School districts require researchers to obtain prior permission when planning to enroll public school employees or students in research. The policies for whom to obtain permission from vary depending on the district, although the majority of public schools in Oregon require permission from both the school district and the principal of each school involved. Some districts defer to principals if the researcher is an employee of the school district. If only one school will be enrolled in the research, some school districts suggest approaching the principal of this school first. If more than one school in a district will be enrolled, some school districts suggest approaching the superintendent or assistant superintendent prior to contacting the principals.

School districts have indicated that they review proposed studies for the following:

  • How intrusive the research is to the teachers and the classroom
  • How much effort will be required of teachers
  • The impact on the school or district office staff

Additionally, school principals have expressed concern regarding downplaying the impact of the studies on schools and overemphasizing the benefit. Principals have also indicated that they are frequently promised data or reports resulting from the research but these results are rarely shared once the study is complete.  

Documentation of district approval/permission must be provided to the IRB before IRB approval can be issued.

When conducting research in public schools, researchers should also consider whether the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) or the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also apply. If either of these regulations applies, there will be additional requirements. Please see the following links for more information:

Below are instructions for obtaining district support for some school districts in Oregon.

Benton County

Alsea SD 7J

The researcher should write a letter explaining who they are, what they are proposing to do, and when they want to do the research. The letter should be sent to the district office (P.O. Box B, Alsea, OR 97324).

The letter will be reviewed by the superintendent who will present it to the school board for approval. The school board meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.

Corvallis SD 509J

If the researcher has a specific school, age group or other specific group within the Corvallis district it is appropriate to first contact the principal at each school you would like to work with.  They will be able to provide the District Approval form on which they will indicate their willingness to participate in your study.  This form should then be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent at the District Office who will need to also sign-off on the approval form for the form to be complete. 

A researcher may also first contact the district office and speak with the assistant superintendent who will contact the school principals to see if your study is feasible in their school.  The Superintendent will then provide the District Approval form and once specific schools agree he/she will instruct you to obtain the principals’ signatures on the form.

Once the form has been signed by the school principal and the superintendent the “letter of support” process is complete.  This form should be scanned and submitted as a Pdf with your IRB submission.

Monroe SD 1J

Researchers should submit their request to do research in writing to the superintendent. The request should explain what the research entails, how much time is needed, when it will be conducted, and any other relevant information.

365 North 5th St
Monroe, OR 97456
541-847-6290 (fax)

Philomath SD 17J

Contact Office Manager for the District Office at 541-929-3169.

Clatsop County

Warrenton-Hammond SD 30

The researcher should submit their proposal directly to the principal of the school.

Deschutes County

Bend-Lapine Admin SD 1

The researcher should contact the school district to request permission. Background checks will be done and enough time should be allowed for clearance to be granted.

Jefferson County

Culver SD 4

Contact the Superintendent to request permission to conduct research within the Culver School District.

Lane County

Eugene SD 4J

Contact the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent. The school district takes into consideration the following when deciding to allow research in their schools:

  • Time commitment for staff
  • Time research will take away from class time
  • Benefit to school district
  • Affect research will have on students
  • Will researcher be alone with students
  • Benefits vs. Burdens
  • District control over data and end results

The district should be contacted well in advance to give them time to review the proposal.

South Lane SD 45J3

Contact the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. The district will want a description of the project and the activities that will take place within the schools. This process should be initiated 1-3 months in advance to allow the district time to review the proposal.

Linn County

Central Linn SD 552

Researchers should contact the district office at 541-369-2813. The proposal should explain the purpose of the research, what will be done in the schools, and the district commitment (time, resources, staff, etc.).

Greater Albany Public SD 8J

Research must be approved by the superintendent or designee. Investigators should submit a proposal of what they will be doing, how long it will last, who will be involved, and when they would like to conduct the research to the Superintendent.

Harrisburg SD 7

If the research will be conducted through the school district, the researcher should contact the Superintendent of the district (541-995-6626). If the research will be conducted in only one of the schools, the building principal should be contacted.

Lebanon SD 9

If the proposed research will be conducted district-wide (in at least two of the schools) contact the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum. If the research will be conducted in one school within the district, contact that building’s principal for approval. Researchers should send an initial email with a description of the planned research.

Santiam Canyon SD 129J

Researchers should contact the Superintendent with an explanation of the research and the activities that will take place within the schools. The researcher will also need to obtain permission from the Principal of the school in which research will take place.

Malheur County

Ontario SD 8C

The researcher should provide information requested by the school district’s policy (contact the IRB Office for a copy of the policy) to the superintendent.

Marion County

Salem-Keizer SD 24J

The researcher needs to submit the district’s research proposal form to:

Salem-Keizer School District

Testing & Evaluation Department

P.O. Box 12024

Salem, Oregon 97309

503-399-5590 phone

503-391-4088 fax

The IRB Office can provide a copy of the proposal form.

Woodburn SD 103

Written description of study should be submitted to the school district (965 N. Boones Ferry Road Woodburn, OR 97071
Phone: (503) 981-9555). If the school district will consider the study, they will then schedule a meeting with the superintendent.

Multnomah County

David Douglas SD 40

The researcher should call the school district (503-252-2900) and explain the proposed commitment of the district.

Polk County

Central SD 13J

The research proposal should be submitted to the Superintendent.  (Central School District 13J, 1610 Monmouth Street, Independence, OR   97351)