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January 11 2011 FEA Europe Update

1. Happy New Year!
2. Staffing Documents
3. Transfer Information
4. VERA
5. Leave Programs Announced
6. DDESS Information
7. W-2 Forms
8. Retirement Information
9. FEA Website
10. What's Wrong With This Picture?
11. Free Things for January
12. Area Directors' Travels
13. Area JCC
14. Mark Your Calendar


1. Happy New Year! This is my first update of the year. I hope you had a wonderful Winter Break and that 2011 has started off well for you!

2. Staffing Documents -- We are still waiting for the staffing documents for SY 11/12. We will let FRS's know as soon as they are released. FRS's should then work with the principal on how the new documents will impact the staffing for your school.

3. Transfer Information -- We are also still waiting for news of the transfer program. I know many of you are anxious to start the process, but please be patient. We will get the information out as quickly as possible. The transfer program must be renegotiated each year. Please remember that the best, most accurate information regarding the transfer program is on the FEA website. You will need your membership number to access some portions of the website, including our "Tips for Transfers."

Also, attached is a listing of DoDDS schools by district compiled by FEA member David Brown, Sigonella MS/HS, that may be useful to you in planning and filling out transfer applications. Many thanks to David for sharing this.

4. VERA - AND we are still waiting on news about VERA. We have advocated for a VERA offer this year and hope to have news soon.

5. Leave Programs Announced -- The Educational Leave Without Pay and Administrative Reemployment Rights programs have been announced. See the attachment for more information. Please note that the deadline to apply is Wednesday, January 12.

6. DDESS Information -- I often get questions about the possibility of teaching in a DDESS school, or the differences between DoDDS and DDESS. The attached information sheet will tell you a little about those differences. This was compiled with the help of management as well as Terry Arvidson, FEA Director for DDESS, and Dorothy Lee, DDESS UniServ attorney.

7. W-2 Forms -- Your W-2 form should be available on the MyPay site now.

8. Retirement Information -- Please contact the below Human Resources POCs if you are interested in retirement counseling or have questions:

Rebecca Heinrichs -- Isles District DSN 338-7373
Laura Miedema -- Med District and Area Director's Office DSN 338-7537
Rebecca Sousa -- Bavaria District DSN 338-7538
Stella Ramirez -- Heidelberg District DSN 338-7533
Tiffany Corwin -- Kaiserslautern District DSN 338-7534

9. FEA Website -- The FEA website has the list of candidates for FEA Europe "state" delegates to the NEA RA. (www.feaonline.org/europe.htm) Be sure to check the FEA website often for current information.

10. What's Wrong With This Picture? It seems more and more things take time away from teachers' planning time. Everything seems to take precedence over teachers having time to plan lessons, to grade work and to give students feedback. If we are truly looking to improve instruction and improve our schools, we should be working to give teachers uninterrupted time to focus on their lessons, their students, and the work of their classrooms. That is where the important work is done. Addressing this encroachment on teachers' time is a major priority for FEA.

11. Free Things for January -- This month, the NEA website has materials and information for subjects ranging from Civics and Civil Rights to Foreign Languages, including a link to foreign language newspapers, etc. This is definitely worth checking out: http://www.nea.org/tools/41983.htm

12. Area Directors' Travels -- I will be in Mannheim Wednesday, visiting the three schools in that complex. This week Alex will be in Bitburg, Spangdahlem, and Baumholder. Please excuse delays in responses to your e-mails when we are traveling.

13. Area JCC -- Alex and I met with Dr. Bresell and Mr. Dellacroce on Friday, Jan 7 for our monthly JCC meeting. The notes from that meeting will be sent out as soon as they are finalized. The next meeting is scheduled for February 4.

14. Mark Your Calendar --
January 12 -- Deadline for Leave Program applications
January 14 -- Deadline for Early Notice awards
January 17 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (go to www.nea.org for lesson resources.)
January 18 -- Deadline for Educator Career Program applications
January 26 -- 30 Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Conference, Arlington, VA
February 4 -- Area JCC meeting
February 21 -- Presidents' Day
April 30 -- Association Day, Wiesbaden

I hope that 2011 is a wonderful year for each of you, professionally and personally.

Thank you for all you do,
Chuck