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Decision No. 16,342

Appeal of ANNA TURECKI, on behalf of her daughter GRACE, from action of the Board of Education of the Amherst Central School District regarding class placement.

Decision No. 16,342

(March 29, 2012)

McGee & Gelman, attorneys for petitioner, Laura A. Colca, Esq., of counsel

Harris Beach, PLLC, attorneys for respondent, Laura Purcell, Esq., of counsel

KING, JR., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the denial by the Board of Education of the Amherst Central School District (“respondent”) of her request for placement of her daughter with a specific first-grade teacher.  The appeal must be dismissed.

The record indicates that in June 2011, petitioner contacted respondent’s elementary school principal and requested that Grace be placed with a certain first-grade teacher (“teacher”) during the 2011-2012 school year.  The principal denied petitioner’s request.  Petitioner then appealed to the board, which upheld the principal’s determination by letter dated July 15, 2011.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on September 9, 2011.

Petitioner seeks a determination that Grace’s needs will be best served by placing her in the teacher’s first-grade classroom and requests that I “clarify the exact procedure for how student classroom placements are made.”  Respondent argues that the appeal must be dismissed as moot and that petitioner has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and to carry her burden of proof.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot.  The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 Ed Dept Rep 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; Appeal of Embro, 48 id. 204, Decision No. 15,836).  In its verified answer, respondent asserts that petitioner has withdrawn Grace from enrollment in the district and has instead enrolled her in a private school.  Petitioner has submitted no reply or other evidence to the contrary.  Accordingly, the appeal must be dismissed as moot.