January 29, 2014 FEA Europe Update
1. Busy Times
2. Area Directors' Travels
4. Honor Jazz Fest
5. IRS Forms and Publications
7. Excessing Article
8. Area JCC
9. Member Benefits
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. 100th Day of School
12. Open Season
13. W-2 Form
14. Most Regretted Jobs
15. Area Director Candidates Announced
16. Area JCC Minutes
1. Busy Times -- Staffing documents are in the process now of being distributed, and soon principals and FRSs will be looking at the needs of each school in the context of these documents. VERA/VSIP information for teachers at non-closing schools will be coming out within the next two weeks, and shortly after that the excess placement round will begin. Bottom line is that the next month or so will be very busy in lots of ways. Keep an eye on updates as they come your way and always remember to check www.feaonline.org for breaking news. For myself, I will be trying to visit the schools that are closing/transforming to help in any way that I can.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- To repeat what I mentioned earlier, I will be traveling to as many schools as possible with an emphasis on closing/transforming schools. There are currently 9 schools in my Area that fall under this category. I have visits to Spangdahlem, Bitburg and Baumholder planned already and will be looking to schedule more. Note: Whenever my ‘Out of Office' reply message comes up it does not necessarily mean that I am unavailable. It may just be a CAC issue as I am traveling. In that case, if you need an answer quickly, then write to firstname.lastname@example.org . I will be able to get on there from almost anywhere.
3. SEPA -- Some of you may or may not be aware of this but on February 1, 2014, the European Union will convert to the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) format for payment processing. SEPA allows individuals to make single and repeating payments in a standard format to countries participating in the payment system. It also requires all current payment systems to convert to the new SEPA requirements by February 1, 2014. Bottom line is that if you pay rent, electricity, phone, etc. by Standard Payment Order then you should contact your financial institution right after the holidays if not sooner. (This is the last time that this item will appear in my Update.)
4. Honor Jazz Fest -- The DoDDS-E annual Honor Jazz Fest was held on January 16 in Landstuhl.. It was well worth seeing and just added some more reasons for us to be proud to work with our students. But it is not too late -- you can see the entire performance at the following link: http://www.doddshost.net/
5. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2013 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Here is the link to the site.
6. Update- Next week Lisa will be back and I will return on or around February 12. I am scheduled to be on the road that week but will see what I can work out. In the meantime, as always, keep up to date at www.feaonline.org
7. Excessing Article -- In anticipation of the January Unity I wrote an article telling about my own personal dealings with the excessing process, and other insights that I gained on the program over the years. The decision was made however to make the January Unity an election special, so the article was not used. It may (or may not) help some of you who are currently facing being excessed, but it will not have the same relevance if it goes in the next edition, so I decided to share. It is attached -- read if you like.
8 . Area JCC -- The next Area JCC is scheduled for 1000 on Tuesday, February 18, in Wiesbaden. Minutes will be distributed shortly after that date.
9. Member Benefits -- Members often forget the multitude of benefits that are at their disposal. Everything from credit cards, saving plans, online courses, various insurances, etc. Check out the full range of these benefits at www.neamb.com
10. Mark Your Calendars --
January 31 - Pay Day (Third one of month!)
February 1-28 -- Black History Month
February 14 - Valentine's Day
February 17 - President's Day
March 3 - Read Across America Day
11. 100th Day of School -- Some schools might be past this day, some almost right on it, and others a week or two away. However, all schools in Europe are somewhere around 100 days at this moment. If you go to http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/100th-day-of-school.html you will find a number of resources that you can use with your class, courtesy of the NEA.
12. Read Across America - Read Across America day is coming up fast! The annual reading celebration will take place March 3, 2014. FEA has posted sample press releases you can send to local media about reading events at your school (available in Word and PDF formats). Also, you can visit the NEA Read Across America site for more resources. (from the FEA website)
13. W-2 Forms --Your W-2 form should be available on the MyPay site now.
14. Most Regretted Jobs -- While reading some articles the other day I found a most interesting one. It had to do with a survey that was taken to indicate which professions people regretted being in later in life. See what you think http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/career-assessment/most_regretted_jobs/article.aspx
15. Area Director Candidates Announced - Find out who has been nominated for FEA Area Director positions to be voted on by FEA members during spring 2014.
16. Area JCC Minutes -- Attached are the minutes of the January 23 Area JCC.
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051 email