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December 17 2008 FEA Europe Update

1. Happy Holidays
2. Upcoming Vacations
3. Check Those Dates
4. Change is in the Air
5. Area JCC
6. Transfer Program
7. Early Notice Award Deadline Extended
8. Pay Dates for 2009
9. IT Concerns
10. Summer Course Offering


1. Happy Holidays - Let me take this opportunity to wish each of you a happy, healthy holiday season. Whether you travel or just stay home, I hope you have a wonderful time. Thank you for all the hard work you have done in your schools this year. I look forward to working with you in the new year...2009!

2. Upcoming Vacations - For those of you traveling during the upcoming Winter Break, here are some travel tips. Make sure you have copies of all your passports and other important documents stored separately from the originals when you travel. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information in your wallet or purse in the event of an accident, etc. You may want to include local contact information as well as stateside contacts. It is also a good idea to let a colleague know your travel plans and contact numbers in case of emergency.

3. Check Those Dates - Speaking of passports, have you checked the dates on all of your important ID's and documents? It is much easier to get those things renewed if you do it BEFORE they expire.

4. Change is in the Air - As we now know, beginning in August, Dr. Nancy Bresell will be the new DoDDS-E Director. Ms. Diana Ohman, our current Director, will move to the Pacific to become the DoDDS-Pacific Director. FEA will keep you informed of other changes which impact our schools and our members.

5. Area JCC - John and I met with Ms. Ohman and Dr. Curtis yesterday for our Dec Area JCC. The minutes from that meeting will be sent out as soon as possible.

6. Transfer Program - Details are not yet available for the Transfer Program for this year, but as soon as the information is available, it will be sent out. The most complete information will be available at www.feaonline.org, including our "Tips for Transfers." Access to our "Tips for Transfers" will require your membership number to log in.

7. Early Notice Award Deadline Extended - At FEA's request and with the support of Dr. Miles, the deadline for submitting your Request for Personnel Action (RPA) requesting voluntary separation (resignation or retirement) in order to receive the award has been extended to January 9, 2009. You must submit your RPA to your building administrator and your request for separation must be effective at the end of the school year or during the summer recess. The $500 award and apple paperweight are available only to full-time, school-level, non-supervisory, professional educators on permanent appointments. FEA requested the deadline be extended from its original date of January 6 so that educators will have a full week to make their decision and submit their RPA upon returning from the holiday break.

8. Pay Dates for 2009 - To help you plan for next year, including your TSP contributions, I have attached a 2009 Pay Calendar. As listed in the key, the orange dates indicate Pay Days.

Please note, you can make change NOW to your TSP contributions for 2009. If you go into EBIS right now and change your TSP you will find that it gives an effective date of election is 12/21/2008 -- PPE 01/03/09 -- and the first deduction will come out of the pay check that you will receive on 01/09/09. TSP is counted on the tax year. Even though PPE 01/03/09 starts in December, the money will come out in January 2009 -- a new tax year. Thanks to Laura Miedema, HR Specialist, for this information.

9. IT Concerns - FEA is very aware of the impact of recent IT changes and policies on our schools. We continue to work IT concerns at every level. Please keep your FRS and Administration informed of IT issues that affect your students and your teaching.

10. Summer Course Offering - The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the Federal Government. Each year the NEH's Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study humanities topics in a variety of Summer Seminars and Institutes. The dates and duration of each project are listed under each title. The application deadline is March 2, 2009 (postmark). Get application information here.

All the best to you and yours in the holiday season and in 2009,
Thanks for all you do,

Chuck
FEA

Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234 or
0611-44756131 or DSN 337-6251