RRC COVID-19 Changes Effective August 20, 2020

Due to COVID-19 school closures resulting in virtual learning through at least November 2020, the RRC’s review of proposals and amendments has been changed until further notice.

Key changes to the RRC’s review process include:

  • Review of Amendments:
    • Review of amendments will proceed as normal and all currently-approved studies are required to submit an amendment if the data collection method must change. However, please note that certain amendments will not be approved if they aim to adapt research to the online environment (e.g. classroom observations). See below for more information about the types of activities that may be approved/denied.
  • Review of new grant-funded and academic studies:
    • Due to the current state of virtual learning, most requests to conduct research that fall into this category will be denied.  Researchers may be advised to resubmit proposals for a different school year.

Please note:  Progress monitoring/grant-mandated reporting proposals will continue as normal.

Other key changes related to data collection include:

  • Approval for online interviews will depend on the interviewee and proposed approach: 
    • Approval may be granted for studies that require interviews or focus groups with teachers and administrators to answer the study’s research questions. The study proposal and consent form should clearly describe the online interview process and how privacy and confidentiality will be addressed in an online or environment. Telephone interviews may also be approved with appropriate documentation and consent procedures.
      Approval may be granted for studies that require online or telephone interviews or focus groups with parents.
      Approval will not be granted for studies that require online or telephone interviews or focus groups with students.
  • Approval for online classroom observations are unlikely: 
    • In most cases, approval will not be granted for observations of an online classroom. The current complexities of the online environment usage make it impossible to protect student privacy and confidentiality.
  • Proposals that include surveys of students, teachers, administrators, and parents will continue to be reviewed by the RRC.

Please note: Research conducted at charter schools does not require RRC permission. Please contact individual charter schools directly for further information on conducting research at  those sites.