The Research Review Board (RRB) is facilitated by the Impact Office at DPS. The RRB ensures responsible administration and facilitation of external research practice in the District. The primary responsibilities of the RRB are: 1) reviewing external research proposal submissions, 2) monitoring modifications to approved research projects, and 3) ensuring engagement in the research results with DPS staff, educators, and students to confirm mutual benefit of the final product to the District and external researcher on a Partnered Study. Approval of external research proposals will be reserved for projects that support District priorities and will be reviewed based on the level of effort required from DPS staff, as well as time required from DPS educators and students. The policies, processes, and proposal submission requirements outlined below and within the RRB Handbook encourage the greatest benefit from the time and resources expended to support external research proposals.
Guidance for New Research Requests (Updated Spring 2022)
The work of Denver Public Schools — like that of many organizations — has been profoundly affected by the current public health situation. This has required a number of shifts in how DPS works and the resources we devote to different district functions. Consequently, our priorities and resources with respect to external research have shifted, as well.
The DPS Research Review Board (RRB) has taken into consideration the recommendations of the Council of Great City Schools, regarding external research activities:
Capacity to participate in research activities will also be limited when students and staff return to campus locations at a future date. Concerns include safety as well as atypical contexts affecting data collection and research validity. (p. 11)
Currently, Denver Public School is experiencing several challenging circumstances, including (1) staffing shortages at both schools and the central office; (2) restructuring of central office departments, and; (3) current development of a district-wide, multi-year strategic plan. As a result, we have changed our requirements for the external research we will consider. The RRB anticipates approving a smaller proportion of the research requests we receive. Moving forward, we will only be considering research proposals that meet the following requirements:
- Research which can provide timely and actionable feedback on current DPS district-level priorities, including:
- What we mean: Dismantle oppressive systems and structures rooted in racism and classism, and center students and team members with a focus on racial and educational equity.
- Why this focus: We believe that everything we do must be done within the context of promoting equity for students, educators, and the community
- Social-Emotional and Mental Health:
- What we mean: Address the social-emotional and mental health needs of all students and employees.
- Why this focus: Social-motional and mental health is an essential foundations for student learning. Support for our students, as well as for our educators, is a necessary support to enable learning to occur.
- Accelerating Learning by Re-envisioning Education
- What we mean: We are committed to accelerating learning by providing a culturally and linguistically sustaining education that enables us to re-envision rather than repeat the district’s historical inequities to provide an equitable education for ALL of our students.
- Why this focus: At our core, we are an organization focused on learning. As we move beyond the pandemic, we are identifying ways to build on what has worked well for students in remote learning. We are rethinking education and identifying ways to support students in order to accelerate their learning, with a particular focus on our language learners, students with disabilities, students experiencing poverty, and students of color.
The RRB will review and consider initial inquiries which may not meet all of these criteria but which (a) support an ongoing, previous commitment made by DPS (esp. with regards to grant-funded programs), and/or those proposals which (b)l make a significant contribution to an employee’s professional development.