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Decision No. 15,260

Appeal of INGRID SAILSMAN, on behalf of her children KASHEEMA, TARAH and NATHANIEL, from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New Rochelle regarding residency.

Decision No. 15,260

(July 28, 2005)

Bozeman, Trott & Savage, LLP, attorneys for petitioner, Karen H. Charrington, Esq., of counsel

Kehl, Katzive & Sigmond, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Terri E. Simon, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New Rochelle ("respondent") that her children, Kasheema, Tarah, and Nathaniel, are not district residents. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner maintains that her three children reside with her at an address within respondent's district. Respondent maintains that the children actually reside in Yonkers and argues that the appeal should be dismissed for lack of personal service upon respondent.

Section 275.8(a) of the Commissioner's regulations requires that the petition be personally served upon each named respondent. If a school district is named as a respondent, service upon the school district shall be made personally by delivering a copy of the petition to the district clerk, to any trustee or any member of the board of education, to the superintendent of schools, or to a person in the office of the superintendent who has been designated by the board of education to accept service (8 NYCRR �275.8[a]). Respondent claims that petitioner delivered the petition to Antoinette Pugliese, a secretary to respondent's Director of Pupil Services. Petitioner's counsel then mailed a petition to Carol Feldman, Director of Pupil Services. Since the petition was not personally served on the district clerk, a member of the board of education, the superintendent, or to a superintendent's designee, there was no valid service of process and the Commissioner does not have jurisdiction over this appeal (Appeal of Atwal, 43 Ed Dept Rep 406, Decision No. 15,033; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 43 id. 361, Decision No. 15,018).

While the appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, I note that petitioner retains the right to reapply to the district for admission on her children's behalf at any time and to present information for respondent's consideration (Appeal of Washington, 42 Ed Dept Rep 197, Decision No. 14,820; Appeal of Perez, 42 id. 71, Decision No. 14,779; Appeal of Santoianni, 40 id. 237, Decision No. 14,470).