February 2, 2017 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update


1. Transfers
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Hiring Freeze
4. Spring 2017 Election
5. Update
6. SY 2017-2018 Calendar
7. Area JCC
8. IRS Forms and Publications
9. Injury on the Job
10. Black History Month
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. 6 More Weeks of Winter
13. Registration and Attendance
14. Airline Tickets
15. NEA/HCR Training
16. Good News from our FEA Music Cohort
17. NEA Foundation Awards
18. National School Counseling Week
19. 100th Day of School

1. Transfers -- As of this morning the transfer program in Washington is still proceeding. As per agreement between FEA and DoDEA no announcements will be made until all transfers have been completed. We hope that this will be soon. There have been some names floating around as having received a ‘transfer', but these were excess teachers who had been placed prior to the beginning of the transfer meeting.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- I just returned from visiting Smith ES and Baumholder HS. I thank everyone that I got to meet for your warm welcome and generous hospitality. It is always enjoyable visiting there because in many ways Baumholder reminds me of my home post here in Vilseck, right down to the fact that we have the same high school colors!! For the coming week I will be staying very close to home before my next visit to Sembach mid-month and the next Area JCC. Please always remember that for the most breaking news to check on a regular basis.

3. Hiring Freeze -- Following is a message from FEA President Chuck McCarter addressing the recently announced hiring freeze for Federal workers. This is a quickly developing story so there should be frequent updates.

"Below is a link to an article about the hiring freeze from S&S. DoDEA is NOT specifically addressed in this and we were told today they are still waiting on clarification and guidance on how the freeze will impact DoD agencies. Stay tuned! Pentagon Outlines Civilian Jobs Exempt from Trump Hiring Freeze

4. Spring 2017 Election -- FEA has announced the following candidates for Europe Area Director. For more information please go to
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 for your best source for breaking news. My next Update will be around February 15. 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. SY 2017-2018 Calendar -- The 2017-18 School Year Calendar that has been a major topic of discussion over the last few weeks, has finally been released. This is the last time that I will run this. You can find it here: SY 17-18 Calendar for Europe, Pacific, Cuba

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. IRS forms

9. 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.

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: this site.

11. Mark Your Calendar-
February 1-28 -- Black History Month
February 6-10 - National School Counseling Week
February 14 -- Valentine's day
February 20 -- President's Day (Federal Holiday)
March 2 -- NEA's Read Across America Day

12. 6 More Weeks of Winter -- Sorry! - Groundhogs Day Fun Facts

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. Airline Tickets -- Even though it is still cold and frosty I know that many people are already beginning to plan summer travel. I had always heard that there was a best day of the week to book flights, but never heard which one. The article at the link that follows claims that you can save anywhere from 11% to 30% by booking on this day. I won't vouch for its accuracy, but if it is true why not save some money! Best Day to Buy Airline Tickets

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. National School Counseling Week -- This special week celebrating school counselors will be held this year from February 6-10, with the purpose of focusing public attention on the unique contributions of professional school counselors within the U.S. school systems. In DoDEA, we are blessed with wonderful counselors who give much time and effort to helping students achieve school success and plan for their careers. For further information visit this site.

19.100th Day of School -- Some schools might be past this day, some almost right on it, and others a week or two away. However, all schools in Europe are somewhere around 100 days at this moment. If you go to this page you will find a number of resources that you can use with your class, courtesy of the NEA.

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director