Research, Evaluation and Analytics


Outside Research Projects

​Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) will allow qualified individuals and organizations to engage in professional research and evaluation projects with potential to improve learning conditions, student outcomes, and staff or program effectiveness in CMS. This provision applies to individuals or agencies not associated with CMS and to CMS employees conducting research outside the scope of their employment with CMS.

All persons interested in conducting research in CMS must obtain approval. Research includes, but is not limited to, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and classroom observations involving CMS students and staff. Researchers may click here to access a copy of the district's Educational Research Policy.

All applications are reviewed according to Federal Regulations governing the protection of human subjects and North Carolina Student Privacy Laws Article 29.

If you are interested in using CMS data in your study, please note that some data are available to the public through national and state websites; for a list of these websites, please view the Resources page. Please note that all CMS quantitative data not available publically must be requested through the Office of Accountability; data cannot be provided by school employees.

Procedure for Submitting A Research Application

  1. Contact District Level Staff (Executive Director or Director or Specialist) of relevant department to determine interest in research topic. If the relevant district level staff do not support the study as proposed, the study will not be approved. District level staff may collaborate with researcher to develop a study that will be beneficial to the district. Research must align with current and/or future curriculum plans, strategies or programs. To complete an application, a CMS Executive Director or Director or Specialist must provide documentation of support that includes support of the research questions, methods, and indicates how the study will provide actionable information to benefit the district. Please see the items below as you plan your study:
  2. ​Read CMS Research Request Guidelines  to ensure that your proposed study meets all requirements to conduct research in CMS
  3. ​​Review template for Memorandum of Understanding which includes the Terms and Conditions to conduct research in CMS. Any requests to edit the Memorandum of Understanding will be denied with exception of MOU's with state entities which will be modified to align with current state laws.
  4. Complete the Application to Conduct Research in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. You will complete a registration form (see link below), then receive an email with a unique link to your application from JotForm. This link is unique to your application and will allow you to save and return to your application. Please save the email as it is the only copy of your unique link. Please note that the program will only save pages where all required items have something entered after clicking on the NEXT button. You may use a placeholder for incomplete required questions and complete the required questions when you return to the application. Registration Form Questions about the application? Contact Susie Freije
  5. Send the $50.00 application fee to the attention of Ms. Susie Freije: Office of Accountability, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 4421 Stuart Andrew Blvd, Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28217.  Checks should be made out to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.


University IRB approval and district level support do not guarantee approval by the Research Review Panel.  While the University IRB is reviewing the study to ensure human subjects protections, the CMS Research Review Panel is reviewing the study to ensure human subjects protections; feasibility; alignment with curriculum and Strategic Plan; data availability; protection of instructional time; and minimizing the burden on staff, schools, and students. We strongly recommend that researchers review the CMS Research Request Guidelines prior to planning their research study. Researchers may contact Lindsay Messinger, Director of Research, Evaluation and Analytics ( or Susie Freije (, Research, Evaluation and Analytics Coordinator with questions regarding conducting research in CMS. 

The Research Review Panel will review study primarily looking at the following criteria:

  • Research study follows all the CMS Research Request Guidelines.
  • High quality methodology and data analysis are used in research study.
  • Methodology and data analysis align with research questions.
  • The study will provide actionable data that can be used by the district to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan ​.
  • Results can be generalized to group larger than study group.

A summary of the research application process can be found here

 Application Review Calendar

The Research Review Panel meets once a month to review applications. Please see the calendar below for review dates and deadlines to submit applications and supporting documents:


Research Review Panel MeetingsAll materials submitted by (close of business)
Wednesday, July 12, 2017Monday, July 3, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017Monday, July 31, 2017
Wednesday, September 13, 2017Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017Monday, October 2, 2017
Wednesday,  November 8, 2017Monday, October 30, 2017
Tuesday, December 19, 2017Monday, December 4, 2017
Friday, January 12, 2018Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Wednesday, February 14, 2018Monday, February 5, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018Monday, March 5, 2018
Wednesday, April 11, 2018Monday, April 2, 2018
Wednesday, May 9, 2018Monday, April 30, 2018
Wednesday, June 13, 2018Monday, June 4, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018Monday, July 2, 2018
Wednesday, August 8, 2018Monday, July 30, 2018


CMS will not allow surveys during the following blackout times:

Student Surveys

  • September 12-18 (Elementary Schools)
  • September 25- October 27 (West Learning Community)
  • October 11 (High Schools)
  • January 12-19 (High Schools)
  • February 25- March 3 (All Schools)
  • February 27 (High Schools)
  • May 25- June 8 (All Schools)

Staff Surveys

  • October 31- November 17 (Teachers)
  • February 6- February 24 (All Staff)
  • March 1- 29 (All Staff)
  • April 11-May 4 (Teachers)
  • April 11- May 4 (Principals)

Parent Surveys

  • March 1- March 28

CMS will not allow researcher to administer assessments during the following blackout times:

  • September 12-18 (Elementary Schools)
  • October 11 (High Schools)
  • January 12-19 (High Schools)
  • February 27 (High Schools)
  • May 25- June 8 (All Schools)

​If you have any questions, please contact Lindsay Messinger, Director of Research, Evaluation, and Analytics at .