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November 5 2012 FEA Pacific Update

NOVEMBER 05, 2012
Debra Degalis, FEA Pacific Area Director


Area Director Update
First Quarter and Parent Teacher Conferences
PGP Time Again -- Worth Repeating
Open Season
Federal Newsletters
Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement?
Learn about Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)
Mark Your Calendars
Other Tidbits


Area Director Update: The weather is Ďa changing' as my family likes to say. Fall has definitely found its way to the Kanto Plain and when I look at weather reports for Okinawa and Korea, they too are experiencing cooler weather. The cooler weather leads us right into the second quarter of the school year. The busyness of the holidays will soon be upon us. Review your successes and those of your students. I am sure there are many! Prepare for the next quarter and remember to be in the moment.

I am off to Korea to visit all the schools. Ask your FRS when I will be visiting your school. I would love to meet as many members as possible. Please don't feel that you must have a problem or concern to talk with me. It is great to hear that a school is efficiently run and that members are thriving. I can do a better job of representing you all if I have in mind the full spectrum of working conditions at your school.

Recent and Upcoming AD Activities:

∑ October 11 Zama High School Visit
∑ October 13 NEATA Board Meeting
∑ October 16 Laptop Initiative Steering Committee (VTC)
∑ October 20 FEA Board of Directors Teleconference Meeting
∑ October 30 Laptop Initiative Steering Committee (VTC)
∑ November 1 New FRS training/visit
∑ November 5-9 Korea School Visits
∑ November 15 Pacific Area Advisory Council Meeting (VTC)
∑ November 20 Laptop Initiative Steering Committee (VTC)
∑ December 17-21 FEA Board of Directors Meeting

1st Quarter and Parent Teacher Conferences: It is time for our Parent Teacher Conferences. NEA website has many tips and strategies for our teachers. This link might help you with some fresh ideas.

PGP Time Again: It is that time of year again when you are notified to discuss and sign off on your Professional Growth Plan. The PGP does not have to be tied to Continuing School Improvement goals. The PGP is your professional growth plan. Please contact your FRS if you have any questions or concerns. Attached is a PGP FAQ.

Open Season: Open Season runs annually in the fall. This year's dates are November 12, 2012, through December 10, 2012. This is your opportunity to change insurance plans and to elect other Federal benefits, such as flexible spending accounts. The Pacific Human Resource Office has sent information to our staffs about Open Season and the most recent was November 2, 2012.

Federal Newsletters: There are two free newsletters to which you can subscribe. They involve current federal worker legislation, benefits, retirement, etc. Please be aware that as a DoDDS employee our benefits do have differences, however they do offer tips on retirement, CSRS, FERS, TSP and much more. Here they are: FedWeek Weekly Issue/ and My Federal Retirement

Do You Know your Negotiated Agreement? Article 17 -- Community Environment: Check out this one page article and learn about what your employer's responsibilities are to assist you with living and working in our military community overseas. Section 4 can be particularly helpful:
The Employer shall ensure that unit employees are informed of their rights concerning their employment with the United States Government. In the event that a unit employee questions a particular regulation, the Employer shall ensure that the unit employee has access to the regulation, if available, and assistance in interpreting it.

Learn about your Federal Employee Health Benefits: Open Season is upon us. An American Foreign Services Protection Agency (AFSPA) representative will be visiting your complex in the near future. This is your opportunity to learn about your benefits and any upcoming changes for 2013. The visits are scheduled for November. Contact your FRS or District President for a visit in your area.

Mark Your Calendars

November American Indian Heritage Month
November was officially recognized as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush signed it into Public Law. See these sites for more information:
∑ Native American Heritage Month website
∑ American Indians/Alaska Natives: Education Issues
∑ Native American Book List
November 4 End of Daylight Savings Time
November 6 Election Day
November 9 Fall of the Berlin Wall
November 11 Veterans Day
November 11-17 American Education Week
November 12-17 Bullying Awareness Week
November 11-17 Geography Awareness Week
November 19 Gettysburg Address Anniversary
November 22 Thanksgiving Day
November 23 National Day of Listening
November 14- December 14 Muharram (Islamic New Year)

For more information about any of these events, go to NEA's Calendar of Events

OTHER TIDBITS

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

Until the next update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director