November 9, 2016 FEA Europe Update



Alex's Update



1.  Thanksgiving

2.  Area Directors' Travels

3.  VERA/VSIP, Excessing, and Transfers

4.  All Star Time

5.  Update

6.  DoDEA Announces 2016 SAT Results

7.  Area JCC

8.  Retiring or Resigning Mid-Year?

9.  Mileage Rates

10. FEA Europe HCR Coordinator

11. Mark Your Calendar

12. Education Support Professionals Day

13. DoDDS Reunion

14. Veterans Day

15. OPM Open Season

16. American Education week

17. NEA Representative Assembly Election

18. Advent Calendar

19. Mailing Deadlines


1. Thanksgiving - Since I now have realized that this will likely be my last official Update prior to Thanksgiving I would just like to take a moment and wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. I know that one of the many things that I am thankful for is the opportunity to work alongside all of you. So whether you are eating turkey or traveling to Turkey (unlikely these days) I hope you all have a great day and a restful break.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- This will be a very busy month of travel for me. I will fly to the US on November 12. There I will be attending the FEA Board of Directors Meeting in Washington from November 14 through November 18. I will then be traveling to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving with my family. I plan to be back in Germany by November 27. Assuming that my CAC reader does not go haywire on me I will check mail on Outlook daily. Also, you can use  to reach me. Please always remember that for the most breaking news to check  on a regular basis.

3. VERA/VSIP, Excessing, and Transfers -- The latest news can be summarized as FEA and DoDEA officials met last week to discuss this year's DODDS transfer program. We hope to have all the particulars nailed down soon and will share details as soon as we have an agreement in place.' This appeared in the most recent FEA President's Report. At this time there is no further word on VSIP. Staffing documents should be out very shortly. As always, the best way to keep current on these issues is by visiting for the latest news.

4.All Star Time -- DoDDS-E fall sports season is now coming to an end. Congratulations to all teams and individuals who won respective titles, but also congratulations to all students and coaches that participated. However, the fall season is not yet completely finished. This Saturday, November 12, the DoDDS-E All Star Volleyball team will take to the courts for two matches. The 24 players, all juniors and seniors chosen by coaches, have been divided in to two squads which will play two matches, one beginning at 1000 and the other at 1300. Also, the DoDDS-E All Star football team will play at 1600. All matches will be played either inside (volleyball) at the Kaiserslautern HS gym, or outside (football) at the Kaiserslautern HS Stadium. If you are in the area on Saturday stop by and check out some of the finest athletes that DoDDS-E has to offer.

5. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with for your best source for breaking news. My next Update will be shortly after I return from the States (see #2 above).  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. DoDEA Announces 2016 SAT Results -- On Friday, September 30, DoDEA announced the results of the 2016 SAT. The mean combined score was nearly 30 points higher than the national average. Congratulations DoDEA students and teachers. You can read more here:

7. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC will be a combined November/December meeting scheduled for December 7. We will publish the minutes as soon as they are available.

8. Retiring or Resigning Mid-Year? - If you are planning to retire or resign during this school year, remember to file and elevate a "goodbye grievance" before your last duty day. After the principal's written response to the grievance or on the 8th day, hand the principal the Step 3 elevation. After you have elevated it, be sure to send a copy to Bill Freeman at the address in your calendar and keep copies of everything. Bill has been contacted by numerous retirees who receive debt letters like this -- make sure you invoke your rights before your last day of employment. If you have questions, see your FRS or contact your District Rep. I already have received information that there are a number of teachers anticipating a January retirement.

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
Motorcycle $.51

10.FEA Europe HCR Coordinator -- Congratulations to Patricia Hannon of Hohenfels ES for recently being elected as FEA Europe Human and Civil Rights Coordinator. As such, she now becomes the latest voting member of the European Area Council. Welcome aboard, Patricia!

11. Mark Your Calendar-

November 11 -- Veteran's Day (Federal Holiday)
November 13-18 -- American Education Week
November  14-18 -- FEA Board of Directors meeting  Washington, DC  
November  14-18 -- School Psychology Awareness Week 
November 16 -- Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day
November 24 - Thanksgiving

12. Education Support Professionals Day - Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day focuses on the importance of these school employees, who take care of students every day, making sure they have the tools they need to succeed in school. Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day was first celebrated in 1987, after NEA's Representative Assembly called for the creation of a way to honor the contributions of school support staff. In 2003, Karen Mahurin, then president of NEA's National Council of Education Support Professional (NCESP) members, led a successful campaign at the NEA Representative Assembly to change the ESP formal name from 'Education Support Personnel' to 'Education Support Professionals.' "The name change to 'professional' acknowledges the major contribution ESPs make to children and public education every day," said Mahurin, a secretary with 22 years of experience. "We impact the lives of children every day in our own special and professional ways." The name reflects a growing pride in the valuable role ESPs play throughout America's public schools. Today's support professionals provide invaluable services that enable students to learn in positive, supportive environments. ESPs are equal and essential partners in the education process. This year, ESP Day is November 16.

13 DoDDS Reunion--The annual DoDDS reunion will be held July 26-July 30, 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Renaissance hotel. For registration information go to: .Register early as prices go up as the event gets closer.

14. Veterans Day -- Working on a daily basis with military families, we are very aware of the sacrifices these families make for their country. Veterans' Day, November 11 is an excellent opportunity to recognize the service of our military veterans. For a history of this important holiday, as well as resources on how to celebrate go to this site.

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: . (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." This year it is celebrated the week of November 13-19. You can find much more useful information about this week at the following link:

17. NEA Representative Assembly Election -- Soon you will be receiving information about running as a delegate to the 2017 National Education Association Representative Assembly. This year the RA will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, over the weekend of the 4th of July. Start thinking now about running for one of these delegate positions.   Please note that the information comes from last year's RA, but it is the same for 2017.

18. Advent Calendar - An Advent Calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. The days often overlap with the Christian season of Advent. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent Calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" of which there are usually 24: one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. The calendar windows open to reveal an image, poem, and a portion of a story or a small gift, such as a toy or a chocolate item. Those of us in Europe can't possibly have missed seeing these piled in store windows. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. Click here for a fun electronic calendar that you can use with your class. Don't cheat -- you open the first door on December 1 this year. In the meantime, clicking on the pictures at the top will get you to some very usable activities.

19. Mailing Deadlines -- While at the APO here in Vilseck I noted the Holiday mailing deadlines for this year. While some other APO's and FPO's might be slightly different, I doubt that their deadline would be much different.
25 November             SAM parcels
02 December             PAL parcels
09 December             Priority parcels                                                                                                            09 December            First Class letters                                                                                                                16 December             Express Mail


Alex Veto

FEA Europe Area Director