Research Guidelines

Research Guidelines

Educational research, when carefully planned and conducted, provides a promising approach to the solution of many contemporary educational problems and issues. The School District of Lee County encourages the conduct of meaningful research which is aimed at the advancement of education or fields of study closely associated with the administration of educational programs. This also acknowledges that the training of educational researchers should include practical experience in the conduct of well?planned, meaningful research in school settings. These guidelines have been developed to govern research requests which mainly concern thesis, dissertations, and course require­ment research.

Research activities conducted in Lee County schools must be designed to promote, enhance, or contribute to the educational experiences of students and staff. The District views the research review process as a service provided to prospective researchers and reserves the right to reject research proposals which would result in exploitation of students or staff, unnecessary interruption of school and instructional activities, breach of confidentiality of sensitive information, or otherwise do not conform to the criteria described in these guidelines.

Timeline: The District Research Committee meets several times throughout the year, with additional meetings scheduled for follow up reviews. While it is the intent of the District to complete the review process in a timely manner, occasionally it may take several months for a study to be reviewed by the District Committee, modified by the candidate, resubmitted, reviewed again, and approved.

The researcher agrees to cover any expenses incurred by the district as a result of the implemented research activities (e.g. photocopies, staff time, etc.). Furthermore, parent permission is usually required for student participation in research activities.

The District's Research Review Committee will meet on the following dates for the 2019-2020 school year.

  • September 18th, 2019
  • November 26th, 2019
  • January 29th, 2020
  • March 18th, 2020 Rescheduled to March 16th, 2020 Rescheduled to April 22nd, 2020 due to COVID-19 planning and closures.
  • May 20th, 2020 Rescheduled to May 26th, 2020
  • Summer, TBD

Please submit research request forms at least 5 business days prior to these dates for review. Forms received less than 5 business days before a committee meeting may not be reviewed until the next meeting.

Procedures

  1. The applicant(s) will present to the Department of Research and Assessment a Research Request Form along with other written documentation describing the scope and significance of the study, its proposed design, and the planned use and distribution of information and findings.
  2. Proposals generally fall into the following categories:
  3. The School District of Lee County will require a copy of the research report resulting from any study approved by the district. A copy will be maintained in the Department of Research and Assessment and may be made available to district employees.

Criteria

The following criteria will be employed in the review of requests for research or information gathering studies:

NOTE: Items marked with * are REQUIRED.

  1. General Significance of the Study:

    Study focuses on educational problems of high priority for The School District of Lee County; or, more generally, the public schools of Florida.

  2. Design Adequacy:

    Study clearly explains purpose, procedures, and expectations and conforms to acceptable research practices.

    *Study provides for anonymity of participants or provides for appropriate confiden­tiality of information.

    *Study provides for appropriate informed consent and other relevant disclosures.

  3. Curriculum and Assessment

    *Study avoids modification to the District curriculum.

    *Study minimizes additional assessments that impact students and instructional time.

  4. Logistics:

    *Study avoids use of student instructional time.

    Study minimizes disruption of other school activities.

    *Study specifies that participation of school personnel and/or students is voluntary, and that participants may elect to withdraw from participation at any time.

    *Study minimizes the amount of information which must be directly provided by school personnel.

  5. Instrumentation:

    *Study utilizes surveys and other types of data collection instruments that are appropriate for an educational environment.

    The Research Committee will closely review instrumentation, with additional scrutiny given to instrumentation that has not been previously validated. Researchers should present instrumentation that is consistent with current human subjects research practices, and which poses the least possible risk and least possible burden to participants.

  6. Feedback to School District Personnel:

    Study collects data that is of direct value to the ongoing school programs.

    *Study provides for the communication of results to district personnel.