Working with Students in Primary & Secondary Education

School District Research Procedures and Requirements

School districts follow distinct protocols for reviewing and approving research initiatives conducted within their
educational institutions and involving their student body. To ensure compliance and proper authorization,
researchers must obtain approvals from both the Colorado State University (CSU) Institutional Review Board (IRB)
and the respective local school district before commencing any research activities on school premises.
Researchers are advised to establish contact with the school well in advance to gain a comprehensive
understanding of the district’s research review process, timeline, and permissible research scopes. Notable
considerations encompass:

  • Data Sharing and Collection: Adherence to school district regulations and policies concerning
    data sharing and collection is imperative.
  • FERPA Compliance: Researchers must familiarize themselves with and adhere to the Family
    Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines.
  • PPRA Compliance: Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) requirements must also be
  • Training Module: Depending on the nature of the proposed research, completion of the CITI
    program module “Research in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools – SBE” may be obligatory.
  • Parental Consent: Nearly all research involving school children necessitates signed parental
    consent or written notification to parents regarding the research.
  • Student Assent: In cases involving child participants, researchers must secure affirmative
    agreement (“assent”) from the students. The assent procedure, including communication content and delivery
    method, should be tailored to the children’s maturity and cognitive capacity.

For comprehensive information on regulations governing research involving children, refer to Research with

Poudre School District (PSD)

PSD has established a meticulous application process for the review of research initiatives within its schools.
The application form is accessible here.
Submissions should be directed to Dr. Dwayne Schmitz via email at [email protected]. The average review duration for PSD is
approximately 30 days. While CSU IRB approval is not obligatory for the initial review by PSD, a copy of CSU IRB
approval should be provided to PSD when available. Following tentative approval from PSD, researchers are
required to undergo a background check, arranged and funded by the researcher, before commencing research
within the PSD jurisdiction. A copy of PSD’s approval should also be submitted to CSU IRB.

Greeley/Evans School District

To obtain an application packet, please contact District 6 Research Request Contact,

Jamie Bowker, Academic Achievement Administrative Assistant, [email protected]

970-348-6278.  The average review time is 10 business days. For CSU and Greeley/Evans collaborations, please obtain CSU’s IRB approval first. Provide Greely/Evans CSU’s approval, a copy of the written protocol, and approved consent documents; along with their application for their review. Once Greeley/Evans’ approval is obtained, upload the email/document to your approved protocol as an amendment in the Kuali system. 

Thompson School District

To embark on research within the Thompson School District, researchers must submit their initiatives for review by
the district’s research review committee. The Research Philosophy and application can be accessed via the School Operations Policies website, under
section LC-E. Collaboration between CSU and Thompson School District mandates prior CSU IRB approval.
Submissions to the district should encompass CSU’s approval, the research protocol, and approved consent
documents. Following approval from Thompson School District, the documentation should be appended to the approved
CSU protocol in the Kuali system.

Denver Public Schools (DPS), Including Charter Schools

Comprehensive information regarding research review within DPS, including charter schools, is available via the
DPS Research Review
. The RRB Handbook and Steps to Submit a Research Study Proposal provide vital guidance. Notably,
external research study proposals have specific submission windows with advance deadlines. DPS RRB mandates a fee
for external research and requires proof of insurance coverage and background checks for all studies. CSU
researchers may explore data sources accessible through a CORA request. Inquiries can be directed to the DPS
Research Review Board via email at [email protected].

Cherry Creek Schools, Including Charter Schools

For researchers planning research within the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD), collaboration necessitates
engagement with the Office of Assessment & Evaluation. Research requests are processed annually between October
1 and April 15, with reviews typically spanning 4-12 weeks. It is crucial to initiate contact with the Office of
Assessment and Evaluation for external research inquiries. For comprehensive information, please refer to All
research-related inquiries can be directed to [email protected].

Should further clarification be required, kindly direct all research-related inquiries to the designated
contacts provided above.