Conducting Research in Springfield Public Schools

  • Research Thank you for your interest in conducting research at Springfield Public Schools (SPS). Any potential research project in SPS must undergo review by the SPS Research Review Team (SPSRRT) Generally, SPS defines "external research" as any situation where someone gathers data or information about SPS students, parents, or staff and shares that information with an external party. Examples include, but are not limited to:

    • Students working on projects for degrees or credit (e.g., a dissertation or thesis)
    • Students working on course projects they may want to publish at a later date
    • Grant-funded research conducted by postsecondary education faculty
    • SPS staff working toward an advanced degree
    • SPS staff looking to publish or present their action research outside of SPS


    SPS Data/Research Request - Click here to complete the form

Timeline and Submission Information


    Request Submitted by Dates

    SPSRRT Review Dates

    Notification to Researcher 

    June 27, 2022

    July 11, 2022

    July 22, 2022

    August 19, 2022

    September 9, 2022

    September 23, 2022

    October 21, 2022

    November 4, 2022

    November 18, 2022

    December 16, 2022

    December 30, 2022

    January 13, 2023

    February 10, 2023

    February 24, 2023

    March 10, 2023

    April 7, 2023

    April 21, 2023

    May 5, 2023

    June 2, 2023

    June 16, 2023

    June 30, 2023


SPSRRT Proposal Process

  • The SPSRRT proposal process consists of (1) Proposal submission, (2) Committee review, and (3) Notification and access

    Step 1: Proposal Submission

    All projects must submit a proposal requesting access to SPS students, staff, and/or parents for research purposes to the monthly SPSRRT review. Elements of a complete proposal include:

    1. Completed SPSRRT Form
    2. Evidence of IRB action
      • All applications must include evidence of review by an IRB, or an explanation of why IRB review is not required for this research. Ensure the project title you use when submitting to SPSRRT matches the project title on the IRB letter.
      • Conditional approval by an IRB satisfies this initial requirement. Final IRB approval typically requires approval by the SPSRRT. SPSRRT approval is the equivalent of “site approval” required by most IRB’s.
      • Research may not begin until final IRB approval is on file at SPS.
    3. Appropriate consent/assent materials and/or notification letters for families.
    4. Description of the recruitment process, including any related materials.
    5. Any surveys, questionnaires, test forms, interview protocols, and other instruments to be used.

     **Applications must be complete at the time of submission. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed**

    Step 2: Committee Review

    SPSRRT reviews all research proposals based on the quality of the research proposal including the following criteria:

    • The appropriateness of the research and its topic
    • The time involved for students, teachers, administration, and staff, with particular focus on minimal disruption of instructional time
    • The relevance of the research
    • The research design and content of the proposal
    • Adherence to ethical standards for conducting human subjects research
    • Compliance with SPS requirements and guidelines (IRB approval, appropriate consent/assent forms, etc.)

    Step 3:  Notification and Acess

    The SPSRRT will inform you by letter of the action taken on your request for access.

    • Incomplete/Not Reviewed
    • Conditional Approval
    • Modifications Required
    • Tabled
    • Rejected

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many research proposals will SPS approve per year?

  • How long does the SPSRRT review process typically take from proposal submission to final approval?

  • Why does my project need to be reviewed?

  • What if I am an instructor/student who’d like to collaborate with SPS for a course project?

  • May I reach out to SPS principals and/or teachers to gauge interest in a project before applying for SPSRRT review?

  • Do I need to submit to SPSRRT if I want to conduct a research project at the school where I work and the principal is already aware?

  • Do I need to go through SPSRRT if I am recruiting participants from SPS, but the research will take place outside of school hours and not involve class activities?

  • Do I need to go through SPS approval if I plan to use publicly-available SPSRRT email addresses to recruit participants in my study?

  • I want to recruit SPS staff to participate in my research project outside of contract hours. Since the project will happen outside that time, do I need to go through SPSRRT review?

  • What are the responses I can receive from SPSRRT?


    • Carla Martell, Director of Performance Analytics
    • Jarrod Holiway, Assistant Director of Performance Analytics
    • Brian Olivera, Coordinator of Accountability
    • Dr. Dave Whitham, Coordinator of Assessment
    • Executive Directors of Elementary, Middle and High Schools (as needed)
    • District Directors (as needed)
    • Donna Burghoff, Administrative Assistant AAA


  • If you have questions about submitting a proposal, please contact, Brian Olivera in the Analytics, Accountability and Assessment Department. (417-523-0265;

    If needed, the SPS mailing address is:

    Springfield Public Schools

    Analytics, Accountability, and Assessment Dept.

    1610 E. Sunshine

    Springfield, MO 65804