January 9, 2015 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

09 January 2015

Rosie The Riveter Project: To pay tribute to women who worked in WWII-era military-industrial jobs -- lovingly dubbed "Rosies" -- a local group wants to establish a national monument.

Leaders of the West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Project want to raise $7.3 million over the next four years for a variety of programs across the country. Its most ambitious objective is developing a permanent memorial to Rosies at the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The "Rosie" nickname comes from the famous image of Rosie the Riveter, which artist Norman Rockwell helped to popularize. It was later re-purposed as an emblem of feminism in the 1980s.

More information at Rosie the Riveter Project
(Thank you to Terese Sarno for providing this information.)

DoDEA Facts, Figures and Demographics: This information is attached.

Professional Development Opportunities: Help Your Students Uncover the research skills needed to succeed today with special University of San Diego courses.

The Illuminating Libraries and Research Series, designed for K-12 educators, explores how library and online resources can enhance classroom instruction. Learn strategies for teaching 21st Century research skills to elementary, middle and high school students. The course examines the changing role of libraries in education and the ways that print and digital resources can best be used in today's classroom.

Knowledge Quest Certificate
Become a Lifelong Learner by expanding your subject knowledge and passing it on to your students. This certificate program addresses the need for educators to be lifelong learners while meeting the academic needs of their students. The Knowledge Quest Certificate program is designed for educators to begin a quest for knowledge guided by an audio or video course, from The Great Courses published by The Teaching Company. The journey begins by studying and reflecting on ideas, topics and texts in an academic discipline of your choice and culminates with independent writing, research and curriculum projects. One, two, and three-unit courses are available.
View all of the Knowledge Quest Certificate courses!

Online Courses: Historical Spotlight Series

Get a New Perspective on History
The Historical Spotlights courses are designed to give K-12 educators a knowledge base and appreciation for historical events. Courses cover a variety of topics including wars, ancient European peoples and cultures, castles, explorers and American natives, presidents and baseball. Just pick the area that interests you and begin your journey back in time.

As a final project, you will create a virtual learning experience for K-12 students. These courses are 100% online and are offered in the Online Self-Paced format, which provides a convenient and interactive learning option. View all of the Historical Spotlight Series courses!
(Thank you to Terese Sarno for providing this information.)

Webinars for Teachers

Each webinar, listed below, will take place at 4 pm ET. Go to rights for registration information.

Jan. 22: Civil Rights and Analyzing Images. Participants will discuss nine essential areas that can be addressed when teaching and learning about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Participants will analyze an image from the Library's collections and discuss questioning techniques to help students build an understanding about the complexity of the civil rights movement.

Feb. 19: Building Literacy Skills and Teaching about the Civil Rights Movement with Primary Sources. Participants will analyze a map and explore the map's context--the world in which it was created and not just the world that it shows. Education experts will discuss the significance of maps, model thinking routines and highlight items from the exhibition, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom."

March 19: Identifying Bias and Perspective when Teaching about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This session will examine the five essential practices for teaching about the civil rights movement identified by Teaching Tolerance -- educate for empowerment, know how to talk about race, capture the unseen, tell a complicated story and connect to the present. Education experts will model how the "Circle of Viewpoints" teaching strategy can be used to identify different perspectives using a series of primary sources from the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

April 16: Selecting Primary Sources to Examine the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Primary sources can engage students in developing a deeper understanding of the act. Selecting primary sources to use in the classroom requires careful consideration, including examining the audience, context, point of view and logistics. Education experts will lead participants in selecting primary sources while discussing the goals of teaching about the civil rights movement to include events, leaders, groups, history, obstacles, tactics and connections to other movements, current events and civic participation.

(Thank you to Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA, for sharing this information.)

Retirement Articles: Links for retirement and other information are below:

OPM Reduces Backlog of Retirement Processing Claims

TSP Announces Important January Processing Dates

TSP Returns Updates January 3, 2015

Best Dates for CSRS and FERS Employees to Retire during 2015 and 2016

2015 Federal Pay Tables

Phased Retirement: An Employee Perspective

January Events Calendar for Educators: Below is a link to The Teachers Corner, a resource website for teachers. This link will take you to a calendar listing of educational events for the month of January.

GSA Privately Owned Vehicle Mileage Rates: The link below will take you to the most recent government mileage rates, which went into effect 01 January 2015. The link to the IRS mileage rates is also included.

TSP Catch-Up Contributions: Federal employees who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan and will turn age 50 during the year are eligible to make TSP catch-up contributions. "Catch-up contributions" are supplemental tax-deferred contributions that employees age 50 or older (or turning age 50 during the calendar year) can make to the TSP beyond the maximum amount they can contribute through regular contributions.

To be eligible to make catch-up contributions, you must be: Age 50 or older anytime during the calendar year in which the catch-up contributions are being made (even if you become age 50 on December 31 of this year); Currently employed and in Pay Status; Making regular contributions to a civilian or uniformed services TSP account (or both), and/or an equivalent employer plan (such as 401(k), 403(b), or 408 plan), that will equal the maximum allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). See for the current year's limit.

You are not eligible to make catch-up contributions (or regular contributions) within 6 months of making a financial hardship withdrawal from the TSP, nor while in a "non-pay" status.

Please visit the TSP website for additional information regarding catch-up contributions.

Stars and Stripes Article on Base Closures: By now most of you will have heard about or read the recent Stars and Stripes article on Base Closures and realignments in Europe. Rest assured that FEA is consulting with management regularly about the impact these changes will have on our schools and will send out information as we receive it. We understand that this situation creates unrest and disruption to our teachers' lives and we will do everything possible to assist those affected by these changes.

"Life is like an ice cream cone….you have to learn to lick it!" Charlie Brown

Have a great weekend!

Lisa Ali
FEA Area Director
Isles, Kaiserslautern II, Stuttgart, Cuba