• Requests to Conduct Research or Receive Data


    Research Requests

    Our District recognizes the value of educational research, but our first priority is our students and staff.  The Office reviews all research requests to ensure they do  not create unnecessary disruptions of student learning, burdensome paperwork and processes, nor inappropriate uses of information. All research requests must provide documentation that they are in compliance with local and Federal requirements designed to protect research participants. These conditions are outlined in the following documents. 

    All researchers are required to submit the following 3 documents:

    Researchers should complete these forms and email them to drea@pghschools.org.

    An internal review committee meets monthly (typically the first Wednesday of the month) to discuss all current requests. Please submit your paperwork at least a week before this meeting to ensure it will be on the agenda.

    Researchers who plan any contact with students are also required to submit state and Federal Child Abuse and Criminal Clearances. These clearances must be dated within one year of a new research application, and approved researchers must provide updated forms every two years. 

    Data Requests

    For all data requests, please email drea@pghschools.org. Please include the subject line “Data Request”. The following information must be included in your request email:

    1. All relevant contact information, including:
      1. First and Last Name
      2. Phone number
      3. Organization name
      4. Organization address
    2. Will you alone be using this data or are you part of a team? If a team, please provide contact information for all individuals.
    3. What questions are being answered with the required data?
    4. How will the data be used?
    5. What data is needed?
    6. Please summarize the data needed and provide list of each and all data elements you are seeking. Please refrain from general phrases like “Student Demographics”. Please specify time frames for the data. For example, the school year ending in June 2022 is best referred to as the 2021-2022 School Year.
    7. What data is the data needed by? Keep in mind that there is a one month minimum after the request is submitted. All requests for non-publicly available data must go through the PPS IRB, which may take longer. Anything that must go through the IRB must be submitted not later than a week before the first Wednesday of the month.
    8. Are you currently a PPS Employee? If you are a Pittsburgh Public Schools employee, is this request to fulfill a task as an employee of PPS or is it independent of your employment responsibilities at PPS?

    The data and reporting team will reach out with any follow up questions regarding the request. All requests will be reviewed for appropriateness and plans for security and confidentiality. All requests must comply with the following Federal regulations:

    • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): For more information on FERPA, visit this webpage.
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): For more information on HIPAA as it pertains to education, visit this webpage.
    • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA): See the full list PPRA survey question consideration areas on this webpage.

    Requesters should anticipate a minimum of at least one month after the request is submitted before the final data are delivered. The Office of Research and Evaluation is a small team that supports frequent internal data reporting needs as they arise, as well as ongoing large projects that support district operations and instruction. Therefore, external requests will be added to a queue with internal district needs taking priority.