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Resources :: Guide :: Research in an educational setting :: State and federal law

State and Federal Law for Conducting Research in Public Schools

Public schools are subject to state and federal law in regards to their student stewardship. The laws are in place to protect students and to promote their educational experience. In order to have access to schools for conducting research, it is important to be familar with the laws and policies that govern the school.

Most of the protocol featured in this section highlights the Code of Virginia; if you are working in a public school in another state, we recommend that you become familiar with their state policies.  School districts and individual schools are often given authority to develop their own protocol as well, so we also recommend that you ask a school administrator about the school’s policies.

Section Topics

Student Records: FERPA
Obtaining Data from Student Records
Reporting Child Abuse
Reporting Suicide Threats
Reporting Illegal and/or Unsafe Behaviors

Additional Resources

Many of our researchers conduct studies in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.  The links below refer to the policies regarding research in their schools. 

Albemarle County
Administration of surveys
Conduct of research
Table of contents
Administration of surveys
Conduct of research


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