April 3 2012 FEA Europe Update

1. Transfer Update
2. Driving in France
3. Retirement Information
4. Processing Relocation Travel Claims
5. 21/26 Pay Period Election
6. Area JCC
7. Summer Storage of HHG
8. Honors Music Festival
9. Summer Workshops
10. Introductory Online Mechanics Course
11. TSP Returns
12. Dates to Remember for April

1. Transfer Update: The latest President's report contained the most recent transfer information. For those of you who do not receive the president's report directly to your e-mail, here is a brief recap. Due to the Pentagon's restrictions on DoDEA's budget, the number of transfers authorized has been significantly reduced, maybe by as much as one half. FEA expects transfers within Groups A+, A, B, and C, through matched vacancies, but transfers in groups D and F will only be made after spring break through June 1st. Notifications to those who did receive transfer placements will be delayed. FEA will let members know as soon as possible as to when those notifications are sent out.

2. Driving in France: I have received a tremendous amount of feedback regarding the new regulations for driving in France. I will continue to pass on new information as I receive it. FEA member Gina Ashton as been on top of this and has found that the breathalyzer kits may be purchased at a number of locations. Please note Gina's message, which is attached.

3. Retirement Information: Attached are articles from They deal with charts outlining the differences between CSRS and FERS as well as an article on the new TSP Roth IRA Option.

4. Processing Relocation Travel Claims: Processing Relocation Travel Claims is moving from DFAS Cleveland to DFAS Rome effective on or about April 1st. Please see the attached information for more details.

5. 21/26 Pay Period Election: The MOU governing the 21 or 26 pay period election is attached, along with the election form for 2012-2013. Please not that the deadline is 31 May 2012 if you want to change your pay period election from 21 to 26 pay periods, or vice versa. Please remember that Bill Freeman recommends switching to 21 pay periods before you retire, so if retirement is in your plans for next year, please note that the switch must be made before the end of this school year.

6. JCC: Alex and I will be in Wiesbaden for Area JCC this week. Please forgive any delay in answering e-mails---we will get to them as soon as we can.

7. Summer Storage in Lieu of LQA: Attached are the instructions for requesting storage in lieu of LQA for the summer recess. If you have any questions, please contact your CSR at the Area Office.

8. DoDDS-E Honors Music Festival: The DoDDS-E music festival is being held this week in Oberwesel and Wiesbaden. Activities will culminate in a concert, being held this Friday in Wiesbaden. Please see the attached Media Release for more information regarding the concert and guest conductors. The concert will be streamed live at, this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

9. Summer Workshops: The annual summer workshops information is available. We are extremely disappointed in the lack of offerings, particularly for elementary teachers. Please see the attached information for application deadlines.

10. Introductory Mechanics Online Course: Please see the attachment for an online course in Introductory Newtonian Mechanics. The course is free and does not require a textbook and is appropriate for a wide range of students and teachers.

11. TSP Returns: The latest TSP returns (updated 02 April) are attached.

12. Dates to Remember for April:
April 1-30 ---National Child Abuse Prevention Month was established in commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to child abuse.
April 1-30---National Poetry Month National Poetry Month was inaugurated in April 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Find resources at Bringing Poetry to the Classroom.
April 5---End of the Third Quarter
April 8-14 ---National Library Week This year's theme is "You belong @ your library."
April 9-13---Spring Break for schools in DoDDS-E
April 15-21 ---National Environmental Education Week is the nation's largest environmental education event, and is held each year the week before Earth Day, inspiring environmental learning and stewardship among K-12 students. The 2012 theme is Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning.
April 16 ---Patriot's Day Patriot's Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, which were two of the earliest battles in the American Revolutionary War. It is annually held on the third Monday of April.
April 18 ---Anniversary of Paul Revere's Ride The "midnight ride" of Paul Revere started at about 10 p.m. on this day in 1775.
April 19 ---Holocaust Remembrance Day The internationally recognized date marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
April 22 ---Earth Day On this day each year, we talk about ways we are protecting the environment and ways we can take stronger action during the coming year.
April 23 ---William Shakespeare's Birthday William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist in Elizabethan England, was born on this date in 1564 and also died on this date in 1616.
April 28 ---OSHA Established The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established on April 28, 1971. Since then, the nation has made dramatic progress in reducing work-related deaths and injuries.
April 26 ---Pay It Forward Day The Pay It Forward concept was first articulated by Benjamin Franklin, who realized that the world would be transformed if just a few people started doing good deeds and asking that those who they helped would pass along good deeds to others. The book and film of the same name helped to popularize the idea. See also Pay It Forward Day website .
April 26 ---Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Always the fourth Thursday in April, this program encourages parents to bring their kids to work with them and show them the wide range of jobs available to them. For more information, see the Daughters and Sons to Work website.
April 27 ---National Arbor Day Celebrated the last Friday in April, this event encourages people to plant and care for trees.
April 30 ---El día de los niños/El día de los libros/Children's Day Día, sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

**If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in future updates, please let us know. We want to provide you with the information you need.**
Have a great week and a wonderful spring holiday!
Lisa Garmon Ali
FEA Europe Area Director

PSC 41 Box 5569
APO AE 09464
Tel: 44-1638527662 (outside UK)
01638527662 (local)
226-7662 (DSN)