Administrative Procedure 295: External and Internal Research

Legal References

Education Act: Section 265 (1) (m) Duties of Principal: Access to School or Class; R.R.O. Reg. 298 Operation of Schools Section 11 Duties of Principals - Supervise Instruction; O. Reg. 474/00 Access to School Premises

Related References

Administrative Procedure 204 Program Planning; Form 295A External Application to Conduct Research (please see attached); Form 295B Internal Application for Research (please see attached)

1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to outline the procedures for conducting educational research within the Avon Maitland District School Board. Parts of this application have been borrowed, with permission, from the research application forms of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) supports research activities in its schools and departments. Individuals interested in conducting research involving AMDSB schools, staff, students or parents must follow the processes detailed in this guide. These processes apply to:
All research activities that take place on school premises during the school day Recruitment of any study participants from AMDSB school communities (e.g., teachers, students, staff) for research activities that occur off AMDSB sites. 
Although AMDSB is proud to collaborate with and support both internal and external researchers, we are also mindful that our priority is to students’ education. Research activities must not compromise or interfere with students’ access to high quality academic programs.

Individuals interested in accessing AMDSB schools/departments are asked to carefully read over these guidelines and submit the appropriate documentation. All requests to conduct research with AMDSB are reviewed by the Research and Advisory Committee.

Any activities related to a research project may not commence without prior review by the Research and Advisory Committee. Once the research project has been approved, school principals and/or department managers must be willing to accommodate the study in their setting. Approval does not guarantee that a study will be accommodated by principals and/or department managers. Likewise, approval by Principals and/or department managers does not represent board approval.

In order to facilitate a streamlined process, the Research Coordinator will post approved research projects to all board staff and/or stakeholders (e.g., principals, trustees, students, parents, etc.).  Researchers are asked to refrain from directly contacting AMDSB staff and stakeholders until their research application has been approved and coordinating efforts have been established with the Research and Advisory Committee.

Please contact the Research Coordinator for any questions or concerns regarding these guidelines and the application process.

2. General Information about AMDSB Research Ethics Review Process

We will give precedence to research projects pertaining to the following Areas of Focus:
  1. Mathematics education at the elementary and secondary level
  2. Student Mental Health and Well-being
  3. Early Years education (Kindergarten to Grade 2) related to literacy and self-regulation
  4. Inquiry based learning environments, including those accelerated by technology and digital resources
  5. Engagement of students who are non-attenders or early leavers
  6. Parent Engagement in relation to student achievement and well-being
  7. Alignment to our Board Improvement Plan (BIPSAW) or other areas that support the work of the board
Applications are accepted during the following three time points with an approximate 8-12 week start date from the time of submission:
Submission date Earliest approximate start date
September 15th  Late November
November 15th Mid-February
February 15th Mid-April

The Research and Advisory Committee provides research and analysis services to the board, using best-quality evidence to assist AMDSB in making decisions. The Research and Advisory Committee also reviews and makes recommendations for all requests that external researchers submit to conduct research in AMDSB.

Once the hard copy or electronic application package is received, our Research Advisory Committee will conduct a thorough review and communicate issues that need clarification or modification to the Principal Investigator. Once all concerns have been addressed satisfactorily the Research Coordinator will seek approval from the AMDSB Research and Advisory Committee. The review and approval of the study will consider such factors as:
  • compliance with the Tri-Council ethical guidelines
  • educational relevance
  • alignment with the above stated board priorities
  • appropriateness of the study for AMDSB staff/students
  • cost and/or benefits for students, teachers, and schools
  • amount of staff and/or student time required
  • appropriateness of the timing of the request (e.g., exam period, report cards)
  • conflicts with any ongoing studies or programs

The Research Coordinator will notify the Principal Investigator of the final decision. If the study receives approval, the Research Coordinator will notify principals or staff of the opportunity to participate in the research project and will encourage staff to contact the Principal Investigator if interested.
  • For school level projects - Principals have the final decision as to whether their school becomes involved in a research project. Principals who feel that a study is not suitable for their staff, students, and/or parents are under no obligation to participate.
  • For Board and Department-level projects, managers will have the final decision as to whether staff will participate in the research project. Managers are under no obligation to take part in any research activities.

The researcher is expected to notify the Research Coordinator of the schools/departments involved in the study and to contact the Research Coordinator if any changes to the research protocol are made or if any problems arise (e.g., critical incident reported). Data and research materials must be gathered and handled in a manner consistent with the highest standards of ethical and scholarly practice. Fraud, falsification of data, or other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated, and will cause immediate revocation of the permission to conduct research.

All researchers who conduct studies within the AMDSB are expected to submit a copy of their findings. Copies should also be made available to participating schools/staff. Future requests to conduct research at AMDSB will not be reviewed until final reports of completed studies have been received.
If you have any questions about the process, feel free to let us know.
Revised September 2018