Research & Surveys

Conducting Research and Surveys at Tacoma Public Schools

Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) is comprised of 56 Comprehensive Schools serving approximately 30,000 students in Preschool - Grade 12. It is an innovative district focused on the development of the Whole Child. ​TPS recognizes the importance of relevant and valid research and is committed to facilitating appropriate research and survey activities. Research, however, is secondary to our goal of educating Every Student. Every Day.

The TPS Data Assessment Research Team (DART) is responsible for the management and administration of all research and survey activity conducted within the district, including:

  • Managing the submission and approval process for research and survey requests
  • Oversight of the Research Review Committee, which provides final approval for all applications
  • Designating a district administrator to monitor research projects
  • Disseminating research findings to TPS staff members

Two types of research

  • Basic Research: limits researcher contact with TPS personnel to being conducted by phone, email, or in a non-school setting
  • Comprehensive Research: involves access to a school building and/or any communication/interaction with TPS students (including, but not limited to, observations)

Two types of surveys

  • External Surveys: requested by an individual, external organization, or TPS employee (e.g., for their graduate work)
  • Internal Surveys: requested by TPS employees or community partners if linked to their TPS work

Student Participation & Consent

Participation in research studies and surveys is voluntary. Parents and students who do not wish to participate have a right to refusal. Pressure shall not be applied to promote participation.

Tacoma Public Schools complies with all state and federal regulations regarding the release of confidential student data. Many of the legal guidelines for data release procedures are drawn from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)