March 12, 2014 FEA Europe Update
1. This Month
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Vote Early
4. New Director
5. Excess Placement
7. Read Across America
8. Area JCC
9. Daylight Savings Time
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. A ‘Bridge' Too Far
13. Diabetes Alert Day
14. St. Patrick's Day
1. This (and next) Month -- As we rapidly approach the Ides of March, I have stopped to reflect on what has gone on over recent days and look ahead to see how much still lies in front of us. In the next 21 days we will have: changed our clocks, reached Spring Break (in most locations), and be well on our way to completing the excess placement program. It will officially be Spring, the days will be noticeably longer, and we will have successfully survived both St. Patty's Day and April Fool's Day! For some, these days will be stressful, for others not so much so, but hopefully when we finally do come back from Break, things will be settling down for all. As always, FEA will be vigilant in watching and monitoring how things transpire on your behalf.
2. Area Directors' Travels -- I am in the process of scheduling visits to the few schools that I have not made it to yet this year. Once that happens, I will have again been able to visit all schools, as I did my first year. In the following two years I made everyplace but Garmisch, but last year missed some because of my illness. I had made it my goal this year and with fingers crossed hope to make it. These visits, in my opinion, are very important to our members, especially in closing schools. 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, write to firstname.lastname@example.org . 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. Vote Early - Ballots for the election of FEA Area Directors (two in Europe and one each for Stateside and the Pacific) were mailed to all FEA Active members at the end of February. If you've not received your ballot in the mail by March 18, you can ask your FRS/Local President for a copy of the ballot, which you can then complete and mail back to FEA. Please be sure to complete the return address section on the return envelope and sign it. Failure to do so will result in your ballot being declared invalid and your vote not counting. Ballots for the FEA Area Director elections must be RECEIVED by April 22 to be counted in the tally. It is important that as many members as possible vote. It is indicative of a strong and active organization, which all of us at FEA certainly believe we are. We want others to know it as well.
4. New Director -- I am sure by now most of you are aware that DoDEA has a new Director. The following is an excerpt from the FEA President's Report followed by a DoDEA link to a brief biography of Mr. Brady. "I want to begin by congratulating and welcoming Mr. Thomas Brady as our new DoDEA Director. Mr. Brady has extensive experience in public education and a long career in the U.S. Army. I look forward to working with Mr. Brady in the years ahead to build a stronger and more collaborative relationship between FEA and DoDEA Headquarters. Welcome to DoDEA! " Read DoDEA's release about the new director here.
5. Excess Placement -- Latest reports are that the actual placement round will likely begin on March 18. For a full up to date report on this issue please go to www.feaonline.org and read the President's Report. I hesitate to put anything more concrete in this Update as the situation is still very fluid, as the Report indicates.
6. Update- Next week Lisa will be back and I will return on or around March 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 www.feaonline.org
7. Read Across America -- From all reports this years NEA Read Across America Day was the most successful ever. I happened to be in Ramstein at the ES and they decided to turn it into a week! All of our schools have told us that they had great activities, many guest speakers, and just in general a marvelous celebration of reading. If you have photos that you would like to share, then please do by sending them to GHritz@nea.org (for the Journal) or Lisa or myself for the Unity.
8 . Area JCC -- The next Area JCC is scheduled for 1000 on Tuesday, April 15, in Wiesbaden. Minutes will be distributed shortly after that date.
9. Daylight Savings Time -- Well, the States are now on DST and we are not. (That is OK as we still have the better weather). Our clocks will not change in Europe until 2 A.M. on March 30. For another two and a half 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 --
March 1-31 Women's History Month
March 17 - St. Patty's Day
March 21- First Full Day of Spring
March 30 - Daylight Savings Time (Europe)
11. A ‘Bridge' Too Far -- As you know, we are currently dealing with a ‘bridge' custodial contract in DoDDS-E. I do not have to tell you of its impact on our schools. (If you are not aware, I must tell you that it is because it may not have reached you yet.) I recently asked through the FRS's for some concrete evidence of what was actually going on. I received volumes, along with many photos that I had to be careful when I opened them. Some were almost stomach turning in regards to uncleanliness and health issues that they were highlighting. I think that this is a ‘bridge' too far, and both Lisa and I addressed this with Dr. Bresell at our recent JCC. The problem has originated in DoDEA Headquarters. We have already elevated this to FEA DC and I know that they are working on it, and I have also received reports that DoDDS-E is working with DoDEA to try and get relief. Stay tuned as it appears that this issue is not going away just yet.
12. A.A.A.D.D. -- (Attached) This was sent to me last year on almost exactly this date by Dan Soulia of Netzaberg M.S. I found it then, and even more so now, very interesting but can't remember if I ever sent it out!!
13. Diabetes Alert Day - On March 26th, the American Diabetes Association is recognizing "Diabetes Alert Day" as the time to find out if you are the 1 in 3 American Adults who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. There is a simple test that assesses your risk for Type 2 diabetes; family history, weight, age, activity, etc. Since 2007, the statistics for pre-diabetes and diabetes have increased. The number of Americans with diabetes has grown from 24 million (children and adults) to 26 million. The number of Americans with pre-diabetes over the age of 20 has risen in three years from 57 million to 79 million. For these latest statistics, a newer method of diagnosing pre-diabetes has been added. Pre-diabetes is diagnosed by looking at either fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL or an HbA1c (3 month blood glucose average) of 5.7% to 6.4%. These 2007 and 2011 statistics were determined by the National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Diabetes is a progressive disease. Pre-diabetes (one number apart from diabetes) will eventually become diabetes if you wait too long to take care of your body. Please take a look at some of the numbers of non-diabetes, pre-diabetes and then diabetes: Fasting Glucose: 99 and below (non-diabetes), 100-125 mg/dL (pre-diabetes), 126 and above (diabetes),HbA1c (average): 5.7% (non-diabetes), 5.7-6.4% (pre-diabetes), 6.5% (diabetes).
14. St. Patrick's Day -- Thursday, March 17, is St. Patrick's Day. You can find many fun activities and other items relating to all things green at www.atozteacherstuff.com/Themes/St__Patrick_s_Day
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051 Email