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October 9 2015 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update

10/9/2015

1. Thanks!
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Article 51
4. Association Dues
5. Area JCC
6. Update
7. Red Ribbon Week
8. Daylight Savings Time Ends
9. FRS Training
10. Federal Benefits Open Season
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. National Day on Writing
13. American Foreign Services
14. HCR Credit Courses
15. Bullying Prevention Month
16. Blue Cross

1. Thanks! - This past week I had the opportunity to visit several schools. I spent one day each at Vogelweh and Landstuhl schools, and also had the privilege to attend the Kaiserslautern American Education Association (KAEA) meeting on Thursday evening. I wish to thank all of those that I met at both for their hospitality, kindness, and at times some tough questions. Also, on Thursday afternoon I was joined at Vogelweh by Susan Kelly, the Kaiserslautern 1 Division Representative. Her presence helped enhance the visit.


2. Area Directors' Travels -- At the moment, my travels are on hold. On October 23rd, however, I will be traveling to Sembach for the next JCC and then on to the States for the FEA Board of Directors meeting in Washington in November. I will give more specific dates and contact information in my next Update.


3. 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


4. 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 17, and then they will continue for 10 pay periods. Thanks to John Crowe, our FEA Europe Membership Coordinator for this clarification.


5. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC will be held in Sembach on Friday, October 23 at 1100.We will publish the minutes as soon as they are finalized.


6. 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 October 15 and then Lisa's Update will appear the following week. 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.


7. 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 here Redribbon.org" for more information.


8. Daylight Saving Time Ends -- Daylight Saving Time officially ends on October 25 in most of Europe and one week later (November 1) in the States. Check the website here for more interesting and useful information on this topic. Time and Date. Remember: Fall back, spring ahead! On a good note, you will get an extra hour sleep on Sunday morning!


9. FRS Training -- As mentioned earlier, there were 4 different FRS/Contract Trainings last month. They were held in places stretching from Nuremberg to Lakenheath. These meetings were all very successful by any measuring stick. I would especially like to thank all those who participated, as well as all those who contributed as trainers. Special thanks to Ben Hunter, Jan and Bill Freeman, and H.T. Nguyen who flew in from the States to provide our FRS's with a wealth of knowledge.


10. Federal Benefits Open Season -- This year's Federal Benefits Open Season will run from Monday, November 9,2015 through Monday, December 14, 2015. During the annual Open Season, employees can take the actions listed below for the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)Program.

- Enroll in a flexible spending account
- Enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a dental plan under the FEDVIP Program.
- Enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a vision plan under the FEDVIP Program.
- Enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a health plan under the FEHB Program.


11. Mark Your Calendars --
October 12 -- Columbus Day Federal Holiday (No school)
October 20 -- National Day on Writing
October 23-31 -- Red Ribbon Week
October 25 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (Europe)
October 31 -- Halloween
November 1 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends (United States)


12. 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 Day on Writing for more information and activities.


13. American Foreign Services -- The American Foreign Services Protective Association will be traveling through Europe in the coming month to give presentations on the various insurance packages that they offer. While this is a very good company please be aware that there are other quality insurers that also will be visiting during the year. FEA will alert you when we get their plans. Please note that these visits will be in full swing, beginning October 14 in Hohenfels, Germany and in Lakenheath, England.


14. HCR Credit Courses -- Attached is the recent FEA Europe HCR Update. Please note the credit classes that will be offered are mentioned in the first part of this document. Thanks to Alina Rozanski, the FEA European Area HCR Coordinator for her Update and also for organizing these valuable classes and giving us all a chance to earn some much needed credits.


15. Bullying Prevention Month -- October is NEA National Bullying Prevention Month. The NEA believes that school climate plays a critical role in the prevention of bullying. You can find much more information here: NEA Bully Free. Thanks to Brian Chance, our NEA Director for FEA for bringing this to our attention.


16. Blue Cross -- Going along with #13 above, I have just received word through Terry McClain, the Bavaria Division Representative, that Blue Cross will also be visiting Europe. Please see the attachment above and contact the person listed at the bottom with any questions. Everything that we know about the scheduled visits is on the attachment at this time.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
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