School Data Collection and Parental Permission Slips: Integrating Project Staff in Schools to Increase Return Rates
Durocher, B. L., Bailey-Stone, L. K., & McCaskill, L. (2011, May). School Data Collection and Parental Permission Slips: Integrating Project Staff in Schools to Increase Return Rates. Presented at AAPOR 2011, Phoenix, AZ.
To examine the effectiveness of employing local field data collectors to integrate in schools to increase return rates of parent permission forms for students participating in a national research study of teen dating violence prevention issues.
Obtaining a high rate of return of active, valid signed parent permission forms from middle school students can be overwhelming and labor-intensive for both teachers and administrative staff. In this presentation, we compare permission form return rates in eight middle schools participating in a current, national study. We examine the effectiveness of employing local field staff to coordinate distributing and collecting permission forms by integrating within classrooms to (1) promote and explain the importance of the study to students, teachers, and other school staff; (2) encourage students to return their permission forms; and (3) distribute student and teacher incentives for returning signed forms.
In some schools, local field staff gained immediate access to classrooms, staff, and resources to promote the study and explain the incentives and importance of returning the permission forms. In others, they were prohibited from accessing classrooms, staff, and resources until several weeks of the permission gathering process had elapsed. Using permission forms from all eight middle schools, we examined the overall return rates and the pace of their return. We correlated these to the timing of our field staff’s accessibility to classrooms, teachers, staff, and resources.
Principal Findings and Conclusions
There is a noticeable difference in the return rates and pace of the returns of parent permission forms in schools where field staff had systematic and frequent access to school classrooms, teachers, staff, and resources to promote the study, discuss the importance of returning the forms, and distribute earned incentives.