Guidelines for Conducting Research in Pasco County Schools

We support the pursuit of scholarly research on methods and practices that contribute to a rich teaching and learning environment in Pasco County Schools. We are particularly supportive of research projects undertaken by teachers and administrators in Pasco County Schools who are completing courses, masters’ theses, and dissertations as part of advanced programs of study. We recognize that the pursuit of well-planned studies involving teaching practice and factors impacting the learning of students are important to our continued growth as a learning organization. In order to protect the privacy of students and the primacy of instructional time in our schools, however, we require that individuals wishing to carry out external research projects in the schools complete the Application to Conduct Research, and obtain approval from the Office for Accountability, Research, and Measurement before proceeding.

What Qualifies as an External Research Study?

Schools and departments within Pasco County Schools often gather data and information for internal purposes - to do needs assessments for school improvement or department planning, to satisfy audit or accountability requirements, to improve the quality of programs, and to evaluate the effectiveness of programs. These forms of internal research carried out by employees or staff members in the commission of their duties do not require special permission. External research studies are initiated by individuals acting on their own, or under the sponsorship of independent agencies or institutions outside of the scope of the Pasco County School Board. These external forms of research studies must be approved individually, based on the study’s value to the school district, its alignment with the district’s educational goals and philosophies, and the quality of the proposed research design. These external research studies are those which require an approval by the Office for Accountability, Research, and Measurement.

What Role Does the Pasco County Schools Contact Person Serve?

The Application to Conduct Research (Word doc) includes spaces for the name(s) of Pasco County Schools Contact Person(s). These individuals are critical for approval of the research application. If the application is requesting that a study be carried out at a particular school (or schools), the principal of each school involved will have to agree to serve as a contact person. If university faculty or graduate students serving in internships or externships for specialty areas are working in conjunction with a specific department, then their supervisor or the director of that department will likely serve as one of the Pasco County Schools Contact Persons, along with any principals at which the actual research is being carried out. In cases where the study will include multiple student or teacher groups from a number of school sites, the sponsoring department will serve as the first Pasco County Schools Contact. The sponsoring department will then be responsible for obtaining volunteers or the agreement to participate by individual principals as needed. If all schools are involved, or all schools at a given level are involved, then the Assistant Superintendent for Student Achievement will be contacted for approval. If the applicant is unsure about what level of approval is needed, or who needs to be involved as contact persons, they should contact the Office for Accountability, Research, and Measurement to discuss the project. If you are applying to conduct research in Pasco County Schools, please make a copy of the application, complete all portions applicable for your project, and forward the application along with any additional information or instrumentation needed to the: Office for Accountability, Research & Measurement, Pasco County Schools, Peggy Jones, Ph.D., Director, 7227 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O' Lakes, Florida  34638