February 26 2014 FEA Europe Update
1. This Month
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Women's History Month
4. NEA Foundation
7. Read Across America
8. Area JCC
9. Daylight Savings Time
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information
12. Excess Teachers
1. This Month -- By the end of February I will have visited 14 schools and attended one JCC during the month. It would be putting it mildly if I said that I was busy. However, of these schools, 9 are closing/transforming and as a result have many concerns and questions about their future. I answered what questions that I could, researched some others, and am still looking in to a few. I want to take this moment to thank the FRS at every school for helping to arrange my visits and for just generally being wonderful hosts and great leaders. To all the members who crossed my path, I just want to say that you are amazing people and that I am proud to be included in your company. These are some trying times, but I am sure that, working as a team, we will get through them.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- I will be Grafenwohr and Netzaberg towards the beginning of the week, and then on Thursday, for the first time in 4 years, Garmisch. 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 this email . 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 as soon I can.
3. Women's History Month -- Next month, March, which starts before my next Update, is Women's History Month. Since 1910, March 8 has been observed as International Women's Day by people around the world. Thus, March was chosen for National Women's History Month in the United States. The link will provide you with useful information and tools to celebrate this month, including lesson plans. Women's History Month resources
4. NEA Foundation -- The NEA Foundation is now accepting nominations for their annual Awards for Teaching Excellence. This award honors excellent teachers who have also shown strong leadership in the Association. These nominations must be sent to your FEA Area Director by March 10. Further information can be found at: http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/pages/nea-foundation-nominate-an-educator/
5. VLTP -- I have noticed more and more names of members being approved for VLTP coming in to my mail box. The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program allows us to donate leave to others who have exhausted their own leave, generally due to illness of either themselves or of family members. I often wonder if the stresses of our job situations don't help to acerbate this situation. Regardless, the deeper we get in to the school year the harder we find it to donate, as we can only donate APL days at this time, a situation I would hope we could eventually have changed. If you are in a position to do so, please consider helping these members who often find themselves in rather dire straits. You merely need to pick a recipient and fill out the forms that you will get in your school office. You'll feel good for having done it.
6. Update- Next week Lisa will be back and I will return on or around March 12. 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 www.feaonline.org
7. Read Across America - Read Across America day is coming up next week! The annual reading celebration will take place March 3, 2014. Also, you can visit the NEA Read Across America site for more resources. Please send us any photos you may take during your schools' celebration.
8 . Area JCC -- The next Area JCC is scheduled for 1000 on Monday, March 10, in Wiesbaden. Minutes will be distributed shortly after that date.
9. Daylight Savings Time -- This just kind of dawned on me but it is a happy thought never the less. Note that Daylight Savings Time will begin in North America at 2 AM on Sunday, March 9. However, the clocks will not change in Europe until 2 A.M. on March 30. For three weeks there will be a 5 hour time difference between the east coast and most of Europe instead of the normal 6. The UK of course is one hour different. Remember -- Spring forward, Fall back!
10. Mark Your Calendars --
February 1-28 -- Black History Month
February 17 - President's Day
March 3 - Read Across America Day
March 9 - Daylight Savings Time (United States)
March 1-31 Women's History Month
11. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information -- Attached is information from the IRS for all of us living outside of CONUS for filing our 2013 Income Tax. It includes deadlines, forms, addresses, and other useful information. No one likes to think about it but this page may help. Tax info.
12. Excess Teachers -- Here is the latest from DoDDS-E in regards to the number of excess teachers reported as of February 21. Please note that a number of these have already been approved for VERA/VSIP but we do not know the exact numbers. (Latest news indicates that after the first round of VERA/VSIP that there are only around 100 excess educators who still need placement.)
Totals of Excess Teachers in DoDDS-E
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051