In a recent New Jersey employment law decision, the Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court rejected a board of education’s argument that it had substantially complied with the requirements for giving notice to untenured employees whose employment contract was not going to be renewed for the following school year.
In that case, Monika Vakulchik v. Board of Education of the Borough of Dunellen, Vakulchik, an untenured speech pathologist who worked for the Board since 2016, received an evaluation on May 1, 2020 with an average score of 3.33, which was in line with her scores over the previous years. It was signed by her supervisor, the director of special services, and recommended her for non-renewal, despite leaving the section listing the areas in which she could improver her work blank. She met with her supervisor and union representative, and then on May 3, 2020, emailed the superintendent requesting a statement of reasons for the non-renewal. The Board voted on May 5, 2020 to accept the superintendent’s recommendations for renewal, which did not include Vakulchik.