Webinar: Research with Children and Adolescents in Elementary and Secondary Schools

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Research conducted with students in elementary and secondary school settings presents specific considerations for IRBs and researchers. Through interactive case studies, the speakers will examine the following topics as they relate to research conducted in K-12 schools:

  • Level of review: Is the project research with human subjects? If so, is it exempt, and if so, Category 1 or 2? Does it require full IRB review?
  • Level of risk
  • Consent considerations, including assent, parental permission, and possible alternatives
  • Family Education Rights and Protections Act (FERPA), the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), and common misconceptions about the IRB's role in ensuring investigator compliance with these laws
  • Scenarios that may be encountered in the classroom, including undue influence as a result of teachers as investigators, incidental subjects, and how to respect the rights of students who do not wish to participate
  • Potential benefits of "flex policies" for institutions that have "unchecked the box" on their Federalwide Assurance (FWA)
  • Other IRB considerations, including privacy and protection of data

What will I learn?
After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to do the following:

  • Determine IRB review and risk levels for protocols that involve research in schools
  • Understand and implement best practices for research with children in a classroom setting
  • Support and guide investigators on regulatory and logistic matters

Who should attend?
IRB administrators, staff, and researchers who work closely with research conducted in elementary and secondary public school settings will benefit from this intermediate-level webinar.


Shannon SewardsShannon Sewards, MA, CIP is the director of IRB administration for the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS) at Harvard University. The CUHS office is one of two IRB offices at Harvard and provides oversight for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and most of the graduate schools. The CUHS portfolio is varied, ranging from social and behavioral to stem cell and applied science research investigations. Previously, she worked for the University of Washington IRB and prior to this, for several IRBs in the Los Angeles area. Ms. Sewards’ educational background is in psychology, having attained an undergraduate degree from UCLA and a graduate degree from Pepperdine University. She has taken a particular interest in streamlining existing IRB processes and in developing new methods to compete in the ever-changing regulatory arena. She is very active in staying abreast of trends in the research ethics field, with particular interest in the recent movement to find flexibility in the human subjects protections regulations.

Julie SlaytonJulie Slayton, PhD, JD is professor of clinical education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. Her areas of expertise include school and school district system change; teacher principal and administrator evaluations; school and school district accountability systems; teacher practice (instruction) and practice (instructional) improvement; leadership, professional development and adult learning; and qualitative research. Dr. Slayton’s research has focused on examining the quality of instruction provided to children in elementary school classrooms and adults in professional development settings. Prior to her position at USC, Dr. Slayton worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving in a number of research and leadership roles, including director for research and planning. She has also practiced law and was a consultant for the US Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She holds a BA in history from the University of California, San Diego, a JD from Pepperdine University School of Law, and a PhD in education policy from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Background Reading

Rice, M., Bunker, K.D., Kang, D.H., Howell, C.C., Weaver, M. (2007). Accessing and recruiting children for research in schools. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 29(4), 501-14. doi: 10.1177/0193945906296549

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of attendance will be made available at the conclusion of the webinar. To access the certificate, you must first complete the online evaluation. Such certificates are useful for obtaining continuing education (CE) credits (not Continuing Medical Education credits) from professional associations. Note that guidelines concerning CE credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.

CE Credit for Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) Recertification

Webinar participants holding the CIP® credential who wish to apply credits from this webinar toward CIP® recertification may submit the Certificate of Attendance they received upon completing the online evaluation as documentation of their participation. Participation in this 90-minute webinar counts as 1.5 CE credit hours. Additional information about recertification can be found here.

Contact Information

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