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February 1 2012 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: February 1, 2012

TRANSFER PROGRAM -- FEA's transfer guru, Connie Shanaghan, has posted a list of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) about the DoDDS transfer program. FEA members can access those FAQs (login is required) by going to FEA's Transfer Information Page at http://www.feaonline.org/passport/issues/transfer.htm. Connie is currently working on her annual Tips for Transfers, a valuable resource to help you maximize the chances of getting the transfer you want. We will be posting those tips on the FEA web site in the days ahead and we will send out notice when they are available. Both the transfer FAQs and Tips for Transfers are provided exclusively for FEA members.

MORE TRANSFER INFO -- Remember, the deadline to apply to this year's DoDDS transfer program is February 24, 2012. The first round is scheduled to begin March 14, 2012. Go to http://www.feaonline.org/passport/issues/transfer.htm to view this year's transfer agreement between FEA and management and to examine other resources.

BAS SURVEY -- There's still time to give FEA your opinions about the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS). FEA has online surveys about the BAS available for our members at www.feaonline.org/survey.htm. There are two versions of the survey: one for DDESS and one for DoDDS. Please be sure to complete the correct survey for the system in which you work. The deadline to respond to the survey is this Monday, February 6. FEA needs as many replies as possible so we can provide DoDEA Headquarters with a full and accurate picture of what K-3 teachers, Special Education educators and reading specialists covering K-3 think of the BAS. Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey today.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH -- The month of February is designated as Black History Month. The NEA web site offers many resources -- including lesson plans, quizzes and activity guides, to help you incorporate the observance of this important month into your classroom. Go to NEA's Black History Month resource page.

FEA PREVAILS IN ARBITRATION OF DEBT CASES AGAINST DODEA -- While FEA had won an arbitration for over a dozen members over the illegal collection of a debt, DoDEA appealed the case to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), refusing to implement the arbitrator's order. The FLRA rejected DoDEA's appeal and allowed the arbitrator to retain full jurisdiction to ensure complete relief. There was also an order for a complete audit of DoDEA's voluntary leave transfer program, to ensure that leave is fairly granted and restored. FEA will continue to work with DoDEA Headquarters to stop their debt collection abuses, but be assured that if litigation is required, we are prepared to take that route to protect the rights of our members.

STUDY IN THE JUNGLE THIS SUMMER - K-12 teachers and environmental educators can win one of three $1000 scholarships to travel with scientists to one of the most diverse environments in the world. Join group leader Donna Krabill, Norfolk Botanical Garden, and scientists Dr. Steve Madigosky, Widener University and Randy Morgan, Entomologist, Cincinnati Zoo on a rainforest discovery June 29- July 8, 2012. Experience a 1/4-mile Rainforest Canopy Walkway, Yagua Culture & Crafts, Village Service Project, ReNuPeru Ethnobotanical Garden, Birdwatching, Night Hikes, and Monkey Island Conservation Project. Academic Credit may be available (check with DoDEA to be sure they will accept the credits). Submit scholarship application by March 8. For program and scholarship information, visit this page.

DODEA'S COMMUNITY STRATEGIC PLAN -- FEA met with DoDEA Headquarters staff last week to continue the work on the 5 Strategic Goals for DoDEA. The goals that were developed were:

  • STRATEGIC GOAL 1 - STUDENT EXCELLENCE
: Challenge each student to maximize his or her potential and to excel academically, socially, emotionally and physically for life, college and career readiness.
  • STRATEGIC GOAL 2 - SCHOOL EXCELLENCE: 
Develop and sustain each school to be high-performing within an environment of innovation, collaboration, continuous renewal and caring relationships.
  • STRATEGIC GOAL 3 - TALENT EXCELLENCE
: Recruit, develop and empower a diverse, high-performing team to maximize achievement for each student.
  • STRATEGIC GOAL 4 - ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE
: Build a great and responsive organization, which provides appropriate resources, direction and services in pursuit of highest student achievement.
  • STRATEGIC GOAL 5 - OUTREACH EXCELLENCE
: Foster family, school, and community partnerships to expand educational opportunities for students.

FEA will continue to keep members informed of the committee's work on the CSP, including how to measure these goals.