Educational Services of America (ESA) has established a federally registered Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review proposed research studies involving ESA schools and programs. The rigorous IRB review process for research projects conducted in association with ESA and its two strategic service divisions, Ombudsman Educational Services and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, helps ensure all research is conducted in a manner that protects students, teachers, parents and public school district partners.

Release Highlights:

  • Educational Services of America (ESA) has established a federally registered Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review proposed research studies involving ESA schools and programs.
  • ESA’s Research and Analytics Department will explore a variety of topics, including those related to student achievement, post-secondary goals and public school district partner satisfaction with ESA programs.
  • The IRB will help ensure ethical treatment of all students, teachers, parents and public school district partners involved in the research.

For Immediate Release

Nashville, Tenn. (Monday, Nov. 21) – Educational Services of America (ESA) has established a federally registered Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review proposed research studies involving ESA schools and programs. ESA’s Research and Analytics Department will explore a variety of topics, including those related to student achievement, post-secondary goals and public school district partner satisfaction with ESA programs.

The rigorous IRB review process for research projects conducted in association with ESA and its two strategic service divisions, Ombudsman Educational Services and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, helps ensure all research is conducted in a manner that protects students, teachers, parents and public school district partners.

“Research is increasingly important to ESA’s mission to educate non-traditional learners,” Mark Claypool, ESA president and CEO, said. “The information and insight we gain through evaluation of the effectiveness of ESA programs helps ensure all students receive the educational and behavioral tools to learn, graduate and create better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.”

Members of the ESA executive and leadership teams who serve on the Institutional Review Board include:

  • John McLaughlin, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Director of Research and Analytics
  • Shirley Hanback, Executive Vice President for Human Resources
  • Don Whitfield, Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer
  • Allison O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer, Ombudsman Educational Services
  • Gail Henderson, Chief Operating Officer, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
  • Eva Gut, Ph.D., Research Associate
  • Lisa Britton, Ph.D., BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst), Vice President of Clinical Services and Integrity Assurance, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
  • Lauren Lunsford, Ph.D., an associate professor of literacy at Belmont University in Nashville, serves as the external member of the IRB, which is chaired by McLaughlin.

We are committed to sharing our best practices with other organizations and individuals who work with young people,” McLaughlin said. “Establishing the Institutional Review Board ensures we do this in a manner that safeguards the health, privacy and integrity of our students.”

Institutional Review Board registration is obtained through the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). OHRP provides leadership in the protection of the rights, welfare, and well-being of research participants by offering guidance, developing educational programs and materials, maintaining regulatory oversight, and providing advice on ethical and regulatory issues in biomedical and social-behavioral research.

About ESA

ESA’s mission is to provide personalized, evidence-based educational services for non-traditional learners in collaboration with families and public school districts. To fulfill this mission, ESA operates two strategic service divisions: Ombudsman Educational Services, which partners with public school districts to provide alternative education to non-traditional learners and students who are at risk of dropping out of school, and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, which partners with public schools to provide individualized services for students with challenging educational and behavioral needs such as autism, emotional disturbance and developmental delay. ESA partners with 260 public school districts in 22 states and the District of Columbia to serve 12,000 students each year in more than 170 schools and programs. For more information, visit www.esa-education.com.
###

Resource Links

Educational Services of America
Corporate: www.esa-education.com
Ombudsman: www.ombudsman.com
Spectrum: www.spectrumschools.com

HHS Office for Human Research Protections
Website: www.hhs.gov/ohrp

For more information

Educational Services of America
Dana Coleman
Lovell Communications
(615) 297-7766
dana@lovell.com