March 20, 2013 FEA Europe Update

1. EAC Meeting
2. Area Directors' Travels
4. Child Abuse Prevention Month
5. Some Good Advice
6. Excess Placement Module Deadline
7. Daylight Savings Time
8. Autism Awareness Month
9. FEA Election Information
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. Proposed Amendment
12. Diabetes Alert Day
13. Attention ESL/ELL Teachers
14. Honors Music Fest 2013
15. TSP Loans/Withdrawal/Furlough
16. Update
17. Easter markets

1. EAC Meeting April 24-26 - This year's European Area Council meeting will be held at the Edelweiss Lodge in Garmisch, Germany. The EAC is the FEA governing bodies for FEA Europe where issues of concern will be discussed that affect our members here in Europe. Among the many things to be discussed this year will be the restructuring of FEA Europe with the loss of the Heidelberg District.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- By the time this goes out I will have already been in Baumholder for an BAEA meeting. From Wednesday through most of Friday I will be visiting the Ramstein schools. While on the road however I have very little Outlook access but always be aware that I can be quickly reached at Both Lisa and I plan on being in Wiesbaden on April 5 for the next Area JCC.

3. MUSS - MUSS is a unique simulation of the American congressional process in the United States Senate. High school students are assigned to play the roles of senators and other senior members of government. The Plenary sessions are a great opportunity for students and teachers to see what MUSS is all about while also getting a glimpse at how the real US Senate functions. The MUSS-C-TV video students will also provide lower third graphics which indicate what is happening so it is not necessary for educators/students to view entire sessions. Here are the times and link for gavel-to-gavel coverage of the European Model Senate next week. :

Opening Ceremony Wednesday, March 20, 0830 -- 0930
Plenary I Thursday, March 21, 0830 -- 1200
Plenary II Thursday, March 21, 1300 -- 1745
Plenary III Thursday, March 21, 1900 - 2100
Plenary IV Friday, March 22, 0830 -- 1000

Link for live stream

4. Child Abuse Prevention Month - In the early 1980s, Congress resolved that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week, in commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to child abuse. The following year, in 1983, April was proclaimed National Child Abuse Prevention Month. You can find more info here.

5. Some Good Advice -- (I am repeating this from my last Update since it received so much positive feedback. Also, it may now be more pertinent to some than it was the last time. ) I received this email with the attachment earlier this week. Brenda and her committee gave me permission to share. As someone who has also been excessed I can tell you that this is some very good advice l

‘Okay Everyone! I hope you are having a Thrilling Thursday! Here is what my committee developed to give you some stress relief on what to do when as we are excessed. First - BREATHE - I have survived 4 previous excessings, so you will survive and come out of it with some funny stories to tell, 2nd - you are NOT ALONE - we can and should all help each other through this, that is the main reason I decided to create this committee - and I appreciate those that were willing/able to help and the kind words that I got from those of you that are feeling the stress because it is all new and scary to you! Hang in there! Spring break is getting closer and we will have a job, somewhere - not something that everyone in America can say! So, without further ado - here are our recommendations. Enjoy the read - pass along to whomever you think might be able to use it.'

Brenda Hoff, Third Grade Teacher, PHV Elementary School, Heidelberg, Germany

6 Excess Placement Module Deadline -- (A reminder from the FEA website) Permanent DoDDS educators that have been declared excess must submit an online application for placement consideration in the Excess Placement Program Module. Educators will be placed according to the procedures listed in the attached document "Placement of Excessed Employees and VERA/VSIP Approval".

Excess educators can access the Excess Placement Program Module at this time by clicking on the link below. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Friday, March 22, 2013. Application changes may be made any time before the March 22, 2013 application deadline. After the closing date of the application, no changes will be permitted.

To assist you in completing your application, we have attached a listing of schools by district and a list of teaching categories. If you have any questions concerning the application process, please send an e-mail to the following address:

Apply now at the following link: Excess Placement Program Module

7. Daylight Savings Time -- Europe officially goes to DST at 2 A.M. on Sunday, March 31 (Easter Sunday). At that point we go back to a 6 hour difference with the east coast for Central Europe, and a 5 hour difference for the UK. Remember -- Spring forward, Fall back!

8. Autism Awareness Month -- April has also been designated as Autism Awareness Month. It is a condition that affects more and more of our students every year. Learn basic information about autism at the Autism Speaks website .

9. FEA Election Information -- The schedule for conducting the FEA At-Large Officers election is as follows:

By March 8, 2013 FEA Administrative Office mails Sample Ballot Packet to FRSs, Local Presidents and Area Directors.
March 22, 2013 Local Presidents, FRSs and Area Directors may reproduce ballots for those Members who have not received theirs.
April 22, 2013 Deadline for receipt of ballots.
April 23 and 24, 2013 Votes tallied.
April 25 and 26, 2013 Election results posted on FEA Website within 24 hours of tally.
June 24, 2013 Deadline for filing election challenge.
August 2, newly elected officers take office (Sept. 1 for the NEA Director)
For a complete listing of the candidates visit

10. Mark Your Calendars --
March 31 -- Easter Sunday
March 31 -- Daylight Savings Time begins (Europe)
April 9 -- 12 - Spring Break
April 1 -- 30 - Autism Awareness Month
April 1 - 30 -- Child Abuse Prevention Month

11. Proposed Amendment to the FEA Constitution - In addition to voting on At-Large officers, FEA members will also be voting this school year on a proposed amendment to the FEA Constitution. If approved, the amendment would combine the current positions of FEA Vice President and FEA Secretary/Treasurer into one new position: Vice President/Secretary-Treasurer. The change, if approved by FEA members, would not take affect until the next round of at-large officer voting in school year 2015-2016.

Read the text of and rationale behind the proposed amendment.

12. 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).

You can find more info here.

13. Attention ESL/ELL Teachers - Nominations are now being accepted to identify participants for the NEA ELL Program Summit. The purpose of the Summit is to discuss NEA's current ELL program and to explore future program possibilities as we continue to support ELL educators and students. Any FEA/NEA member can self-nominate at . The deadline for nominations has been extended to 8:00 p.m. EST on MARCH 27th, 2013. Selected participants will be notified ASAP following the deadline.

NEA will directly pay for selected participants' airfare and hotel accommodations associated with the Summit, and reimburse participants for additional costs (e.g., round trip taxi fare to the airport, meals not provided by the NEA, gratuities, etc.).

Thanks to Alina Rozanski of Netzaberg MS and the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Caucus Director for sharing this information.

14. Honors Musical Fest 2013 -- A reminder that the annual Honors Musical Festival will be held this year on April 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wiesbaden Kurhaus Concert Hall. DoDEA students from all over Europe will be performing. Tickets are free and may be claimed at the Kur Haus from 1800 the evening of the concert. It may be difficult for many of you to attend in person it can also be viewed at . I attended for the second time last year and it is an exceptional evening, highlighting all that is good about our students. Thanks to Lucky Moore for this information.

15. TSP Loans/Withdrawals/Furlough -- Many people have been asking about the effects of a furlough on their TSP account and also if there were ways through TSP to either take a hardship withdrawal or loan should the furlough come to pass. The attached link answers these questions while also providing the pros and cons of each option.

16. Update - The next Update is scheduled to be Lisa's on March 27. I will be back on April 3 for the Spring Break special edition. Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately. Also, remember to check for the latest.

17. Easter Markets in Germany -- Thanks to Tina Villella of Vilseck HS for sharing this listing of Easter Markets in Germany. Spring is nearly here!

18. AAADD -- Thanks to Dan Soulia of Netzaberg MS for this week's (attempt at0 humor!


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051
email me