Administration of Student and Staff Surveys

Section L: Education Agency Relations

Policy Title: Administration of Student and Staff Surveys
Policy Code: LCA

Print Version (in PDF)

The board recognizes the value academic research can provide to a District’s educational programs and services.  The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements for obtaining authorization to conduct research, and/or receive data from TUSD school community and to ensure compliance with federal and state laws for the collection and reporting of information.

Tucson Unified School District cooperates with individuals and agencies who would like to conduct research activities or would like to receive and use any TUSD data for research and evaluation purposes.  Research activities may be approved as deemed appropriate by the school district and upon meeting the established procedures set forth in this policy.  Surveys, analyses, and evaluations conducted as part of any program funded through the U.S. Department of Education must comply with 20 U.S.C. § 1232h.

This policy governs the administration of a survey, analysis, or evaluation to staff, students, and the TUSD school community.  The procedures are designed to protect the confidentiality and rights of staff, students, and TUSD Community and to ensure that the proposed research adheres with all legal statutes and ethical guidelines.  This includes the requirement to obtain written informed consent from the parent of a student (opt-in) before administering any survey that solicits personal information about the pupil regarding a number of characteristics which are listed in the statute A.R.S. 15-117.

  1. critical appraisals of another person with whom the student has a close relationship with;
  2. gun or ammunition ownership;
  3. illegal, antisocial or self-incriminating behavior;
  4. income or other financial information;
  5. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as relationships with a lawyer, physician or member of the clergy;
  6. medical history or medical information;
  7. mental health history or mental health information about the student or the student’s family;
  8. political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
  9. pupil biometric;
  10. the quality of home interpersonal relationships;
  11. religious practices affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
  12. self-sufficiency as it pertains to emergency, disaster and essential services interruption planning;
  13. sexual behavior or attitudes;
  14. voting history
This policy does not apply to:
  • mental health screening pursuant to section 15-104 or the identification of or programming for children with disabilities or gifted pupils pursuant to title 15, chapter 7, articles 4 and 4.1;
  • class instruction, discussion or assignments on subjects within the purview of the course;
  • any exam administered by a nationally recognized college entrance or career readiness exam provider that a student takes on public school property regardless of whether the exam is taken during the school day;
  • any survey conducted or implemented by the Arizona criminal justice commission if, at least seven days before the survey is administered to a pupil, the parent is provided with a paper or electronic copy of the survey, or electronic access to the survey;
  • any method of surveying a student that is conducted because a person has a reasonable belief that a minor is or has been a victim of abuse pursuant to section 13-3620.
  • any method of surveying by the District of employees that is created and approved by District departments to conduct regular assessment of job satisfaction, working conditions, site culture and climate, and other matters critical to employment engagement, development, and retention surveys.

Surveys in General

  • Surveys administered by the District will be reported anonymously and the identity of staff, students, or parents  shall be indiscernible.
  • No mechanism will be used in the reporting of students for personally or individually that identifies the participating student in any way by the District.
  • All surveys must be approved by the Assessment & Evaluation Department.
  • Assessment & Evaluation may choose not to approve any survey that seeks probing personal and/or sensitive information that could result in identifying the survey participant or is discriminatory in nature based on age, race, color, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin. 
  • Assessment & Evaluation will not approve the survey if it conflicts with TUSD Board policies or regulations.
  • For surveys other than those administered by the District, the school administrator or district department head to be involved with the study may decline to proceed with the study, if the administrator believes that the survey would cause an unwarranted use of staff or student time, or that it would create unfavorable parent or community reaction.
Student Survey Requirements
For any survey administered to students under this policy, a copy of the survey and a written consent form will be provided to the student’s parent.  No surveys will be administered to students under this policy without the prior written consent of the parent (or the student if the student is an adult or emancipated minor).  Written consent must be received from the parent at least seven (7) days before administering the survey.

Parent Notification
Parents will be notified of this policy annually at the beginning of the school year and within a reasonable period of time if any substantive change is made to this policy.

The notice will provide parents the opportunity to opt out of participation in the following activities:

  • Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the purpose of marketing or for selling that information, or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose.
  • Any nonemergency invasive physical examination or screening that is required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school and scheduled by the school in advance, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of the student or other students.
    • "Invasive physical examination" means any medical examination that involves the exposure of private body parts, or act during such examination that includes incision, insertion, or injection into the body, but does not include a hearing, vision, or scoliosis screening.
  • The notice provisions (listed under “Scope” of this policy) shall not be construed to preempt applicable provisions of state law (A.R.S. 15-117) that require parental notification and do not apply to any physical examination or screening that is permitted or required by applicable state law, including physical examinations or screenings that are permitted without parental notification.  If the survey does not seek the characteristics as provided under “Scope” of this policy and A.R.S. 15-117, opt-in is not required.

Adopted: October 5, 2004
Reviewed: March 6, 2013
Updated: August 5, 2014 (department name change)
Revised: October 6, 2022
Revised: September 26, 2023 

LEGAL REF.: 20 U.S.C.§ 1232h; 20 U.S.C.§ 1400 et.seq.; 34 CFR Par 98; A.R.S. § 15-117