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FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Brian Chance, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: January 30, 2021

A NEW ADMINISTRATION


In his first few days in office, President Biden issued an Executive Order eliminating a trio of Trump-era directives that were designed to diminish employee rights and union representation. President Biden is ordering agencies to return to the status quo that existed prior to the Trump orders. You can read more about that Executive Order here.

FEA is examining how this Executive Order may impact ongoing contract situations affecting members. The Association is working to see that necessary changes to labor law and working conditions benefit our members to the fullest extent possible, particularly pertaining to contract negotiations. We hope DoDEA management will take this opportunity to proactively work with us to make DoDEA a model employer.


VACCINES


There continues to be a great deal of inconsistency in the supply of COVID-19 vaccine available to inoculate DoDEA employees against the virus. This is, understandably, causing much concern among members, particularly in locations where in-person schooling is ongoing or may soon resume but school employees have yet to receive the shot. The Association continues to push for making the shot available to all DoDEA employees immediately. However, it is the Pentagon, not DoDEA, that controls the availability of the vaccine and the prioritization of personnel for receiving it. While we recognize the importance of vaccinating medical workers and essential defense forces, we will continue to push for the prioritization of DoDEA employees to receive the vaccine as well.


NEA LEADERSHIP TRAINING


The NEA National Leadership Summit provides training to help Association members lead in their profession. The 2021 National Leadership Summit will be a virtual event, taking place March 12-14. Any Association member may register to attend, though the number of slots is limited. The registration fee is $30. FEA members who attend the Leadership Summit may be eligible to have their registration fee reimbursed by the Association. Send a message to ghritz@nea.org if you would like more information about this possibility. Registration will open in early February and remain open until all slots are filled. To learn more about the summit or to register to attend, go to NEA's Leadership Summit page.


BLACK HISTORY MONTH


February is recognized as Black History Month. For a great list of lessons and resources you can use in your classroom throughout the month, visit NEA's Black History Month Resources Page


SCHOOL COUNSELING WEEK


February 1-5 is National School Counseling Week. Our school counselors always play a crucial role in the health and wellness of our students, especially given the military community that we serve and the unique challenges our students face. That role has taken on added significance in the past year due to the added stresses placed on our students due to COVID-19. On behalf of the entire Association, I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to all our school counselors for the amazing work you do. Thank you so much for your incredible efforts! The American School Counseling Association has many resources and great ideas for ways to recognize and celebrate the work your school counselors do. Check them out here


BOOST YOUR SKILLS WITH FEA'S BOOK CLUBS


Need some motivation and support while you refine your teaching skills? Network and share best practices with a community of teachers while you do so! The University of San Diego hosts independent study with its Project Read for DoDEA/International Educators (visit the website) courses. Usually 1 credit each, the courses are typically structured around one book focused on professional development. They can be taken anytime.

FEA is seeking members in each region (Stateside, Europe, and Pacific) to act as hosts for book clubs around these courses. The clubs will discuss readings virtually, share key lessons, and analyze how to apply them to the classroom and schools in general. Hosts will manage online meetings, send reminders, and help foster discussion -- and hopefully everyone will have a good time learning and sharing with each other. Interested in participating in a book club or becoming a host? Fill out this quick interest survey: Fill out this quick interest survey. Learn more by reading our guide.