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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Policy 5-67


Research Involving Students/Research Review Committee

A. Generally

The Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee will act upon all proposals for research projects involving students as described in School Board Regulation 5-67.1 only after consideration of the following:

1. The Research Review Committee's recommendation;

2. The nature and purpose of the activities as described in the research plan;

3.The anticipated benefit to the research subjects and/or the school division's educational program.

Action research studies and other data-collection activities conducted by Virginia Beach City Public Schools employees for internal purposes only do not require review by the Research Review Committee but must meet the criteria as outlined in School Board Regulation 5-67.1 Section C.

B. Administrative Criteria

Research involving students may be approved by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee provided that:

1. The research proposed complies with Virginia Beach City Public Schools Policies, Regulations, and research guidelines, Federal Statutes and Regulations, Virginia Statutes and Virginia Board of Education Regulations. This includes appropriate notice to and consent by parents/legal guardians, emancipated minors, and students older than 18;

2.The local Human Research Review Committee appointed in accordance with Code of Virginia § 32.1-162.19, et seq. (Research Review Committee) has recommended that the research proposal be approved in accordance with Virginia law and regulation;

3. The research plan sets forth explicit objectives and a sound design for collecting and analyzing information designed to reach these objectives;

4. The research holds out the prospect of benefiting the individual subjects and/or the division's educational program;

5. There will be no significant departure from normal school/central office routine or use of instructional time on the part of students or staff;

6. Required notifications to parents or legal guardians and emancipated minors and students over 18 prior to student participation shall state the purpose of the research, the procedures to be followed, the right to review research documents and surveys, and the right to withdrawal at any time. Requests to review any research or survey material will be honored by the school division within five (5) business days after submission of a written request;

7. The proposed research includes adequate provisions to protect the privacy of students and to maintain confidentiality of data as set forth in School Board Policy 5‑31 and any implementing regulations.

C. Consent for surveys, analyses or evaluations of students

Parents/legal guardians and emancipated minors and students over 18 years old must receive notification and provide active informed consent prior to the administration of any student survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one of the following eight areas of protected information:

    1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents;
    2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
    3. Sexual behavior or attitudes;
    4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
    5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships
    6. Legally recognizable privileged relationship, such as with lawyers, doctors or ministers;
    7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
    8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes or for selling or otherwise distributing/providing the information to others.  Active informed consent may be required as determined by the Research Review Committee for surveys, analysis or evaluation of students not included above.

Legal Reference:

Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) 20 U.S.C. § 1232, as amended.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C § 6301, et seq., as amended.

Code of Virginia, § 32.1-162.16 et seq., as amended, Human Research, as amended.

Code of Virginia, § 22.1-16.1, as amended. Board to establish regulation regarding human research, as amended.

School Board Policy 5-31, Scholastic Records, as amended.

Virginia Department of Health Regulations for the Conduct of Human Research, 12 VAC5-20, et seq., as amended.

School Board Regulation 5-67.1, Research Studies, as amended.


Adopted by School Board:              August 21, 1990
Amended by School Board:           July 16, 1991
Amended by School Board:           June 15, 1993 (Effective August 14, 1993)
Amended by School Board:           July 18, 1995
Amended by School Board:           December 1, 1998
Amended by School Board:           September 2, 2003
Amended by School Board:           June 2, 2009