draft copies
of any forms, letters and other documents that will be provided to
participants or their parents/guardians
Review Process for Proposals
Lexington County School District One has a Research
Committee that serves as its screening committee to determine whether
proposals meet district criteria. If a proposal is recommended by the
Research Committee, it can still be denied at the next level of approval,
which is the Senior Leadership Team, or by the principal of any school whose
teachers or students are asked to participate.
The research review and documentation process is
described in board administrative rule IGB-R, as follows:
- All requests to conduct research will be submitted to
the Lexington County School District One Research Committee for review
and determination of recommendations to the Senior Leadership Team for
approval. It is not unusual for a request to be denied.
- Approval by the Senior Leadership
Team does not guarantee that the research will be permitted within a
- If the Senior Leadership Team approves the proposal,
the researcher must then seek approval from the principal(s) of the
where the research is to be conducted.
- Participation of teachers and students is voluntary.
- If students or their records are involved in the
research, the researcher must obtain prior written permission from
parents/legal guardians in a manner approved by the district.
- The Research Committee will meet at the beginning of
each month from August through April to approve proposals. Submissions
that are not received in time for consideration at one meeting will be
held for consideration at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the
- Proposals that are received between August and April
1 generally require three to six weeks for processing.
- Submissions that are received after the regularly
scheduled April meeting will not be reviewed until the following August.
- The Research Committee reviews requests that are
received and makes a recommendation to Senior Leadership level for
- Upon conclusion of the research, the researcher must
forward a copy of the completed study to the district via email to
- The district reserves the right to use research
findings for programmatic revision/decision making, as appropriate. The
researcher will receive appropriate acknowledgment when his/her findings
are used or cited.
Optional Expedited Process: Limited to
Action Research Projects from Employees of Lexington
County School District One Who Apply through
Institutions with Whom the District Has Cooperative
Agreements. Note: This process does not apply to dissertation research. All dissertation/doctoral thesis research must be submitted via the normal review process.
This process may be used only
by proposers who meet all of the following criteria:
- The proposer is currently
employed by Lexington County School District
- The proposal is limited to
a request to conduct action research directly
related to the proposer’s employment setting.
- The proposer is under the
supervision of a college or university program
with which the district has a cooperative
- This action research project is a course
requirement for a semester-long course. (Dissertation preparation hours are not considered
a course for this process.)
To qualify for the expedited
process, action research proposals must be
submitted by the professor of record for the
class or cohort group. Prior to submission, the
professor of record is responsible for
determining that the proposals meet the
standards of the college or university with
which the district has a cooperative agreement.
The professor of record must complete an
application form certifying that each action
research project is limited to students in the
proposer’s work setting and that each proposal
is adequate to meet the academic standards of
the college or university. The submission form
can be found
The district requires each
proposer to obtain appropriate informed consent
from students and/or their parents or guardians,
by using the informed consent
form found at this link
or by using an alternate form that has been approved by the Research Committee.
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
District board policy IGB,
Administrative Rule IGB-R regarding research says,
“If students or their records are involved in the
research, the researcher must obtain prior written
permission from parents/legal guardians in a manner
approved by the district.”
Strict confidentiality of all
student information must be maintained even when
publication is limited to presentations in the class
for which the research was required. Teachers should
be aware that presenting results for individual
students or for very small groups of students who
have identifiable common characteristics could risk
breaching the confidentiality of student
information, even if the student’s name is not
We have no adequate way of
determining whether all teachers who are enrolled in
any graduate program have secured appropriate
parental permissions. The district must rely on the
integrity of our staff and their knowledge of
professional ethics for protecting confidentiality
and seeking appropriate permissions.
The researcher and the
professor of record must obtain Research Committee
approval for any data collection instrument (e.g.,
survey form, interview protocol, rating scale,
behavior checklist, published test) that is not
routinely used in the district. Either (1) a copy of
the instrument, which cannot be edited further after
final approval, or (2) a thorough description of the
instrument and its technical characteristics with
appropriate citations from the professional
literature (e.g., Buros Institute of Mental
Measurements) can be used to meet this requirement.
Classroom tests or assigned work that would
ordinarily be required as part of instruction do not
require Research Committee approval.
The Research Committee will
review data collection instruments submitted via the
expedited process at its regularly scheduled
meetings. As with all other submissions, documents
submitted after a deadline will be considered at the
next regularly scheduled meeting of the Research
If conditions 1, 2 and 3
have been met, approval by the Senior Leadership
Team is granted automatically; however, the school
principal retains the right to deny permission for
any research project.
Upon conclusion of the
research, the professor of record will forward
electronic copies of all of the studies under
supervision to the district via the following email
The district reserves
the right to use research findings for programmatic
revision/decision making, as appropriate. The
researcher will receive appropriate acknowledgment
when his/her findings are used or cited.