November 17 2010 FEA Europe Update

1. American Education Week
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Coaches Expenses
4. OEA (FEA) Founder
5. ELA Materials
6. Geography Awareness Week
7. Thanksgiving Resources
8. Open Season
9. Dates to Remember

1. American Education Week -- As we celebrate this important week, take time to thank your colleagues and the staff at your school. Today is the day set aside to thank our Education Support Professionals who do so much for us, for our schools, and for our students. The important work of educating our students is something that we all share.

I have seen some great ideas in our schools this week. At one school, students have put "thank you post-its" on classroom and office doors, thanking faculty and staff for their work. This is also a great week to "reach out" to parents and enlist them as partners in the educational process. A number of schools are offering coffee, cookie, and other treats for parents who are visiting and attending conferences. In another wonderful example of teamwork, one perceptive principal also postponed a meeting scheduled for this week until later in the month to allow teachers more time to prepare for conferences at the end of the week.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- Last week, I visited schools in Belgium and the Netherlands. In addition to daily school visits, I was also able to attend an afterschool meeting with teachers at the SHAPE complex, a lunch meeting at Brussels E/HS, and a dinner with teachers from AFNORTH, Geilenkirchen, and Kleine Brogel. This week, along with Nancy Almendras, I visited Robinson Barracks E/MS and the Patch Complex and held a dinner meeting with the Stuttgart complex leaders. Many thanks to all those teachers who took time to talk with me and to those who helped with my visits. It is a pleasure to visit schools and see the great work our members do with kids.

Alex will be visiting the Bitburg complex this Friday, the Schweinfurt schools on December 6 and the Bamberg schools on December 7. Also planned are visits to the Ramstein/Landstuhl schools between November 29 and December 1. More school visits are being planned.

3. Coaches Expenses - FEA and DoDEA have signed off on a settlement agreement to reimburse coaches for hotel expenses when they are required to stay overnight with their teams in a hotel. Under the settlement (which can be downloaded from the FEA Website) any coach who was not reimbursed for hotel expenses since School Year 2006-2007 may submit a claim for reimbursement. Claims must be submitted to DoDEA Headquarters by December 10, 2010. A legal update on this settlement and the reimbursement process has been sent out to FEA members and is also available on line. For information on how to submit claims and other details of this settlement, please see that legal update. The settlement also resolved several specific cases of coaches who were not reimbursed in the past for hotel expenses.

4. OEA (FEA) Founder - Mary Hoague passed away on November 13, 2010 in a nursing home in Woodbridge, England. Mary was a founding member of FEA, which was then known as OEA, the Overseas Education Association. She spoke before the US Senate on behalf of DoDDS teachers urging that a separate pay scale be established for teachers so that they would not have to work year round as other civil servants. Mary served as OEA president and remained involved in OEA/FEA until her retirement when Woodbridge High School, Suffolk, England closed in 1993. She taught in schools in Germany and England. Mary began her DoDDS teaching career in the early 1950's and taught elementary grades for many years before becoming a counselor at Woodbridge High School.

5. ELA Materials - FEA has asked for a complete list of curricular materials which were purchased for the ELA program by grade level. This will assist us in making sure that all schools have the materials they need, and that if there are shortages, they can be addressed quickly. FEA has posted the complete list on our website. FEA and management have agreed to work together on this for all future buys as well.

6. Geography Awareness Week- In addition to being American Education Week, this week is also Geography Awareness Week. The focus this year is "fresh water." For materials and information, go to

7. Thanksgiving Resources -- As always, the NEA website is a great source of information, ideas, and lessons. This month, there are a number of resources for Interdisciplinary lessons around the Thanksgiving holiday. Go to:

8. Open Season- The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season is underway now through December 13. Go to for more information.

9. Dates to Remember -
November 8 -- December 13 -- FEHB Open Season
November 15 -- 19 - American Education Week/Geography Awareness Week
November 17 -- ESP Day
November 25 -- Thanksgiving
December 3 -- Area JCC

Have a great week. Thanks for all you do,

Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234
0611-44756131 or DSN 335-5373/69