April 1 2015 FEA Europe Update
1. Transfer Update
2. Traveling for Spring Break
4. Child Abuse Prevention Month
5. Area Director's Travel
7. IRS Forms and Publications
8. FRS Elections
9. Mark Your Calendars
10. Area JCC
11. Summer Storage
12. National Teacher Appreciation Week
13. National Teacher Day
14. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information
15. World Autism Awareness Day
16. Autism Awareness Month
19. JCC Minutes
1. Transfer Update - The transfer meetings have begun as of yesterday, March 31, in Washington DC. I know from personal experience that the first day or two are taken up with ground rules and organizing. It is a long, tedious, but ultimately accurate meeting. My understanding is that they will work next week as well. We have two FEA representatives at the table so we are well represented. No announcements as to placements will be made until the transfers are completed, so please do not worry that if you are away next week that you will miss anything. I would not expect any announcements until at least mid-April.
2. Traveling for Spring Break? - For those of you traveling during the upcoming Spring Break, here are some travel tips. Make sure you have copies of all your passports and other important documents stored separately from the originals when you travel. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information in your wallet or purse in the event of an accident or sudden illness, etc. You may want to include local (European) contact information as well as stateside contacts. It is also a good idea to let a colleague know your travel plans and contact numbers in case of emergency. And, should you find yourself ‘stuck' in an airport then the guide that you can find here www.sleepinginairports.net might prove valuable.
3. W2 -- Your electronic W2 is available on myPay at: this site. You will need your CAC reader for best results.
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 the National Child Abuse Prevention Month. More info here.
5. Area Directors' Travels -- In the two week time frame just passed I had the chance to visit several schools and also attended the Area JCC along with Lisa on March 25. The JCC was held at the new Area office in Sembach. While in Sembach I had the opportunity to visit both Sembach ES and MS. Earlier in the week I also made stops at Ramstein ES and Ramstein HS. My thanks go out to all the people who helped arrange my visits and I enjoyed meeting with so many of the teachers. I appreciated the hospitality of all. I plan on being back in the same area towards the end of this month to attend some special events and to also visit schools that I missed on this most recent trip.
6. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with www.feaonline.org for your best source for breaking news. My next Update is scheduled for April 22.
7. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2014 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Here is the link to the site. I know that a number of you, for a variety of reasons, like to file early. http://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs (This is the last time I will run this as by the time of my next update April 15 will have passed.)
8. FRS Elections -- It is nearing the time of year when schools will be choosing their Faculty Representative Spokesperson for SY 15/16. This is a very important task and I hope that all schools will do all they can to run open, fair and transparent elections. Current FRS's will be provided with the SOP for such elections that was adopted by the EAC. Please note that most of what is in the SOP are recommendations as the election of a FRS is a very local matter.
9. Mark Your Calendars --
April 1 -- 30 National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 1 -- 30 Autism Awareness Month
April 2 -- World Autism Awareness Day
April 3 -- Teacher Workday
April 5 -- 10 - Spring Break
April 13 - First Day of 4th Quarter
10. Area JCC -- The next Area JCC has now been scheduled. It will be held in Sembach on Wednesday, May 20 at 1100.We will put the agenda together approximately a week before that.
11 Summer Storage - Summer will eventually arrive and the end of the school year will be upon us. Some educators will be taking RAT and others won't. However, whether you take RAT or not, or you just change residences, there is one thing that you can take advantage of during the summer recess: Summer storage.
It has come to my attention that some of you already have submitted your request for summer storage. Those who have not, I recommend you start now. Starting now will help you accelerate your pack-out date on schedule. TMO gets very busy in May and June.
Below is the rule for Summer Storage.
is a temporary storage of HHG authorized in lieu of Government quarters or quarters allowance for a minimum period of one (1) month and not to exceed the recess period between the two school years (JTR, Vol 2, C5195.C). The HHG stored under this entitlement, combined with HHG in non-temporary storage cannot exceed 18,000 lbs. total weight. Summer storage of HHG cannot exceed the start of the new school year.
Below is the step by step process you must take to request summer storage.
1. You need to request orders via TOPS (summer storage in lieu of LQA).
2. One you receive your signed order from TOPS, you must take your order to TMO to set pack-out date and pick-out date. Make sure you receive a copy of your DD1299 from TMO.
3. Submit via DAPS to stop LQA on the day of your pick-out date. You must attach DD1299 when you submit your request.
4. Must have HHG packet up 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.
Please remember that educators will not receive LQA or TQSA during this period. If the HHG remains in storage after the report date, then the educator may be liable for the storage fees. This would be determined by the TMO.
12. National Teacher Appreciation Week -- May 4 -8 is the week to thank a teacher and take action to ensure public school educators are recognized, valued, and respected. This will come up very quickly after Spring Break, so now might be the time to plan some events for your school and community. May 5 of that week is National Teacher Day.
13. National Teacher Day - National Teacher Day is a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May. In May of 2009, a bill was introduced in Congress that created a national day of teacher recognition on the Tuesday of the first full week of May. More info here
14. U.S. Citizens Abroad Tax Information -- Attached is information from the IRS for all of us living outside of CONUS for filing our 2014 Income Tax. It includes deadlines, forms, addresses, and other useful information. No one likes to think about it but this site may help.
15. World Autism Awareness Day -- The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2015. You can find a wealth of information on this topic at: this site
16. 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 Society website. Click here
17. TQSA -- TQSA (or Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance) is an acronym that many of us will become familiar with in the next few months, what with VSIP's, retirements, and transfers. All questions concerning it can be answered by a quick reading of the Department of State Regulations governing it. Thanks to Anthony Ates of the Area Office for sending and verifying the regulation. Make special note of sections 121 a & b and 122.2. You can find it here.
18. Unity -- It is anticipated that the Spring Unity will be published in late April (after Spring Break). If anyone has something that they would want included please send it to me at any time. We are particularly thinking of some photos of activities at your school, and even more especially photos taken during NEA's Read Across America Day on March 2. You can send these items to me at firstname.lastname@example.org Remember, while it is still fresh in your minds, send any photos that you may have of the event to me ASAP.
19. JCC Minutes -- Attached are the minutes of the Area JCC minutes held in Sembach on March 25.
Please have a wonderful and restful Spring Break whatever you decide to do!! I appreciate all of you!!