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January 23, 2013 FEA Pacific Update

JANUARY 24, 2013

Debra Degalis, FEA Pacific Area Director

p> Area Director Update
 Staffing Documents
 Transfer Program
 Read Across America
 Retirement Briefings
 Interactive LES
 FEA Election for Officers
 Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement? Article 51
 Legal Eagle Corner
 Mark Your Calendars
 Other Tidbits

Area Director Update: A very belated Happy New Year! Thursday, January 24, marks the end of the second quarter and first semester. Can it be? Trying to cover all the action since the last update could be a novella. Time is precious for each of us, so I'll make this short. The FEA Board of Directors meeting, 17-21 December, was eventful, each Board member relating your concerns and events across DoDEA. The Board visited the new DoDEA HQ at the Mark Center in Arlington, Virginia. After our tour and quick lunch we shared our concerns with Ms. Fitzgerald and others from 1:00 until almost 7:00 PM. FEA President Michael Priser represents us very well at DODEA HQs. Realize that your District Presidents and FRS's are keeping us well informed of your concerns. This is especially true regarding recent DOD budget announcements. I am working on a question and answer sheet using the queries sent you all have forwarded. Look for distribution through your FRS and District President. At the end of next week I leave for Okinawa for our PAL Council meeting, which will include school visits. Please stop by and visit if I'm at your school. I love to hear good news too!

Area Director Activities:
11 December 2012 Dr. Talley, DoDEA Assistant Director Visit
17 -- 21 December 2012 FEA Board of Directors Meeting, Washington D.C.
8 -- 9 January 2013 Arbitration Hearing
22 January 2013 1:1 Laptop Steering Committee
26 January 2013 NEATA Board Meeting
2-3 February 2013 Pacific Area Leaders (PAL) Council Meeting, Okinawa
4-8 February 2-13 Okinawa School Visits

Staffing Documents: Staffing documents for SY 13-14 have been released to the districts. Your principal should be sharing the document with the FRS.

Transfer Program: As we all know the Transfer Program has been suspended for now. DoDEA HQ will open the transfer data base program in case there is a change in the fiscal situation and HQ decides there is sufficient time and resources. FEA has made sure Ms. Fitzgerald knows how important the Transfer Program is for our teachers and our system. FEA National will monitor the situation and notify us of any updates.

Read Across America: "Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat" will be the 2013 theme of NEA's Read Across America celebration as we return to the beloved Dr. Seuss tale of mischief and celebrate the joy of reading across the nation on Friday, March 1, this year's official Read Across America Day. For more information.

Retirement Briefings: Area Office has notified me that retirement briefings are being held across the districts for our teachers via VTC in Japan and Korea. I have been assured that if a teacher requires more assistance, the Human Resource personnel will accommodate.

Interactive LES: Attached is an interactive Leave and Earnings Statement that explains LES codes and other information. Thanks to Chuck McCarter for sharing.

FEA Election for Officers: FEA HQ has released the candidates for the officers. To find the latest information go to www.feaonline.org.

Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement? Article 51 -- Pupil Grades: With the end of the second quarter and first semester upon us, this is a good time to review Article 51.

ARTICLE 51 - PUPIL GRADES

Section 1.

A unit employee may establish his/her own grading system. In such cases, the unit employee is responsible for translating the grading system to the Employer's. The unit employee's record of grades shall contain a key for translating his/her system to the established grading system in use.

Section 2.

Students' grades may be requested for review and approval by the Employer before grade reports are distributed to students or parents.

Section 3.

In the event that any grade is challenged, the unit employee shall explain and justify the grade assigned.

Section 4.

If the Employer takes action to change a student's grade without the consent of the affected unit employee or directs the unit employee to change a grade, a written statement from the Employer shall be provided to the unit employee, stating that the change in grade and/or the passing or failing of the student was done at the discretion of the Employer.

Pacific's Legal Eagle Corner: Michael Bauernfeind has been one busy attorney on behalf of our members as your District Presidents are quite aware. I have given him a well-deserved break from the Legal Eagle corner.

Mark Your Calendars

JANUARY
23 Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year)
23-27 No Name Calling Week
Learn more at the No Name-Calling Week website. See also NEA's Bully Free: It Starts With Me web page.

FEBRUARY
1-29 Black History Month
Black History resources:
 Black History Month Lessons & Resources
 Black Labor History
 National Visionary Leadership Project
13-19 Random Acts of Kindness
For classroom ideas, go to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website and the Kids Activities website.
20 Frederick Douglass Day
20 President's Day
21 Mardi Gras
22 George Washington Birthday
22-April Orthodox Lent
22-April Western Christianity Lent
23 W.E.B. DuBois Birthday

For more information about any of these events, go to this page.

OTHER TIDBITS

NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School Educators (most offered with college credit and $$)

These seminars and institutes are offered by NEH -- not DoDEA. Thank to Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA for the following information.

  • Most of these summer institutes have an application suspense date of March 4, 2013. Plan ahead for the application as the process may require gathering information and recommendations prior to the suspense date.
  • Most of the programs will offer college credit at the expense of the participant. There are stipends tied to institutes based on the length of the institute. <The detailed information is available on the web page for the individual institute.

For more information.

DoDDS Reunion: Each summer there is a gathering of former and current DoDDS folks. The reunion will be held in Dallas, Texas at the Marriot City Center, July 18-21. For registration information: see this site.

Yen and Won Rates: To check the rates go to this site.

Until the next update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director