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Putnam City Public Schools (PC) appreciates the contribution of research to the education
community. The district must also ensure that research conducted in PC does not impact
instructional time for students. School-based research projects require special considerations.
Any research projects performed in Putnam City must follow professional standards for
conducting research. This page outlines the process for submitting a proposal to conduct
research in Putnam City. It also outlines the required documents and application process. Prior
written approval must be obtained in order to conduct research in PC. Such research includes
but is not limited to: questionnaires, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and classroom/site
observations. All research proposals must meet the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA).


1. Send the completed application and required documents to Dr. Jason Memoli, Chief
of Staff, at Allow 30 instructional days for your
application to be reviewed.
*Please note that any missing documents or further clarification requested may
extend the review time or result in a non-approval.
2. An internal committee will review the application and make a recommendation to
approve/not approve the proposal.
3. A decision will be sent via email on whether the study has been approved/not
approved. Allow 30 instructional days for a response.
Considerations for Acceptance of Study
Various factors are considered when research requests are presented to Putnam City
Schools. Some guiding questions include:
  • Is the study of an educational value to Putnam City Schools?
  • Does the study include sound research methodology and methods?
  • Does the study utilize procedures that ensure confidentiality?
  • Does the study take away from instructional time or require district resources?
  • Are FERPA guidelines followed?

General Information

  • Teachers may not conduct research on their students. Principals or other staff may not
  • conduct research on their faculty or those whom they supervise. In rare cases, with
  • quantitative data, there may be exceptions.
  • Study participants must be entirely voluntary. PC staff members are not allowed to
  • select schools to participate or to share faculty, parent, or student information.
  • All research involving students or staff requires informed consent.
  • Putnam City employees are not able to receive compensation for participating in
  • research studies. A researcher may provide donations directly to a school.
  • All research requires active, informed consent.
  • Upon completion of the research study, findings must be provided to the district.

Background Checks

Putnam City Schools requires research personnel to undergo and provide proof of
background checks for each study team member engaging in research activities
involving staff or students.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects
the privacy of student education records maintained by schools. Educational records
include class assignments, grades, GPA, attendance, disciplinary reports, individual
student educational plans, etc. A researcher who has natural access to student records
as part of their employment cannot access those records for research purposes without
appropriate consent. In addition, parental consent is required for the release of
FERPA-protected student records for minors.