October 12, 2016 FEA Europe Update
1. Moving On
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Check Your SCD
4. Championship Time
6. Article 51
7. Area JCC
8. Association Dues
9. Mileage Rates
10. Red Ribbon week
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. Daylight Savings Time Ends
13. National Day on Writing
14. American Foreign Services
15. OPM Open Season
16. American Education week
17. FEA Board of Directors Meeting
18. SF-50 Redux
1. Moving On -- It is always a bit strange how quickly at times a school year can go by. While in an individual class or any given day it seems like the clock won't move, it still amazes me when I realize that we are nearly at the end of the first quarter. By and large it seems as though the year is off to a pretty good start, although there are always individual situations that need our attention. Some involve individual schools or complexes, and others all of us. (Think collaboration and the impending e-QIP directives) However, with the diligence of all of us we will face these challenges and move on. There is one thing that I do want to alert you all to, however. As we move in to the second quarter, be aware that this is the quarter when many things will happen that will require all of our attention. In the second quarter we will be faced with announcements on excessing, VSIP/VERA, the transfer program, Open Season, and the somewhat stressful holidays. Please be thinking about any of these items that might affect you later. (Look at number 3 below.) Be prepared for short suspense dates by thinking about some these upcoming events now, and beyond that know that FEA will do everything that it possibly can to be there with information as it breaks to help you along the way.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- This past week I had the opportunity to visit several schools. I spent one day each at Vogelweh ES and split a day at the two Ansbach schools. I culminated my journey with a visit to Sembach for the Area JCC.I wish to thank all of those that I met along the way for their hospitality, kindness, and at times tough questions. Also, on Friday afternoon I was joined at Vogelweh by Susan Kelly, the Europe East 1 Division Representative. Her presence helped enhance the visit.
3. Check Your SCD - If you believe your Service Computation Date is not accurate, please contact your POC for payroll and request a review of it. These SCD's are very important, so have it reviewed as soon as possible.We don't want to wait to get it corrected after the possible announcements for VERA/VSIP, excessing, or transfers come out. If you have documentation to support the correction (old LES's or SF-50s, etc.) you should have them ready to submit if you suspect an incorrect SCD.
4. Championship Time -- DoDDS-E Fall
sports seasons are now rapidly coming to a close. That means it is now Championship
Time. Below is a list of where and when these events will be held. (Swimming
teams continue on in to the winter season.)
Cross Country -- European Championships Oct. 29 Baumholder
Football - Nov. 5 Kaiserslautern
Golf - European Championships Oct. 5-6 Wiesbaden (completed)
Tennis European Championships Oct. 27-29 Wiesbaden
Volleyball European Championships Nov. 4-5 Ramstein/KMC
Winter Sports season begins Nov. 14.
5. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with www.feaonline.org for your best source for breaking news. The next Update will be the President's Report on or about October 15. Please also be reminded again that if you do go to FEA online you can sign up to have the President's Report emailed directly to you.
6. Article 51 - As we near the end of the first quarter, we often receive questions about grades and grading policies. Article 51 is cited below, and may be helpful!
ARTICLE 51 - PUPIL GRADES
Section 1. A unit employee may establish his/her own grading system. In such cases, the unit employee is responsible for translating the grading system to the Employer's. The unit employee's record of grades shall contain a key for translating his/her system to the established grading system in use.
Section 2. Students' grades may be requested for review and approval by the Employer before grade reports are distributed to students or parents.
Section 3. In the event that any grade is challenged, the unit employee shall explain and justify the grade assigned.
Section 4. If the Employer takes action to change a student's grade without the consent of the affected unit employee or directs the unit employee to change a grade, a written statement from the Employer shall be provided to the unit employee, stating that the change in grade and/or the passing or failing of the student was done at the discretion of the Employer
7. Area JCC -- The most recent Area JCC was held in Sembach on Wednesday, October 5. We will publish the minutes as soon as they are finalized.
8. Association Dues -- For those members paying their dues through the payroll deduction plan please be aware of the following information. The first deduction will be taken from the pay period ending October 15, and then they will continue for 10 pay periods. Thanks to John Crowe, our FEA Europe Membership Coordinator for this clarification.
9. Mileage Rates -- The current mileage rates as set by the U.S. General Services
Administration are as follows:
Automobile: If use of privately-owned automobile is authorized or if no Government owned automobile is available - $.54
If Government owned automobile is available $.19
10.Red Ribbon Week - Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. Camarena worked his way through college, served in the Marines and became a police officer. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. "I'm only one person," he told her, "but I want to make a difference." In honor of Camarena's memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena's memory, the red ribbon. The National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The National Family Partnership (NFP) and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year, through the National Red Ribbon Campaign. Red Ribbon Week is scheduled for October 23 through October 31. See http://redribbon.org/about/ for more information.
11. Mark Your Calendar-
October 12 -- Yom Kippur
October 23 -- 31 -- Red Ribbon Week
October 30 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (Europe)
October 31 - Halloween
November 3 -- 4 -- First Quarter Ends/Teacher Workday
November 6 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (United States)
12. Daylight Saving Time Ends -- Daylight Saving Time officially ends on October 30 in most of Europe and one week later (November 6) in the States. Check the website here for more interesting and useful information on this topic. http://www.timeanddate.com/ . Remember: Fall back, spring ahead! On a good note, you will get an extra hour sleep on Sunday morning!
13. National Day on Writing -- Tuesday, October 20, has been designated as the National Day on Writing by the National Council of Teachers of English. Go here for more information and activities. http://www.ncte.org/dayonwriting
14. American Foreign Services -- The American Foreign Services Protective Association will be traveling through Europe in the coming month to give presentations on your health insurance benefits as a Federal Employee. While this is a very good company please be aware that there are other quality insurers that also may be visiting during the year. FEA will alert you when we get their plans. Please watch your school announcements for exact locations, dates, and times. Also, please see the attachment for the AFSPA schedule as it currently stands.
15. Office of Personnel Management Open Season -Each year, Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. This year, Open Season runs from November 9, 2016 through December 14, 2016.This is an opportunity to change insurance plans and to elect other Federal benefits, such as the flexible savings accounts. While it is still a while away it doesn't hurt to start thinking about this now since the Open Season coincides with one of the busiest times of the year. For further information go to: https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/open-season . (You will see this again in future Updates. I don't want anyone to miss these dates if they are contemplating a change.)
16. American Education Week - Distressed that 25 percent of the country's World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education. The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: "An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs." You can find much more useful information about this week at the following link: www.nea.org/grants/19823.htm
17. FEA Board of Directors Meeting - Lisa and I will be attending the FEA BOD meeting the week of November 13 - 19. (There will be no Update that week.) This twice a year meeting (second one late June) is a chance for FEA leadership from all three of our regions to get together and discuss issues which impact our schools and our members. Lisa and I will be taking concerns that we have heard from our school visits, our recent EAC meeting, and items which members and local leaders have brought to our attention. This is also an opportunity for us to meet DoDEA leadership as well as members of the NEA governance and staff.
18. SF-50 Redux -- In my last Update, I mentioned that you should be receiving from your school secretary of your SF-50 which lays out your employment for this school year. A diligent FRS, Judy Walter of Baumholder HS discovered that was not the way of things this year. There is now a website where you can access your 50 as well as other important bits of information about your own employment circumstances. Be aware that you must use your CAC card, and you must register the first time that you use it. It took me a few tries to get in originally, but now it is fine. Good luck !
Note: Please follow the directions about using dashes when entering your SS #.
FEA Europe Area Director