January 26 2011 FEA Europe Report1. Transfers
2. Black History Month
3. Area Directors' Travels
5. IRS Forms and Publications
6. 100 Days
7. Military Families
9. FSA, FEDVIP, FEHB
10. Blue Monday
11. Mark Your Calendar
1. Transfers -- As of today we have heard no further information on the transfer round. As soon as any news comes out we will immediately notify you. Transfer information will likely appear first on the DoDEA website followed shortly by FEA Online.
2. Black History Month -- Next month, February, which starts before the next Update, is Black History Month. There will be a number of celebrations and services in almost every community in DoDDS-E. Keep alert for local announcements. In addition, NEA has provided additional information and resources:
February 1-28 Black History Month
Begun in 1926 by Black scholar and historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month was originally celebrated as a weeklong event. In 1976, Congress expanded the observance to the entire month of February. Visit these sites for Black History resources:
National Visionary Leadership Project
African-American History Web Sites
Black History Month Lessons & Resources
3. Area Directors' Travels -- In the recent weeks I have visited the Sembach, Bitburg , Spangdahlem, and Baumholder schools. I appreciate the hospitality at all locations. This week I will visit Vogelweh ES on Thursday. Chuck will stay close to home until he heads off for England in early February.
4. MARLC -- This week we have several FEA leaders attending the Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Conference in Northern Virginia. We wish them safe travels as they attend this valuable conference and ask for your understanding should you try to reach them in the next few days.
5. IRS Forms and Publications -- I have been asked to include this again, probably because W-2 forms have begun to arrive. As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2010 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. http://www.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsInstructions.html?indexOfFirstRow=0&sortColumn=sortOrder&value=&criteria=&resultsPerPage=25&isDescending=false
6. 100 Days -- In the next week or two all of our schools will hit Day 100 of this school year, a significant marker. NEA has a web site (attached) loaded with activities that you can do with your students to celebrate.
7. Military Families -- On January 14 President Obama signed a resolution, along with his cabinet, for strengthening the military family. Of particular interest to us is Section 2, which deals with the education of military children.
8. Deadlines -- Strangely enough, there are no deadlines this week. Last week we had VERA and Early Notice but as of now there are none. Enjoy it -- more will come.
9. FSA, FEDVIP, FEHB -- During the recent Open Season many of you may have made changes to your benefits. These changes should have been reflected in your most recent LES. Please check to see that they are correct. Further information is in the attached document.
10. Blue Monday - This past Monday many people reported to me that they were feeling a bit sluggish and down. My inbox was filling up at a rapid pace. I myself was not feeling all that positive. This worried me until I find out that there might be a scientific reason. According to the Guardian of London newspaper some psychologists have claimed that the Monday of the last full week of January is the most depressing day of the year. They think that it may have something to do with Christmas bills coming due. In any event I felt better knowing maybe it wasn't my fault. They also reported that June is the ‘happiest time of the year' and that is all in front of us. If you would like some good and uplifting news try these websites: www.goodnewsnetwork.org, www.happynews.com, and www.goodnewsdaily.com. A fourth site, the newspaper noted, was shutting down because of a lack of good new stories.
11. Mark Your Calendars -
January 26 -- 30 Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Conference, Arlington, VA
January 28 -- Teacher Work Day
February 2 - Groundhog's Day
February 4 -- Area JCC
12. Update - The next Update will be out on February 2. A big thank you to Chuck for completing the Update the past two weeks while I have been on the road.
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051