February 15 2017 FEA Europe Update
1. Transfer News
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Injury on the Job
4. Spring 2017 Election
6. Running Out of Leave?
7. Area JCC
8. IRS Forms and Publications
9. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information
10. Black History Month
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. European Winter Sports
13. Registration and Attendance
14. Educators Rising
15. NEA/HCR Training
16. Good News from our FEA Music Cohort
17. NEA Foundation Awards
18. Acts of Kindness Week
19. NEA's "Read Across America"
20. HCR Newsletter
21. Project READ
22. Wrestling Tournament
1. Transfer News -- Here is the latest from Connie Shanaghan, FEA's expert on the transfer program. "It is very doubtful that any other non-excessed educators will receive an offer. We are waiting to hear on just two or three more possible transfers which are being held up because of special circumstances. We will send out an update within the next day or two that will announce the transfer round has closed (with the exception of unplaced excessed educators and those excessed educators requesting reconsideration)."
2. Area Directors' Travels -- This past week I stayed close to home but once I send this out I will be traveling to Sembach for the February Area JCC. Please always remember that for the most current news to check www.feaonline.org on a regular basis.
3. Injury on the Job - Should you be injured while on the job or school property (parking lot, sidewalks, steps) please make sure your supervisor is notified, the proper forms are filled out and the nurse has it in their log. With some of the interesting weather that we experience in the winter here, it is especially good advice. I have already heard of a number of teachers and school employees who have fallen in recent icy conditions.
4. Spring 2017 Election -- FEA has announced the following candidates for Europe Area Director. For more information please go to www.feaonline.org
Lisa Ali, Feltwell Elementary School
Susan Kelly, Kaiserslautern Middle School
Todd Laverents, Hohenfels Middle/High School
Terry McClain, Garmisch Elementary/Middle School
Alex Veto, Vilseck High School
5. 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. My next Update will be around March 1 (March already!). 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. 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. For questions or further information about leave issues, please contact your District HR.
7. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC is scheduled for February 16 in Sembach. Minutes of the meeting will follow shortly thereafter.
8. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2016 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Also, be aware that most military installations offer tax services for civilians at no cost--check with legal office on your base/post. https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs
9. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information -- Attached is information from the IRS for all of us living outside of CONUS for filing our 2016 Income Tax. It includes deadlines, forms, addresses, and other useful information. No one likes to think about it but the filing deadline is beginning to creep up on us.
10. Black History Month -- Begun in 1926 by black scholar and historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month was originally celebrated as a weeklong event. In 1976, Congress expanded the observance to the entire month of February. You can find more useful information at: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month
11. Mark Your Calendar-
February 1-28 -- Black History Month
February 12-18 -- Random Acts of Kindness Week
February 20 -- President's Day (Federal Holiday)
March 2 -- NEA's Read Across America Day
March 1-31 -- Women's History Month
12. European Winter Sports -- Over the next few weeks the European Finals will be held for several DoDDS-E high school sports. As a former coach I know that this is an exciting time for both coaches and players alike. Our coaches are very hard working and deserve lots of credit. If you are free and in the area you might want to check out one of the tournaments listed below:
Boys' and Girls' Basketball/Cheerleaders' Competition February 22-25 Wiesbaden
Wrestling February 17-18 Wiesbaden
Marksmanship January 28 Vilseck (completed)
Swimming will be later in the month
13. Registration and Attendance -- Several schools have reported problems with new students showing up in class without proper advance notification to the teacher. This is a particular problem in elementary schools. Below is an excerpt from an Area level JCC where this was addressed. Use it as a guideline if this issue is not already addressed in your school handbook.
"The Association requests that a policy of be put in place that allows teachers sufficient notice before the student arrives in order to make the first day in the class a positive and productive one for them.
As soon as student enrollment is complete a teacher should be assigned and notified of the arrival of the new student. If the student's enrollment is accomplished before noon, it is expected that the student will begin school the following day. If the student's enrollment is accomplished after noon, then the student will begin no later than the 2nd day after registration. No student should be out of school for more than a day after registration has been completed. Many new students will have been on extended leave with their families prior to their new assignment overseas and it is imperative that students get back into an academic setting as soon as possible."
14. Educators Rising - Eighty six student leaders from 16 DoDEA schools attended the 14th annual Educators Rising Conference in Garmisch, January 31 - February 3, 2017. Students listened to speakers from all across DoDEA including the 5 DoDEA Teachers of the Year. Presenters expounded on numerous subjects including outdoor experiential education, gifted education, writing, and how to incorporate art into the classroom. Presenters were: Elizabeth Ballard, Naples MHS; Randi Dalton, Liberty IS; Richard Dysinger, Ramstein IS; Nicole Hoff, Vicenza ES; Kathy McBurney, Wiesbaden HS; Dr. Patricia McDonald, Robinson Barracks ES; Dr. Dell McMullen, Director of DoDEA Europe; John Mittenzwey, Lakenheath HS; Kyle Siftar, Lakenheath HS, and Kelisa Wing, Faith MS. Thank you to those educators who are willing to share their experiences with those who are considering joining our ranks.(Thanks to Tracy Thornbrugh from Vilseck HS for this information.)
15. NEA/HCR Training -- (This message comes from Estelle Brown of Lakenheath who is the Europe West Division HCR Coordinator.) "We would like to offer NEA training in the spring. This mostly will be the Diversity training with an add on course of Social Justice training. We will need at least 25 interested participants to proceed with a request for trainers. This course is usually accompanied by the opportunity to earn 1 graduate credit from University of San Diego or Ashland University. Tentative dates are the 6th and 7th of May 2017. Please let me know who, and how many members from your school would be interested in attending so I can follow up. I hope you are all having a great start to the new year!"
16. Good News from our FEA Music Cohort - Any Fine Arts teacher who attends the CCRS Fine Arts Training (taking place concurrently but separately from the Dana Center and Catapult Math and LA trainings) can register for and receive one semester graduate credit. Teachers can get additional information from their facilitators. (Thanks to Alina Rozanski, the FEA Human and Civil Rights Coordinator and Music Cohort Lead, for this information.)
17. NEA Foundation Award -- Each year the NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence recognizes educators whose professional practice and advocacy for the profession are exemplary. All state affiliates, including FEA, are allowed to nominate one candidate a year (we are looking for a nominee for 2017 -- our 2016 nominee is Laura Hastings of Camp Lejeune for this prestigious award. The application is attached and the deadline for submission of all materials to FEA is April 1, 2017. For further information see the attachments.
18. Acts of Kindness Week - International Random Acts of Kindness Week this year will be the week of February 12-18.We are already nearly half way through but there is still time. Seems a pity that this is only a week-long event! For information about this week, go here. www.randomactsofkindness.org
19. NEA's "Read Across America" -- It's not quite a month away (March 2, to be exact)…the biggest reading celebration in the world. For lots of ideas on how your school can take part in the fun and help to create lifelong readers, go to www.nea.org/grants/886.htm Remember, this is NOT just for elementary schools; there are materials and ideas for all levels. This is also a great time to reach out to parents and involve them in a fun, positive, and educational way.
20. HCR Newsletter - Please pass on the latest FEA Human and Civil Rights program newsletter, "The Advocate," in your districts/areas, which includes information for Black History Month, books to build your Social Justice Library, and professional development opportunities: https://goo.gl/zfs6VW (A special thanks to Alina Rozanski, FEA HCR Coordinator, for this information).
21. Project READ -- This is a reminder that the University of San Diego offers a number of courses tailored strictly for DoDEA teachers. For many of us who need some extra credits but do not have the time or ability to attend classes personally, these on-line credits can be quite handy. Also, Project READ is designed for busy educators who wish to remain on the ‘cutting edge' in their chosen disciplines. (Thanks to Brian Chance of Kaiserslautern MS for this information.) You can find more here: http://pce.sandiego.edu/public/category/courseCategoryCertificateProfile.do?method=load&certificateId=25207&selectedProgramAreaId=&selectedProgramStreamId=
22. Wrestling Tournament - For those of you interested in the DoDDS Wrestling Tournament, referenced in #12 above, you can watch it live here: https://youtu.be/jfLLFXl5-eo
FEA Europe Area Director