Request for Research

Guidelines for Conducting Research in Dawson County Schools


This guide provides researchers with information on the Dawson County Schools research application and approval process. Dawson County Schools recognizes the district’s educational programs and services can benefit from evaluation and academic study. Instructional practices and administrative procedures should be evaluated to ensure they meet the changing and differing needs of students. Educational research designed to achieve these purposes is encouraged in Dawson County. The Teaching and Learning Department oversees the research request process. Research studies in Dawson County Schools may be undertaken only upon authorization of the Superintendent or their designated representative. Each research proposal shall be carefully evaluated in terms of its demonstrated educational value to Dawson County Schools directly or as a contribution to the field of education, its ability to address an identified research priority of the district, its application of sound research methods, its use of Dawson County students and staff time, and its compliance with state and federal laws.

Process for Conducting Research

Anyone interested in conducting research in Dawson County Schools must have approval before starting any research activities. The following are examples of research activities that require approval by DCS:

• Collecting primary data (through surveys, interviews, or focus groups) from students, parents, teachers, administrators, or other DCS staff 

• Conducting observations of school-sponsored activities, including classes, staff workshops, parent-teacher meetings, etc. 

• Accessing administrative/secondary data (i.e., data that is not publicly available) to support research activities.

Approval to conduct research in Dawson County Schools is gained by submitting a DCS Research Request Proposal Application. The research review committee will review each research proposal and provide a decision within four weeks of the submission date. Approval of a research study is valid for one calendar year; at the end of one year from the date of approval, research activities must cease unless researchers request and are granted an extension. Researchers wishing to use publicly available data do not need to submit a research application to the district. DCS employees must also apply to conduct research in DCS.

IF THE PROPOSAL IS APPROVED, a DCS Letter of Cooperation for Data Collection will be returned to the researcher. Upon completion of the study, a copy of the final report or summary of results must be provided to the school district within 30 days of completion of the final research study report. Dawson County Schools reserves the right to use the information in the research report or summary to improve student instruction or services.

Please contact Dr. Nathan Hand if you would like to request a research proposal application.

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