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Decision No. 12,835

Appeal of DEBORAH G., on behalf of her son, from action of the Board of Education of the Niagara Falls City School District regarding student grading.

Decision No. 12,835

(November 17, 1992)

Richard C. Doherty, Esq., attorney for respondent

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner seeks review of her son's final grade in English 12 and an order directing the Board of Education of the Niagara Falls City School District (respondent) to issue him a passing grade and a high school diploma. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner's son was enrolled in the twelfth grade at Niagara Falls High School during the 1991-92 school year. On December 9, 1991, he broke the hand with which he writes, and wore a cast until January 28, 1992. His English teacher admits she made no accommodations during this period for his injury.

The student received a grade of 50 for the 20-week grading period. Despite subsequent remediation, he failed English and, although he passed his other courses, he lacked the necessary credits for graduation. Petitioner appealed her son's failing grade and, on June 22, 1992, was informed by the superintendent, acting on behalf of the board of education, that her son's grade would not be changed and that consequently, he would not be permitted to graduate.

Petitioner commenced this appeal on June 22, 1992. On June 25, 1992, I issued an interim order to enable petitioner's son to participate in his graduation ceremony on June 27, 1992. Shortly thereafter, petitioner's son enrolled in summer school and successfully completed his fourth year English requirements, which entitled him to a high school diploma. Because the student has, since the time this appeal was filed, earned a passing grade in English, this appeal is moot. It is well settled that the Commissioner of Education will determine only matters in actual controversy and will not render a determination upon a dispute which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Huggins, 28 Ed Dept Rep 173; Matter of Harri, 22 id. 388; Matter of Nugent, 22 id. 347; Matter of Community Board 25, 20 id. 607; Matter of Albert, 20 id. 215; Matter of Morris, 17 id. 95).

Although the petition is dismissed, I must, nevertheless, remind respondent of its obligation to evaluate every student suspected of having a disability and to provide reasonable accommodation during the period of disability as required by '504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC '794).