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Decision No. 16,802

Appeal of SHAWNTE CHAMBLESS, on behalf of DEVANTE PAVELOCK, JOSE MARRERO and SHAWN MARRERO, from action of the Board of Education of the Hyde Park Central School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 16,802

(August 3, 2015)

Thomas, Drohan, Waxman, Petigrow & Mayle, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Allison E. Smith, Esq., of counsel

ELIA, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals a determination of the Board of Education of the Hyde Park Central School District ("respondent") that her children, Devante, Jose and Shawn, are not district residents.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Prior to the 2014-2015 school year, petitioner enrolled her children in respondent’s district, listing a residence within the district.  At some point during the school year petitioner moved out of the district.  In or about March 2015, district staff raised concerns regarding the students’ residence, and the district conducted an investigation.  A residency hearing was scheduled on April 6, 2015, but petitioner did not attend.  By letter dated April 7, 2015, respondent’s residency officer notified petitioner of the determination that she and her children were not district residents.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted on April 29, 2015.

In her petition, petitioner admits that she no longer resides in respondent’s district.  She claims that she transferred custody and control of the children to her parents, who reside in the district.  As relief, petitioner requests only that her children be permitted to attend school in respondent’s district for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year.  She states that her children will be “attending Poughkeepsie School” in September 2015.

Respondent maintains that it received no evidence that petitioner transferred custody and control of her children to any resident within the district and contends that its residency determination is in all respects proper.

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).

As noted, in this appeal petitioner asks only that her children be permitted to attend respondent’s schools for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year and states that they will be enrolled elsewhere for the 2015-2016 school year.  By interim order, issued on April 29, 2015, respondent was directed to permit petitioner’s children to continue to attend its schools.  Because the 2014-2015 school year has ended, the matter is, therefore, moot.