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Decision No. 14,339

Appeal of A. M., on behalf of B. R., from action of the Board of Education of the Freeport Union Free School District regarding summer school credit.

Decision No. 14,339

(April 19, 2000)

Ingerman, Smith, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Lawrence W. Reich, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's determination that her son, B. R., failed to earn sufficient participation points in two summer school courses to enable him to earn credit for the courses and graduate. The appeal must be dismissed.

B. R. attended respondent's 1998 summer school program for classes in biology, economics and participation in government. Upon his successful completion of those courses, B. R. was to receive his high school diploma. As part of its grading policy, each student received up to three participation points for each day the student attended class. To earn credit in a course, a student was required to earn a total of 78 participation points. When a student was absent, the student could make up missed work, but earned no participation points for class on the day of absence.

By letter dated July 27, 1998, respondent's principal notified petitioner that B. R. had missed four days of class in economics and, therefore, was not going to earn sufficient participation points over the remaining summer school class session to enable him to earn credit for the course. The letter also indicated that B. R. missed three days of classes in participation in government and cautioned that any further absences would prevent him from earning the required 78 participation points and, therefore, credit for that course.

On July 31, 1998, petitioner initiated this appeal challenging respondent's policy of requiring participation points to earn credit for a course. Petitioner also challenged the number of absences attributed to B. R. in both courses. As part of her appeal, petitioner sought an interim order requesting waiver of the participation point requirement and, in the alternative, granting B. R. the participation points necessary to complete the summer school program in economics and participation in government. By letter dated August 17, 1998, petitioner's request was denied.

Petitioner's verified reply in this appeal was not filed until September 2, 1998, subsequent to the completion of respondent's summer school program. In a subsequent affidavit dated April 17, 2000, respondent indicates that B. R. did, in fact, receive sufficient credit through the 1998 summer school program to earn a high school diploma. The affidavit states that B. R. graduated from Freeport High School on August 26, 1998.

The Commissioner of Education will only consider matters that are in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exists or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Lynn I., 39 Ed Dept Rep 76, Decision No. 14,179; Appeal of Angelo, 38 id. 803, Decision No. 14,147).

In view of the fact that B. R. has received a high school diploma and graduated from respondent's high school, no further relief can be granted. The appeal, therefore, is moot.