The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 003 : PRINCIPALS(Cite as: 16 V.S.A. § 243)
§ 243. Appointment; renewal; dismissal
(a) Appointment. The school board of each school district operating a school, after recommendation by the superintendent, may designate a person as principal for each public school within the district, except that a principal may be selected to serve more than one school. In the case of a career technical center, only the school board that operates the center may designate a person as director. For purposes of this section, the word "principal" shall include a principal and the director of career technical education, and the term "public school" shall include a career technical center.
(b) Length of contract. The principal shall be employed by written contract for a term of not less than one year nor more than three years.
(c) Renewal and nonrenewal. A principal who has been continuously employed for more than two years in the same position has the right either to have his or her contract renewed, or to receive written notice of nonrenewal on or before February 1 of the year in which the existing contract expires. Nonrenewal may be based upon elimination of the position, performance deficiencies, or other reasons. The written notice shall recite the grounds for nonrenewal. If nonrenewal is based on performance deficiencies, the written notice shall be accompanied by an evaluation performed by the superintendent. At its discretion, the school board may allow a period of remediation of performance deficiencies prior to issuance of the written notice. After receiving such a notice, the principal may request in writing, and shall be granted, a meeting with the school board. Such request shall be delivered within 15 days of delivery of notice of nonrenewal, and the meeting shall be held within 15 days of delivery of the request for a meeting. At the meeting, the school board shall explain its position, and the principal shall be allowed to respond. The principal and any member of the board may present written information or oral information through statements of others, and the principal and the board may be represented by counsel. The meeting shall be in executive session unless both parties agree in writing that it be open to the public. After the meeting, the school board shall decide whether or not to offer the principal an opportunity to renew his or her contract. The school board shall issue its decision in writing within five days. The decision of the school board shall be final.
(d) Dismissal. During the term of a contract, a principal may be dismissed by the board for just and sufficient cause by written notice setting forth the grounds therefor. The board may provide that its order shall take effect immediately, or following a hearing. In either case, the principal shall be given an opportunity to request in writing a hearing within the 15 days following delivery of the notice. Within 15 days following receipt of a request for hearing from the principal, the board shall conduct such a hearing. The clerk of the board shall advise the principal and the superintendent of the time and place of hearing by written notice at least five days before the date of the hearing. The hearing shall be in executive session unless both parties agree in writing that it be open to the public. The principal and any member of the board may present witnesses and written evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and the principal and the board may be represented by counsel. Either the principal or the school board may arrange for the taking of a verbatim record of the proceedings. After the hearing, the board shall affirm, modify, or reverse its earlier action. Within five days after the conclusion of evidence in the case, the board shall issue a written decision that includes findings of fact and conclusions of law. Within 30 days of the day the written decision is delivered, the principal may appeal to the Superior Court under the rules for appeals from decisions in contested cases.
(e) Inclusion in contract. Every principal's contract shall be deemed to contain the provisions of this section. Any contract provision to the contrary is without effect. (Added 1977, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1985, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.); 1989, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2017, No. 49, § 24, eff. May 23, 2017.)