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February 19 2010 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide
From: Michael Priser, FEA President
Re: FEA President's Report
Date: February 19, 2010


TRANSFER PROGRAM DEADLINE EXTENDED -- Because DoDEA was forced to close for a number of days earlier this month as a result of the Washington DC area getting socked by multiple blizzards, DoDEA Headquarters has agreed to our request to extend the application deadline for the DoDDS Transfer Program to this coming Wednesday, February 24 at 5pm EST. At this point, all other dates and deadlines related to the Transfer Program remain the same:
  • February 26 at 5pm EST -- Deadline for DoDEA Headquarters to post vacancies online.
  • March 3 at 5pm EST -- Deadline for applicants to amend Teacher Transfer Program application. Applicants may amend locations AND teaching categories.
  • March 8 -- Round One of the Transfer Program begins.


SHAPE ADDED TO APPLICATION -- Shape Middle School/High School was inadvertently left off of the online DoDDS Transfer Program application when it was first made available. DoDEA Headquarters has now corrected that omission. Anyone who wishes to be considered specifically for Shape MS/HS should amend their online application to include it. If you had already listed "World wide", "Europe", "Isles" or "Belgium" as location preferences, Shape MS/HS is included within those options.

TIPS FOR TRANSFERS -- FEA members are encouraged to read the Tips for Transfers available exclusively to them at www.feaonline.org/transfers.htm to maximize the chances of getting the transfer they want. By following that link, you can also find other valuable transfer information, including a link to the online application and the latest data on the number of applications made to the Transfer Program so far.

ASPEN SURVEY -- DoDEA is conducting a survey in the schools that are piloting ASPEN, which may eventually replace SMS. FEA gave DoDEA feedback for the survey, based on input we received from educators at those pilot schools, but DODEA did not incorporate that feedback into its survey. Despite this, we encourage educators at these pilot schools to complete the survey. Be sure to use the open ended question at the bottom of the survey to reiterate the feedback, concerns and problems you had provided to FEA and to elaborate on the improvements to ASPEN you would like to see.

SUMMER WORKSHOPS -- DoDEA has distributed its annual booklet of summer course offerings. Again, the number of courses that will be offered is very limited and focus on only a few secondary programs. FEA has objected to this approach and for the third year in a row has urged DoDEA Headquarters to offer a broader range of professional development opportunities in order to meet needs across the curricula, especially for elementary school educators who comprise the bulk of the workforce. Headquarters' rationale again this year is that they are waiting for "Task Group" recommendations. FEA will be watching very carefully to be sure that Task Groups are allowed to make recommendations for summer offerings and then to see if these recommendations receive Headquarters' approval.

FORMS USED FOR PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS -- FEA again raised concerns with DoDEA Headquarters that principals across all areas are developing forms used in evaluating teachers that are not in line with negotiated agreements. Many of these forms are lengthy checklists tied to UDDI and other programs that have not been negotiated. Headquarters assured FEA that directions would be sent to the field to correct such actions. If your local administrator continues to use forms that have not been negotiated and appear to be lengthy checklists or UDDI tie-ins, please notify your FRS immediately.

SOFTWARE VALIDATION -- As new computers are installed and as all computers are re-imaged, unapproved software will not remain on the hard drives. If you have special computer programs that you need for your educational program and those programs are not on the approved list you will need to send a request directly to Headquarters. Educators can check with their building administrator to see the lists of both approved and unapproved software programs. Educators should send their requests to have programs approved to softwareapprovals@hq.dodea.edu

NEW JOURNAL -- The new issue of the FEA newsletter, the Journal, will be mailed early next week. This issue consists mainly of information on the candidates for FEA At-Large seats on our Board of Directors. In addition to being mailed to all members, the Journal will also be available at www.feaonline.org

READ ACROSS AMERICA -- We're just over a week away from March 2, the date of NEA's Read Across America celebration. As always, many FEA members throughout DoDEA will be organizing reading events and celebrations in honor of Theodore "Dr. Seuss Geissel. Please go to www.nea.org/readacross for materials and ideas to help you plan your events. And be sure to send a picture of your event to us at fea@feaonline.org so we can include it on our Web site or in a future issue of the FEA Journal.

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH -- March is Women's History Month. To access materials to help you observe this event, go to www.nea.org/tools/16093.htm

STATESIDE MEETING -- My thanks to the FEA Stateside Area Council for hosting myself, along with FEA Executive Director/General Counsel H.T. Nguyen and Director of Communications Gary Hritz, during their meeting in Peachtree City, Georgia, this weekend. As always, there was much animated discussion about the issues affecting the schools and members within DDESS.

Have a great weekend!