March 6, 2014 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

06 March 2014

1. Focus on the Contract
2. Online Course Opportunities
3. Women's History Month
4. Youth Art Month
5. TSP Returns
6. Financial Consequences of Voluntary Early Retirement
7. Cleaning/Custodial Issues
8. International Women's Day
9. Brainteaser

1. Focus on the Contract: Article 47-Housing and Housing Allowances.
Section 2 of Article 47
states that when a unit employee has been assigned to a new duty station, the Employer shall make available to said unit employee accurate, up-to-date information regarding the availability of both Government (owned or leased) and economy housing prior to the issuance of travel orders, when possible. The Employer will also make available to each such unit employee, information concerning the availability of government furniture and appliances at the new duty station. If this information is incorrect or subsequently altered after shipment of household goods, the Employer shall accommodate, in accordance with appropriate regulations, the adversely affected unit employee either by: of household goods;
b. provision of appliances and/or furniture; or
c. partial shipment of household goods.

Each unit employee who is performing services as a teacher at the close of a school year and agrees in writing to serve as a unit employee for the next school year may be authorized, for the recess period immediately preceding such next school year, quarters, quarters allowance or in lieu of such quarters or quarters allowance, storage of household goods.

The information below is for those of you considering the option of summer storage in lieu of LQA.

1. Request orders via TOPS (summer storage in lieu of LQA).
2. Take your signed orders to TMO to set a pack-out date. Make sure you receive a copy of your DD1299 from TMO.
3. Submit, via DAPS, a stop LQA on the day of your pack-out date. You must attach DD1299 when you submit your request.
4. Must have HHG pack-out after the last day of school.
5. Must have HHG in storage a minimum of 30 days.
6. Must have HHG delivered to new home before the report date of educators for the new school year.
7. Submit, via DAPS, to start your new LQA. You must submit DD1299 showing delivery date and your new rental contract.
8. If the HHG remain in storage after the report date, the educator may be liable for storage fees. This is determined by the TMO.

For more information, please contact the designated Customer Service Representative for your District.

2. Online Course Opportunities: (Thank you to Mr. Ray Woods LA ISS, Isles District, for providing this information.)

Please find below information and easy access to the two online course offerings. These courses are for all content areas Grades 4-12 and are supportive of Common Core Standards awareness as we prepare for implementation.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading /from Standard 10 Common Core Standards Range and content of student reading By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success

Here is the web link to U of San Diego DoDEA courses where you can begin registration.

A significant body of research links the close reading of complex text--whether the student is a struggling reader or advanced--to significant gains in reading proficiency and finds close reading to be a key component of college and career readiness. (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, 2011, p. 7)

Course 1
EDC-X762D Complex Text, Close Reading & Comprehensive Strategies For Instruction

"Text-dependent questions are those that can only be answered by referring back to the text being read. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require students to "read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it." They must also cite pertinent evidence from the text when responding orally or when writing an answer to questions about the text. Students can no longer rely solely on prior knowledge or personal experience."

"By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is intentionally and coherently structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades. Students also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success."

Course 2
EDC-X723G Close Reading/Developing Text Dependent Questions

3. March is Women's History Month: See this website for the President's proclamation. (Thank you to Mr. Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA, for providing this information.)

Below are more links to help you with your planning for instruction.

Library of Congress Women's History Month:

LOC resources for educators:

NEA Women's History Resources for Teachers (lesson plans, print ready items and activities):

Smithsonian Institute:

Michigan State University Women in Science:

DoDEA Celebrates Women's History:

National Geographic-- 6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism:

4. March is Youth Art Month: Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March, to emphasize the value of art and art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. (Thank you to Ms. Terese Sarno, President of the Overseas Art Education Association & FEA Kaiserslautern District Representative, for providing this information.)

Mission: Youth Art Month's Purposes Are:
To direct attention to the value of art education, which develops divergent and critical thinking, multicultural awareness, and technical communication and expressive skills?
To increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
To recognize that art is a necessity for the full development of better quality of life for all people.
To expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones.
To increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative venues.
To provide additional opportunities for individual of all ages to participate in create art learning.
To encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.

5. TSP Returns: below is the link for the latest TSP returns, and an article that defines "vesting" in the TSP.,

6. Financial Consequences of Voluntary Early Retirement: Please click on the link below for an article from, a website dedicated to issues facing federal retirees.

7. Cleaning Contract in Germany: Several teachers have written to me concerned with the "bridge" contract that went into effect in our Germany schools this week. According to a source at the Wiesbaden Area Office, the bridge contract is for 9 months, initially. The bridge contract is supposed to cover custodial services. However, schools are seeing a reduction in cleaning services, with trash cans only being emptied twice a week, with some teachers being told that they cannot place food items in trash cans anymore. Please be aware that FEA leadership is fully aware of this situation and is monitoring the implementation of the bridge contract at every level. We remain most concerned that the cleanliness in our schools is deteriorating and may lead to even more serious problems due to lack of cleaning.

As you are well-aware, each school in our system has unique needs. The cleaning services required by an elementary school are considerably different than the cleaning needs of a high school, though there will be some commonalities. Therefore, please carefully document any deterioration in the cleanliness of your classroom, as well as other high-traffic areas of the school. I have sent guidance to the FRSs with suggestions on how to best handle the situation as it stands now. If you have any questions, please contact your FRS for assistance.

I will be discussing this at our March JCC with the Area Office next week. As far as I am aware, this appears to be a problem in Germany schools only---if this is not the case, please let me know.

8. International Women's Day March 8, 2014: Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, government, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate this day. This year's theme for International Women's Day if INSPIRING CHANGE. Women's equality has made positive gains, but the world is still unequal. International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women, while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. International Women's Day encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change. The vast array of communication channels, supportive spokespeople, equality research, campaigns and corporate responsibility initiatives means everyone can be an advocate, inspiring change for women's advancement. For more information, go to, the global hub for sharing International Women's Day news, events and resources. (Thank you to Ms. Terese Sarno, FEA District Representative for Kaiserslautern District for sharing.)

Brainteaser: Can you guess the names of these famous things by words that mean the same thing? (from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Calendar 2014) You have to write me for the answers.
Joined Commonwealths of the Western Hemisphere (country)
Birthed to Move Quickly (album title)
A Wind-Up Citrus Fruit (novel and movie)
Bestride, Increasing the Frequency Which You Hurry (American Landmark)
Woman and the Vagrant (animated movie)

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."---Ralph Waldo Emerson American Writer and Philosopher

Lisa Ali
FEA Europe Area Director