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Research Procedures

Research being conducted at Jackman ICS must first pass ethics approval through the University of Toronto, or an approved institution, and then go through our own Jackman ICS Laboratory School Child Research Committee. If you have outside approval, please contact the Chair of the Child Research Committee, Jackman ICS Vice Principal and Research Coordinator to discuss which outside institutions are acceptable and see #2 below. If you do not have ethics approval from another governing body, then please see #1 to follow this research application process:

1. Visit the U of T Ethics website to obtain the appropriate materials for your application at www.library.utoronto.ca/rir/ethics_hshome.html. For research at Jackman ICS, please follow the directions to submit your application to the OISE Research Ethics Review Committee. You are advised to submit your application well in advance of your intended start date. If your research does not involve direct contact with the children, such as a purely observational study, it may be possible to follow an expedited approval process. This information is described in full on the website.

2. Once approval from U of T has been procured, or your approval from another governing body has been deemed valid, submit your application to the Jackman ICS Child Research Committee for approval. This involves filling out the Research Project Information Form and attaching it as a cover to a copy of your full U of T ethics application. Please submit five copies to the Chair of the Child Research Committee. Please include in each a copy of the letter of approval from U of T Ethics or other outside institution.

3. You will receive a letter from the Jackman ICS Child Research Committee notifying you whether approval for your project has been granted. Upon approval, please contact the Jackman ICS laboratory school by phone or email to work out the start-up details. New researchers and all research assistants will need to book a time for a brief orientation session with the Research Coordinator to review the procedures for withdrawing children from the classroom at Jackman ICS. Please direct any new research assistants joining the project at any time to the research coordinator for this orientation. The Research Coordinator can be contacted at: 416-934-4512.

4. The coordinator will provide information about consent for the children involved. We do have a blanket consent form that is received from all families at the start of each year. In most cases it will be also necessary to procure additional consent for each study. The school policy on consent forms is this: if your study passes through U of T ethics (or other governing body) with a consent form attached, then we are obliged to use that form. If this is the case, the consent form that has been included in your ethics application and approved by the committee may be used as an additional consent letter. The researcher is responsible for bringing a copy of this letter to the coordinator and for handing the letter and return form out to the parents of the children invited to participate. The return forms will be collected by the classroom teachers or school office and given to the Research Coordinator. The Research Coordinator will make copies for the school files, and give the originals to the researcher. Research will not be able to begin until signed consent forms have been returned.

5. Check with the Research Coordinator to find out whether there are any children of the age group you need who are currently not allowed to be tested for research purposes. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT. As well, please note that children in the lab school often receive standardized tests for research purposes. You may wish to ask the Research Coordinator for the testing history of the children you intend to have participate in your study before you begin, to find out who have recently been given the same standardized test to plan accordingly. In order to keep track of each child's testing history, we ask the researchers to keep a record of the nature of each child's participation on a tracking sheet, and hand it in to the Research Coordinator at the completion of your study. This information will then be added to our school research database.

6. Spending time in the classroom before beginning to withdraw children may be a requirement. Especially for the younger children, researchers and research assistants may need to visit the participating classrooms to help the children feel more familiar and comfortable with them before the study begins. You will receive a “Suggestions for Establishing Rapport” handout to read and share with your research assistants. All researchers who will be working with the children should be introduced by the classroom teachers. Children may also be taken on a tour of the testing site with the teacher and researcher at the discretion of the teacher.

7. Please contact the classroom teachers (by email) to arrange when and how to withdraw participating children, and when to visit the classroom beforehand. The Research Coordinator will give you the relevant email addresses during your orientation session.

8. Please sign up to book the testing rooms 071 and 071A on the clipboards at the front reception desk at 45 Walmer Road.

9. For the children's security, we require that all researchers, both outside and in-house, wear an identification tag when doing research with children in the lab school . All researchers and assistants, after checking in with the receptionist, need to proceed to the lab school secretary to pick up your ID tag and sign your name in the research logbook each day you come to research in the school. Please remember to return the tag to the secretary on your way out, and sign out in the logbook.

10. When withdrawing children, please sign them in and out on the pocket chart at the door of each classroom, as well as inform the teacher in charge. Please return the child to the classroom, sign the child back in on the pocket chart, and let a teacher know that the child has returned. As well, we ask the researcher to take the time to help the child become engaged in an activity before moving on to the next child.

11. Please remember that it is the child's right to refuse to participate. For younger children, it is especially important to be aware of non-verbal signs that a child does not wish to participate. The comfort level of all children should be given a priority and the researchers may need to provide some flexibility where needed, such as performing tests in more familiar settings.

12. Please familiarize yourself with the fire safety information posted in the testing rooms. In case of an alarm sounding when you are with a child, take appropriate actions for fire drills. Proceed immediately to the person standing at the front of the school holding a clipboard (often the principal). Let that person know which child you have and which class he/she is from. You can then take the child to meet up with the rest of the class, letting the classroom teacher know that the child is there.

13. Please note that U of T ethics approval is valid for a period of one year. If your research extends beyond on year, you will be required to renew your ethics approval for the study. U of T Ethics will send you a reminder email of this two months prior to the expiry of your approval and you will be asked to complete an application for the Annual Renewal of Ethics Approval. A study may renewed up to four times; after five years a full re-evaluation is required. Please also use the Research Project Information Form to renew your approval with the Jackman ICS Child Research Committee. Upon completion of your study, U of T Ethics will ask you to complete a Study Completion Report to close your file. At Jackman ICS, we ask that you please let the research committee know by phone or email that the lab school's involvement in your study is complete.

14. For current research continuing into a new school year, a new Research Project Information Form should be filled out and submitted to the Research Coordinator, to have your study(ies) placed on the school research calendar. This will inform the ethics committee, help to prepare the teachers, and enable the school to coordinate the various research projects. As well, some of this information will be included in a handout on display outside the library, to inform families about the current research projects in the school. All faculty please also indicate if you have any assignments for the MA students that will require involvement with the children, which grades, and when.

15. Finally, we request that you take the time to fill out our Research Evaluation Form at the end of your study, or at anytime during the process, and return it to the Coordinator. We are interested to get valuable feedback from you, and to continually monitor and improve our research procedures.


The Research Committee at Jackman ICS

For further information or assistance, please contact:

Chriss Bogert, Vice-Principal & Research Coordinator
chriss.bogert@utoronto.ca
416-934-4512

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