Research Involving Employees 4-69.1

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 4-69.1

PERSONNEL

Research Involving Employees

Requests to conduct research in the School Division including the distribution of surveys, must be processed through the Research Review Committee. Action research studies and other data-collection activities conducted by School Division employees for internal purposes only do not require review by the Research Review Committee but must meet the criteria as outlined in section C of this Regulation. Survey research and other primary data collection activities conducted by students for internal purposes as part of a research project for their VBCPS coursework (e.g., Advanced Placement Capstone course) do not require review by the Research Review Committee but must meet the criteria as outlined in Section D of this Inregulation. In addition, data collection activities that are mandated by the state or federal government and pilot tests of educational assessments at the national and state levels do not require review by the Research Review Committee provided that these activities comply with the administrative criteria as set forth in subsection B(1) of School Board Policy 4-69.

  1. Research Review Committee

    The Superintendent designates the Chief of Staff to establish and oversee a Committee of knowledgeable persons to act as the School Division’s Research Review Committee. The Committee will review and make a recommendation on all requests to conduct research and distribute surveys involving employees within the School Division. The Chief of Staff will make the final decision on all such requests after considering the Committee's recommendation.

  2. Application Review Process
    1. All requests to conduct research or distribute surveys involving employees, except those described in section C of this Regulation, data-collection activities mandated by the state or federal government, and national- or state-level pilot tests of education assessments, must be submitted to the Office of Planning, Innovation, and Accountability on the Application to Conduct Research or Distribute Surveys form for review during the designated application period. Each request will be reviewed by the Research Review Committee against the following criteria:
      1. The research/survey distribution complies with the administrative criteria as set forth in School Board Policy 4-69.
      2. The research does not investigate the personal lives of employees except as applicable under federal and state law, School Board Policies and Regulations, and as approved by the Chief of Staff.
      3. Participation in the research and/or data collection activities is voluntary.
      4. Requests for preexisting data do not require extensive data programming.
      5. The research/survey distribution is proposed and conducted in such a way as to preserve the anonymity of all participants when reporting the results. The identity or identifiable characteristics of employees, schools, or the School Division will not be revealed unless so authorized in writing when the research/survey is approved.
      6. The applicant states in the proposal the expected date of completion for the study/survey distribution and states that a final copy of the study/results will be forwarded to the Office of Planning, Innovation, and Accountability upon completion.
    2. Each applicant will receive a written response approving or disapproving the request following a decision by the Chief of Staff.
  3. Action Research and Other Data-Collection Activities for Internal Purposes
    1. Action research studies and data-collection activities that are routinely conducted by School Division staff members in carrying out their responsibilities to maintain and improve instructional programs and administrative practices and are strictly for school/School Division-related purposes do not require formal review by the Research Review Committee provided that:
      1. The action research and data-collection activities follow the guidelines developed by the Office of Planning, Innovation, and Accountability.
      2. Activities involving a single school site or department are approved by the administrator in charge of the department or school.
      3. Activities involving multiple school sites or activities conducted on behalf of a central office department are approved by the appropriate supervising department head.
      4. The research or data-collection activities conform to existing federal, state, and local School Board Policies/Regulations. If doubt exists as to whether the activities conform to the appropriate policies and regulations, the administrator overseeing the activity may request a review by the Chief of Staff.
    2. The results of research or data-collection activities described in subsection C of this Regulation may not be used for external purposes after the fact without the written permission of the Superintendent or designee.
  4. Survey Research and Other Data-Collection Activities Conducted by Students as Part of VBCPS Coursework
    1. Survey research studies and primary data-collection activities that are conducted by VBCPS students for internal purposes as part of a research project for their VBCPS coursework (e.g., Advanced Placement Capstone course) do not require formal review by the Research Review Committee provided that:
      1. The research and data-collection activities are reviewed and approved by a school Institutional Review Board (IRB) consisting of a minimum of three members including an educator, a school administrator (i.e., principal or designee), and an individual who is knowledgeable about and capable of evaluating the physical and/or psychological risk involved in a given study (e.g., registered nurse, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, school counselor).
      2. The research study or data-collection request does not involve one of the eight areas of protected information listed in School Board Policy 5-67 Section C;
      3. Activities involving a single school site are approved by the administrator in charge of the school;
      4. Activities involving multiple school sites or a central office department are approved by the Executive Director, Secondary Teaching and Learning and a representative from the Department of School Leadership;
      5. The research or data-collection activities conform to existing federal, state, and local School Board Policies/Regulations. If doubt exists as to whether the activities conform to the appropriate policies and regulations, the administrator overseeing the activity may request a review by the Executive Director for the Office of Planning, Innovation, and Accountability.
    2. If the approved research activity involves school sites beyond the student's school, the school IRB approval documentation must be distributed to principals of those schools as well as the Office of Planning, Innovation, and Accountability. The school principal may decline to have his or her school participate.
    3. The results of research or data-collection activities described in Section D of this Regulation may not be used for external purposes after the fact without the written permission of the Superintendent or his/her designee.
  5. Monthly Report of Research

    A monthly report of research requests will be submitted to the Superintendent.

Code of Virginia § 32.1-162.16, et seq., as amended. Definitions.

Code of Virginia § 22.1-16.1, as amended. Board to establish regulation regarding human research.

School Board Policy 4-69
School Board Policy 5-67

Approved by Superintendent: June 22, 2009
Scrivener’s Amendments: September 28, 2011
Revised by Superintendent: September 12, 2012
Scrivener’s Amendments: February 10, 2014
Revised by Superintendent: August 6, 2019