February 12, 2014 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update


1. This Week
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. The ‘Other' FEA
4. GPS
5. IRS Forms and Publications
6. Update
7. Read Across America
8. Area JCC
9. Upcoming Suspense Dates
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. Running Out Of Leave ?
12. Art

1. This Week -- You may notice that you are receiving this early this week as I will be on the road on my normal Wednesday date. For that matter, I will be on the road essentially all week. Keep an eye on updates as they come your way and always remember to check for breaking news. For myself, I will be trying to visit the schools that are closing/transforming to help in any way that I can.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- I will be traveling to as many schools as possible with an emphasis on closing/transforming schools. There are currently 9 schools in my Area that fall under this category. This week I will be in Baumholder on Tuesday the 11th, Bitburg the 13th, and finally Spangdahlem on the 14th.In addition, I will then be in Wiesbaden Tuesday of the following week for the next Area JCC. Note: Whenever my ‘Out of Office' reply message comes up it does not necessarily mean that I am unavailable. It may just be a CAC issue as I am traveling. In that case, if you need an answer quickly, then write to . I will be able to get on there from almost anywhere. Also, if you feel the need to actually speak with me, please leave me a message at that same address with a number and I will call when I can.

3. The ‘Other' FEA - One hundred sixteen student leaders from 15 DoDEA schools attended the 11th annual Future Educators Association Conference in Garmisch, January 28 - 31, 2014. Students listened to presenters from DoDEA and the States on the qualities of education. Presenters expounded on numerous subjects including early childhood learning, student motivation and 21st Century teaching. Presenters were: Michael Brust, Ramstein HS; Ryan Goodfellow, Vilseck HS; Nicki Marsters, Aukamm ES; Kathy McBurney, Wiesbaden HS; Kim Morgan, Naples ES; Evelyn Norwood, Naples MHS; Kathy O'Neill, Schweinfurt MHS, and Sherri Zimmermann, Naples ES. Thank you to those educators who are willing to share their experiences with those who are considering joining our ranks. Also, thanks to Pam Conners and Tracy Thornbrugh (members of ‘both FEA's') from Vilseck HS for their help with the story and the photos.

4. GPS -- Attached you will find some potentially valuable information should you be traveling to other installations. Thanks to several persons for this list.

5. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2013 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Here is the link to the site.

6. Update- Next week Lisa will be back and I will return on or around February 26. I am scheduled to be on the road that week but will see what I can work out. In the meantime, as always, keep up to date at

7. Read Across America - Read Across America day is coming up fast! The annual reading celebration will take place March 3, 2014. FEA has posted sample press releases you can send to local media about reading events at your school (available in Word and PDF formats). Also, you can visit the NEA Read Across America site for more resources.

8 . Area JCC -- The next Area JCC is scheduled for 1000 on Tuesday, February 18, in Wiesbaden. Minutes will be distributed shortly after that date.

9. Upcoming Suspense Dates -- Following are suspense dates that are coming up shortly. This list was issued last week by DoDEA. The dates and instructions are aimed primarily at administrators but everyone should be aware as we move forward. It will help keep you better informed as to where the process is at any given moment.

  1. Suspense 14 Feb. Within-school placements may be made by the principal. In-complex placements will be done by the DSO. In-complex moves must be voluntary actions. Placements cannot incur any PCS entitlements or costs.
  2. Suspense 18 Feb. Provide a list of vacancies and RPAs to the Area Office. The spreadsheet must be certified all vacancies are valid, complete and accounted for by the superintendent. A spreadsheet will be provided to each school for use; upon completion forward the listing and RPAs to the District Superintendent for review. The DSO will provide a consolidated list to the AO. Please do not change the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will be provided within the next couple of days.
  3. Suspense 19 Feb. A final list of excess educators is due to the Area Office (AO). A spreadsheet will be provided to each Principal for use; forward to the District Superintendent for review. The DSO will provide a consolidated list to the Area Office. Please do not change the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will be provided within the next couple of days.

10. Mark Your Calendars --
February 1-28 -- Black History Month
February 14 - Valentine's Day
February 17 - President's Day
March 3 - Read Across America Day
March 1-31 - Women's History Month

11 Running Out of Leave? - Unfortunately, due to illness, family emergencies, or other issues, sometimes teachers find themselves running out of leave. For those teachers, there are two options of which they should be aware. One is Advanced Leave. According to the regulation (DS 5630.4) up to 30 days of educator leave can be approved by management when an employee has no more accumulated leave. In other words, you can borrow against leave for future years' employment. Such advances are subject to subsequent earnings of leave or repayment upon separation for any leave advanced but not earned.??The second option is to apply for the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program. The VLTP permits Federal civilian employees to donate leave to other civilian employees who are experiencing medical or family medical emergencies. An employee who has a medical or family medical emergency that is likely to require the employee's absence from duty for a prolonged period of time and result in a loss of income due to unavailability of paid leave, may apply for donations of leave from other employees. These are the requests that you may sometimes see for donations of leave. Teachers can only donate from their APL days.??One further note: Any employee taking LWOP for an extended period should talk to the District HR concerning using interspersed leave to insure that all benefits and entitlements continue.?

12. Art -- If you teach art or just enjoy it, I think you will like the page to which this link will take you. It is a joint project between Google and the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I discovered while reading the International Herald Tribune.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051