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 or approve with conditions.

 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?


Note:  Non-approval/Approval with Conditions

  1. Number of studies active – no more than six (6) active per semester

  2. Timeframe or timeframe restrictions (i.e. testing windows, district research, etc.)

  3. Site(s) do not consent to participate

  4. District communication systems may not be used (i.e.: e-mail, e-mail list, etc.)


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 share faculty, parent, or student information under FERPA guidelines.

  • PC staff should not be required or solicited to conduct the study and should only be the subject of the study. 

  • All research involving students or staff requires informed consent as applicable by the IRB review. 

  • Putnam City employees are not able to receive compensation for participating in research studies.  A researcher may provide donations directly to a school. 

  • 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.