School district apologizes after investigating second-grader

The Orinda Union School District issued an apology regarding what district officials called an “upsetting” investigation into the residency of one of its students and pledged to improve communication in future residency cases.

The apology was prompted by public backlash after recent media reports that the district had hired a private investigator to determine whether a second-grade student and her caregiver met the requirement of living within the school district.

In November the girl and her family were notified that she did not meet the district’s residency requirements and would not be allowed to continue attending school within the district, according to a letter signed by district officials on Wednesday.

But since then, the district has received additional documentation from the family and officials have determined that the residency requirements have been met, allowing the girl to remain enrolled at the school, according to the statement.

The district’s letter, signed by district Superintendent Dr. Joe Jaconette and school board President Christopher Severson, said that their policy for residency mirrors that of school districts statewide and “requires that we investigate questions of residency when they are brought to our attention.”

However, Jaconette and Severson acknowledged in the letter that the district’s communication regarding the case “was upsetting to the family involved and to others in the community” and promised to “examine our practices in hopes of improving how we communicate with those involved in these matters.”