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Decision No. 14,921


Appeal of GLORIA BERKMAN, on behalf of her daughter MARGO, from action of the Board of Education of the Syosset Central School District regarding residency.


Decision No. 14,921


(August 12, 2003)


Law Offices of Vanessa M. Sheehan, attorneys for respondent, Raymond G. Keenan, Esq., of counsel


CATE, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Syosset Central School District ("respondent") that her daughter, Margo, is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Margo has attended school in respondent"s district since 1990.  In January of 2002, petitioner changed Margo"s registration address with the district"s Office of Census and Attendance from Candy Lane in Syosset to a residence at Pheasant Lane, also within Syosset.

In August of 2002, questions regarding Margo"s residency came to light.  Respondent"s deputy superintendent hired a private investigator, who discovered that some records indicated that petitioner lived on Chelsea Drive, within the Smithtown Central School District.  The investigator also found an unpublished phone number for the Chelsea Drive residence under the last name "Berkman." 

Respondent"s coordinator of Human Resources and Attendance Teacher notified petitioner by letter dated November 14, 2002, that a residency hearing would be conducted on November 21, 2002. By letter dated November 19, 2002, petitioner stated that she and Margo lived in a residence on Eagle Chase, within respondent"s district, with her parents.  Petitioner acknowledged that her parents also owned the Chelsea Drive residence, where she and Margo planned to live once Margo graduated.

Respondent"s superintendent notified petitioner by letter dated November 25, 2002 of the hearing officer"s finding that Margo was not a district resident and therefore was not entitled to attend respondent"s schools.  This appeal ensued.  On December 19, 2002, petitioner"s request for interim relief was granted.

     Petitioner contends that she and Margo reside at her parent"s Eagle Chase residence, within respondent"s school district and that they intend to reside there until Margo"s graduation in June 2003.

The Commissioner will only consider matters 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 Baronti, 42 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,802; Appeal of Schrader 42 id. ___, Decision No. 14,771).  Petitioner"s request for interim relief was granted on December 19, 2002.  In response to a request from my Office of Counsel, respondent reports that Margo has graduated from high school and petitioner has not refuted this information.  Accordingly, petitioner"s appeal is moot (Appeal of Baronti, supra; Appeal of Schrader, supra).