• Molly Sullivan, Ed.D.

    Supervisor for Data Analytics, Program Evaluation & Accountability

    P: (757) 603-6400 (ext. 66429)


WJCC Schools supports high-quality external research and evaluation efforts, especially in areas that will improve its educational practices and outcomes. The application process was established to:

  • protect staff and students from unnecessary or redundant data collections,
  • review research and evaluation requests in light of current laws covering privacy of information, and
  • assure that external research/evaluation projects are of value to the district and to education in general.

Please note the following:

  • You must submit an application if your research/evaluation project includes collecting or using individual-level data from or about WJCC Schools students, staff or parents.
  • Active consent for student participation must be obtained from parents/guardians before data can be collected or any individually identifiable student information can be released.
  • No data collection is allowed on a testing day.
  • Individual students, staff, or schools may not be identified in any research or evaluation product.
  • Please allow at least 3-4 weeks for review of your application.
  • As part of our research permissions and agreement, WJCC Schools will receive a copy of your findings upon completion of your research project/study.

Research Procedure Process

  1. Review the materials and information on the WJCC Schools website. Please contact WJCC Public School’s Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment if you have any questions or need additional assistance.
  2. Complete and sign the WJCC Schools Application for Research and Evaluation Form. Please refer to the Application Checklist to make sure all the necessary information is completed and all the necessary documents are attached.
  3. Refer to and complete the Parent/Guardian Consent Template for sample consent forms.
  4. Refer to and complete the Principal Agreement to Participate Form for the school principals to sign.
  5. Your description of the project should provide sufficient detail to allow the Review Committee to determine exactly what your research is about, what the WJCC Public Schools students, parents, and staff are required to do and how much time the data collection will require.
  6. Please enclose the Application Checklist, Consent Forms (for parents/guardians) and all instruments (survey, questionnaires, interviews, etc.) with your application form.
  7. Mail or fax the materials to:

Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools
117 Ironbound Road
P.O. Box 8783
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8783
f: (757) 565.9388

Please note on your email, mail or fax that this is a research application.

  1. After your application is complete, the WJCC Schools Research Review Committee will review the application and determine whether the proposal can be completed within the WJCC Schools. Committee members will be selected from among those staff who are knowledgeable about the proposed research or evaluation subject or population. The Review Committee will assess the submitted information and make a decision its final decision about the research application. In the event that the research application is extensive and complex in nature, a special review committee meeting will be called upon to make further and more specific recommendations about the research application.
  2. The research/evaluation review process takes four to six weeks. Applications should be submitted well in advance of the proposed starting date to ensure adequate time for review, modifications, notification of principal and/or other WJCC Schools staff, the collection of signed parental consent forms, etc.
  3. After all reviewers have made their recommendations, the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment will compile them and notify the applicant of the committee’s decision. The decision will be either recommended, rejected or requiring changes. If changes are required, the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment will provide a description to the applicant.
  1. If your project is recommended for implementation and the research requires the applicant to be present inside any of the WJCC School buildings, the applicant and research team, if applicable, will need to complete a criminal background check and fingerprinting process. This process is conducted by the WJCC Schools Department of Human Resources.
  2. Once the applicant has been cleared for the criminal background check, they may begin conducting their research in the selected schools or departments to collect data. The selected schools and departments will be notified that the study has been approved and recommended for implementation.
  3. If the applicant is the only individual conducting research via phone, email, fax or paper format and they will have no contact with students, they will not need to go through the criminal background check process.
  4. The applicant must obtain written approval from the principal by having the principal sign a Principal Agreement to Participate Form. The applicant must have all participating principals sign a separate form.
  5. The school principal or administrative staff has the right to decline participation in the research project after discussing the project with the applicant and reserves the right to terminate the study if they feel that it is not following the guidelines and procedures that have been set forth in the application to WJCC Schools.
  6. Should the principal of a participating school change while you are conducting your project, the applicant must obtain approval from the new principal and submit a new Principal Agreement to Participate Form.
  7. The applicant is responsible for returning all signed form(s) to the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment before the research is conducted.
  8. Parental consent is required for any student who will participate in the research project. Data collection from students is not allowed if the parental consent form has not been signed and returned. The applicant is responsible for providing copies of the signed parental consent forms to participating schools. Please provide extra copies in the event that copies are lost or not returned. Schools cannot photocopy consent forms or other materials.
  9. A copy of each signed parental consent form must be kept in the student’s permanent folder. The applicant is responsible for making copies of signed forms and returning them to each participating school so that the administration can file this information in the student cumulative records.
  1. When the data collection process has been completed and the applicant will no longer be working in the participating school(s), the applicant must notify the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment using the Data Collection Completion Notification Form that is available on the WJCC Public Schools website
  2. The applicant must not identify any staff, students, and campuses in any products resulting from the work.
  3. The applicant must provide the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment with a summary of the methodology and conclusions/findings from the research as soon as possible. WJCC Schools will determine if the findings from the research/evaluation can be further used and/or applied in the division for educational improvement.
  4. If the results are reported or published in a more complete form (book, dissertation, journal article, etc.), the applicant will provide WJCC Schools with a copy for its professional library.
  5. Personal feedback to principals and teachers involved in the research project is encouraged.
  6. Providing an in-kind service to the school(s) in which the research was conducted and completed on behalf of the applicant is also encouraged. For example, the applicant may volunteer to mentor or tutor individual students, serve as a guest speaker, or donate money or materials.
  1. If additional data collection outside of the original application is required, the applicant must submit an updated application (addendum) with these additions or changes clearly marked. Please note in the “application number” section that this is an addendum to an existing project.
  2. All additions to the project should be described and any new consents or measures must be thoroughly described in the addendum.
  3. Your application may be reviewed again by the Review Committee if there are substantial changes to the research project’s measures and/or methodology.
  4. If the applicant would wish to collect data in additional schools, a written letter of request should be submitted to the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment that explains why additional schools are needed and which specifies the specific number of schools that are being requested.
  5. If there is a change in the project’s ending date, a written letter or email of request to the Coordinator of Accountability and Assessment must be submitted that explains the reason why the additional time will be required. The new proposed ending date must also be provided in this written letter of request.