Clearance Procedures for University Researchers
Leon County Schools (LCS) accepts a number of research studies each year. Researchers outside of the district are encouraged to utilize “laboratory” or “developmental research” school sites for their research whenever possible. Research policies are set by the Leon County School Board. The LCS approval process is similar to the IRB process at most universities. Proposals are reviewed by a Research Review Board of five individuals. The district grants approval only after:
- District initial consent
- University clearance, including fingerprinting and proof of medical and liability insurance, and agreement of the principals
Research is defined as data collection, observation or data analysis activities which relate to verification of hypotheses or substantiation of claims. Research includes unique or first-time data collection activities not common to routine classroom, curriculum or administrative functions, which involve or impact upon one or more school(s) or program(s). This includes cases where research collection activities involve controversial, sensitive topics or confidential information which is restricted by Board policy or state statute. This includes electronic surveys sent via internet. All such activities are construed as research regardless of whether they originate within or external to the school district. Researchers must obtain permission before entering schools and collecting any form of data.
Steps to Conduct Research in the Leon County School District after university IRB Approval
- Visit district’s website, Testing, Research and Evaluation and review Hints for Researchers, Table of Research Dates, forms and the map of the approval process.
- Submit original Research Request Form with original signatures, and attachments along with five (5) copies of the packet for the Research Review Board to review. Electronic submissions are not accepted. All submissions must be delivered to the district Testing, Research and Evaluation office. Average time is about 3-4 weeks for approval.
- Receive Initial Consent, if approved, and then obtain principal signature(s).
- Deliver signed Principal Consent Forms to Testing, Research and Evaluation office.
- Complete the security clearance steps for entry into schools by providing the following to the OASIS Field Placement Office each semester.
- Proof of University IRB approval
- Copy of approval email from Human Subjects Committee
- Copy of Sections 1 & 12 of Human Subjects Application
- Completed Researcher Placement Template
- Required clearance documents for each researcher. Each member of the research team entering a school must
- Complete a Level II background screening (fingerprinting). Application forms must be obtained from OASIS in 2301 Stone Building and the screening is done at LCS. Cost of the screening and badge is $95 and is effective for five years.
- Secure and provide proof of medical insurance.
- Secure professional liability insurance for at least $1,000,000 for each researcher on team. This may be provided through your grant or university.
- The Field Placement Coordinator will notify the principal investigator via email when researchers have been cleared to enter a school. Research in the school(s) may begin at this point. LCS only grants security clearance one semester at a time. Principal Investigators must submit an updated Researcher Placement Template each semester.
Field Placement Coordinator
2301 Stone Building