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Orinda Parents Raise Questions About Environment at Wagner Ranch

Wagner Ranch parents, saying they were concerned about the culture at the school, spoke to the Orinda school board Monday.

Parents of former and current students at Wagner Ranch Elementary requested action from the Orinda Union School District board of trustees at its Monday meeting. They presented a petition requesting an investigation into perceived inconsistencies in the principal’s use of disciplinary action and spoke about a punitive environment at the school.

In addition, parents questioned the administrative review process provided by the district to address grievances.

Parents noted that Wagner Ranch had significantly more suspensions than Del Rey, Glorietta or Sleepy Hollow. They spoke of children coming home in tears, fearing reprisal from administration. In addition, several parents stated that their children had provided video testimony without parental notification or consent when dealing with disciplinary issues.

The issue is a divisive one, with parents also speaking in support of principal Janis Arnerich and the school's administrative process. Riki Sorenson, former OUSD board member and part of the hiring committee for the principal, stated that the principal brought in "really good employees, really good teachers. I saw her move forward with district’s strategic goals. I saw her as a collaborator with the administrative staff.”

Sorenson stated that she was concerned that the community at Wagner Ranch is splintering, with repercussions for the district.

The comments were provided during the public comment period. The Brown Act forbids the board from engaging in discussions that are not on the published agenda.

Watch the video to get a sense of the issues raised. 

Christopher Severson September 25, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I would have loved to have made that happen. We did a lot of work trying but it just didn't work out.
Christopher Severson September 25, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Super complex transaction over a lot of years. Temporary rental space was negotiated into the deal a long time ago.
Fred Smith October 02, 2012 at 02:29 AM
It is horrific! AFAIF, nothing was done to address the concerns expressed by the parents at that meeting. Business usual at OUSD - Ignore the problems; circle the wagons; wait out the storm; hope it goes away...
Chris F. June 29, 2014 at 03:26 PM
It took over three years of complaints and law suits for the OUSD to remove Janis Arnerich and to save face they let her announce that she was retiring.. Thank you to the Teachers and Parents that spoke out and it is very sad that many of those people were shunned by their neighbors and school board for doing so. The parents and board members that did the shunning should be ashamed of themselves and think twice about their actions as they are not holier than thou, Apologies will never come but they are certainly due!
Christopher Severson July 03, 2014 at 02:31 PM
@ Chris F. - I'm sorry that you felt shunned. I hope your kids are doing well in OUSD.

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