Requests for Research

The Shawnee Mission School District receives many requests to conduct research on educational programs and services. As a district, we have the responsibility to protect the rights of our staff, students, and patrons. We must ensure that the research process does not unduly interfere with the educational endeavors in our schools. Protocols have been established to aid individuals and organizations seeking permission to conduct research with our students and staff. These protocols also apply to staff members who desire to conduct research within their schools for professional, personal, and academic reasons (e.g. degree programs).

Steps for Obtaining Permission to Conduct Research

  1. Submit a completed copy of this application and a complete description of the proposed research project, including the instruments or tests to be used, and any pertinent consent or recruitment documents, to the person designated by the district as responsible for approving research requests.
  2. The designated approver will work with affected school campuses and/or district departments to review the request.
  3. After review, the research will be approved, not approved, or tentatively approved on the condition that some changes take place. 
  4. At the conclusion of the study, a copy of the results of the research shall be provided to the district assessment and research department.

If you have specific questions about this process, or if you would like preliminary feedback with regard to your research design prior to submitting your application, please contact Dr. Dan Gruman, Coordinator of Assessment & Research (dangruman@smsd.org).

Administration of Student Surveys and Other Data Collection on Students
 

Under the provisions of the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), parents of students and eligible students (those who are 18 or older) are afforded various rights with regard to the administration of any student surveys at school. In accordance with PPRA, the following must be adhered to.

  1. Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect any survey created by a third party before it is administered or distributed to students in the school. This means that parents or guardians of minors must be notified and given the opportunity to see the survey.
  2. If the survey is federally funded (in whole or in part) schools must obtain written parental consent before minor students may be required to participate in any survey.

Kansas Student Data Privacy Act (SB 367)

SB 367 prohibits school districts from collecting biometric data or assessing a student’s psychological or emotional state unless written consent is granted.  The bill prohibits the administration of any test, questionnaire, survey, or examination containing questions regarding a student’s or student’s parents’ or guardians’ beliefs or practices on issues such as sex, family life, morality, or religion, unless permission is requested in writing and granted by a student’s parent or guardian.

Given the vague nature of this bill in particular, assume that any survey collection, student observation, or non-archival collection of student data will likely require parent/guardian consent.