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April 2 2013 FEA Europe Update

April 2, 2013

1. Almost There!
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Fact Sheet on DDESS
4. EAC Meeting
5. Summer Storage
6. Furlough Fatigue
7. Salute the Troops: School Visits
8. Autism Awareness Month
9. FEA Election Information
10. Proposed Amendment
11. Mark Your Calendars<br /> 12. Sums It Up!
13. FRS Elections
14. Honors Music Fest 2013
15. TSP Loans/Withdrawal/Furlough
16. Update
17. ECP
18. AAADD
19. Modern Day Hero

1. Almost There! -- As you receive this we are in the final run-up to Spring Break. I cannot think of any recent year where it has been needed more by everyone. Besides all the stresses we have had -- excessing, closing schools, and furloughs (see number 6) to name a few, it has been compounded by one of the worst springs ever in terms of weather. We are all beginning to get a bit stir crazy! However, that said, regardless of the temperature next week we will feel so much warmer! Please enjoy yourselves whatever you decide to do. There will many more hurdles to cross in the final quarter but the end of the year is in sight. Support each other and know that all of us as DoDDS teachers can handle anything that is sent our way. But, if it is still this cold in June then that would be a whole different story!

2. Area Directors' Travels -- This week on Friday I will be in Wiesbaden for the Area JCC. Next week being Spring Break I will be traveling between the bed, sofa, refrigerator, and television! I need to ‘recharge' the batteries for what promises to be a very interesting final quarter.

3. Fact Sheet on Placement of Excessed DoDDS Teachers to DDESS - DoDEA's Human Resources office on March 27 released this fact sheet to answer common questions/concerns for excessed DoDDS educators who are placed in DDESS schools.(from FEA Online)

4. 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.

5. 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.

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.

6 .Furlough Fatigue -- There is nothing new to report on furloughs that has not already been posted ad nauseam. I have always contended that in the end the furlough would have a negligible impact on school level employees, meaning teachers. So far I have been right but will be willing to say I was wrong if something changes. There are enough crepe hangers out there that someone has to try to keep things in perspective. I was thinking mainly about financial and educational impact . The real negative of all this is the impact that it has had on teacher morale. Every school that I visit, every faculty lounge that I walk in to, the topic seems always to be furloughs. This is not healthy, especially because at this point nothing has happened. If only we could add together all of the time and energy that has been expended on this topic , one can only imagine what we could have accomplished. It is a serious topic -- I know. It will affect me as well. However, I am going to honor my own moratorium. If any news come out that is different than what we have already been told I promise to do my part in getting it out. What I will not do is recycle and regurgitate old stories on this topic, especially in some cases stories that have nothing to do with teachers. It is becoming overkill. My wish for all of you is that during the coming much needed break that the word ‘furlough' never passes your lips, or your ears. We are all suffering ‘furlough fatigue'!

7. Salute the Troops: School Visits -- Recently FOX Sports sponsored a trip by Major League Baseball players, past and present, to visit our troops here in Europe. In the process they also took the time to visit some of our schools. You can see a video of one such visit here.

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 remaining schedule for conducting the FEA At-Large Officers election is as follows:

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 www.feaonline.org

10. 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.

11. Mark Your Calendars --
April 8 -- Holocaust Remembrance Day
April 9 -- 12 - Spring Break
April 16 -- Dennis Nan Roekel, NEA President, in Grafenwoehr/Vilseck
April 17 -- Dennis Van Roekel, NEA President, in Kaiserslautern
April 22 -- Earth Day
April 1 -- 30 - Autism Awareness Month
April 1 - 30 -- Child Abuse Prevention Month

12. Sums It Up! - I think that the attached Spring Break cartoon pretty much sums up the feelings in most of our communities as we move in to next week!

13. FRS Elections -- It is nearing the time of year when schools will be choosing their Faculty Representative Spokesperson for SY 13/14. 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.

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 www.doddshost.net . 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. Here is that info.

16. Update - The next Update is scheduled to be Lisa's on April 17. Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately. Also, remember to check www.feaonline.org for the latest.

17. ECP -- (from DoDEA) DoDEA is pleased to announce the opening of the 2013 Educator Career Program (ECP). ECP provides internal and external candidates an opportunity to be considered for Principal and Assistant Principal positions for the 2013-2014 School Year. The ECP online application opens on April 1, 2013 and applicants must submit a completed application by 1700 (5:00 p.m.) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on April 26, 2013.

As a SPECIAL NOTE, current DoDEA principals and assistant principals interested in a reassignment within DoDEA must apply and complete an online ECP application in order to be considered. Candidates who applied for the 2012-13 school year must UPDATE their online application in order to continue to receive consideration for the 2013-14 school years.

For further information, attached is a copy of the ECP announcement. Questions can be addressed to the Educator Career Program mailbox in outlook at the following address: ECP@hq.dodea.edu.

18. AAADD -- (Sorry that this was inadvertently left off of my last Update. Hope it was worth the wait!)

Thanks to Dan Soulia of Netzaberg MS for this week's (attempt at) humor!

A.A.A.D.D. - KNOW THE SYMPTOMS!
Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.
This is how it manifests:
I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, And notice that the
can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first...
But then I think,
Since I'm going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my check book off the table,
And see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study, So I go inside the house to my
desk where I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.
I'm going to look for my checks,
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside So that I don't accidentally knock
it over.
The Pepsi is getting warm,
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the
counter catches my eye--they need water.
I put the Pepsi on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk, But first I'm going to water the
flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and
suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the
remote, But I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, So I decide to
put it back in the den where it belongs, But first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table, Get some towels and wipe up the
spill.
Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day:
The car isn't washed,
The bills aren't paid,
There is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter,
The flowers don't have enough water,
There is still only 1 check in my check book, I can't find the remote, I
can't find my glasses, And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really
baffled because I know I was busy all day, And I'm really tired.
I realize this is a serious problem,
And I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....
Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember who I've
sent it to.
Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!
P.S. I don't remember who sent it to me, so if it was you, I'm sorry

19. Modern Day Hero -- And finally, an original cartoon by Heather Schwartz, art teacher at Hainerberg ES in Wiesbaden. No further comment needed by me -- the cartoon says it all!!

20. Late Breaking Workshop News -- (see attached)

Alex

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051
email