Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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AP 4 – 16: Professional Research

Related Policies:
Related Procedures:
Initial Approval: 
Last Amended: 2019 December 17
Last Reviewed: 2019 December 17


To ensure that research activities further the knowledge base upon which improvements to education can be made or those that support other values of importance to society. However, such participation must not be detrimental to the normal educational activities in Chinook’s Edge.


This procedure applies to all staff.


Research - is defined as activities that include the use of tests or other forms of assessment, checklists, surveys or questionnaires, interviews (individual and/or group), audiotapes or videotapes and observations when these are not part of classroom instruction and student assessment.

External Research - is defined as a request from a non-board employee or a Board employee collaborating with a non-board agency or educational institution. A request from a Board employee wanting to do research outside his/her own area of responsibility for the purpose of completing a professional course of program of study. (this includes all Action Research Projects conducted in the Board.)

Internal Research – is defined as a school or classroom project related to board or regional initiatives (this includes Alberta Initiative for School Improvement Projects). These may be projects carried out by teachers, administrators or school council members.


1. Application to Conduct Research
Before research and other projects are considered for approval, they must be sponsored and supervised by a recognized post-secondary educational institution or a recognized research institute, or must be a component of approved research by jurisdiction personnel. Research Projects must have support of the human ethics committees or of committees with similar responsibilities at the respective institutions. Those who wish to conduct research and/or surveys in Chinook's Edge must make written application to the Associate Superintendent of Learning Services and provide copies of any materials to be used. 

2. Research studies will be approved and conducted according to the following procedures.

2.1. All applications shall be satisfactorily completed at least one (1) month in advance of the study and must be submitted to the Associate Superintendent of Learning Services. Timelines shorter than one (1) month will be considered if extenuating circumstances exist.

2.2 In determining the acceptance or rejection of a research proposal, the following criteria will be used:

2.2.1. The study shall have recognizable value to the Division and/or education in general;

2.2.2. Research conducted will not unduly interfere with the learning environment and the involvement of students or teachers does not require an unreasonable amount of time;

2.2.3. The content of any proposed questionnaire or survey instrument must not be objectionable to staff, students or parents;

2.2.4. The number of research studies planned or underway in the Division;

2.2.5. Preference for approval will be given to Division staff.

3. Acceptance in Principle

3.1. Research requests are “accepted in principle” or “rejected” following screening. “Acceptance in principle” carries no implication for commitment from schools, staff, students or parents/guardians.

3.2. Applications that have been “accepted in principle” are forwarded to the relevant school Principals and Chinook’s Edge staff by the Superintendent. This final decision for participation rests with those directly involved.

3.3. Parents or families making individual decisions to participate in research activities without Chinook’s Edge or school sanction will do so outside of school hours and outside of Chinook’s Edge premises.

4. Criminal Record Check
Prior to entering a school to conduct a research study, a person who is not a Chinook’s Edge employee must undergo a criminal record search and submit the report to the People Services Department. Final acceptance for the study is contingent on the results of the criminal record search.

5. Informed Consent
Parents/guardians of students taking part in data gathering activities in the school must be advised of the nature and purpose of the research. When research procedures involve contact with students on an individual basis, written parent/guardian consent based on complete information about the purpose and procedures of the activity must be received prior to commencement.

Participants must be informed that their involvement is voluntary and that they may withdraw from participation at any time.

6. Results
On completion of a research project undertaken in Chinook’s Edge, a full report of the research results must be submitted to the Superintendent. Copies of the full reports are to be made available to all participants and other interested persons on request under the restrictions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy requirements.

Researchers should be prepared to discuss or present their findings to school or Chinook’s Edge staff and parents/guardians in a manner that contributes to the knowledge and/or practice of staff, students or parents.


Education Act


2012 Oct 10 Reviewed
2018 July 3 Reviewed
2019 Dec 17 Amended/Reviewed