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April 1, 2014 FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: April 1, 2014

EXCESS PLACEMENT AND VERA/VSIP
The DODDS Excessed Placement Program (EPP) has finally gotten underway. DoDEA Headquarters began on Friday with in-district placements for excessed educators in the Mediterranean District. FEA's Connie Shanaghan is at DoDEA Headquarters, monitoring the program on behalf of our members. We expect it will take several weeks to complete the placement program. We know many of you have been anxiously awaiting word about your placement, or about the possibility of a VERA/VSIP offer. We ask that you remain patient as this process now enters its final stages. Keep in mind, also, that while DoDEA HQ will be sending out notifications, FEA is unable to release information about any individual placement until all the offers have been made and the program is completed.

Prior to the start of the placement program, Connie did complete the verification of excessed placement applications for FEA members who requested this service. If you requested verification of your excessed placement application but did not hear from Connie, please send her a message at FEAadmin@nea.org. Please include your SCD

FIRST MEETING WITH NEW DIRECTOR
Recently, Mr. Brady, the new DoDEA Director came to our offices to meet with us and we had a long, candid conversation. In addition to this first meeting, on April 2 & 3 we will be participating in Pre-Decisional Involvement training with Mr. Brady and members of his staff. We look forward to working with Mr. Brady for the benefit of our students, our employees, and the DoDEA system.

SPRING EVENTS
I know at this time of year many locals hold Association events, including fundraisers for scholarships. Make sure your local community is aware of the great work that your local is doing. By the way, NEA Teacher Appreciation Week is also coming up. This is a great time to acknowledge the wonderful work of your colleagues. We know as teachers how powerful sincere praise can be, so be generous with it! A sample publicity letter for National Teacher Day is available on the FEA website if you want to publicize this event.

FEA ELECTION
You still have time to submit your vote for FEA Area Director. Ballots were mailed in late February to all FEA Active members. If you did not receive yours, you can request a duplicate copy from your FRS or Local President. Properly submitted ballots must include your full name, address, school and SIGNATURE on the return envelope and they must be RECEIVED by April 22 to be counted. The members elected to these positions will represent Europe, the Pacific and Stateside on the FEA Board of Directors and oversee their respective FEA Area Councils. I encourage you to make your voice heard by voting. Thank you!

RESOURCES
At the Teaching & Learning conference I attended recently, I found a number of links and resources that may be useful, so I wanted to share.

US History - (from the Smithsonian)
Teaching with Primary Sources-- - (from the Library of Congress)
Geography and the World, Environment, etc. -- (a new National Geographic site)
Common Core and Lesson Plans - (An NEA partner with lessons planned by teachers)
Reading Across the Curriculum -- (A free self-study course from the Professional Learning Board -- use the NEA coupon code: neafreecourse)

UPCOMING TRAVEL
April 14 - 23, I will be in Germany and England for school visits and the Spring EAC meeting. I am currently working with local leaders to set up meeting dates and times. I am looking forward to talking with members in the field about current issues.

SPECIAL MONTH
Each month of the year has multiple causes or observations assigned to it, and April is no exception. What does make April special, however, is the nature of the observances that take place this month. These causes are especially important to all of us as education employees.

Most relevant to our work in DOD schools, April is designated as the Month of the Military Child. We, as DOD school employees, know the incredible strength and resilience of military children as well as anyone and I know I speak for all FEA members when I say we think they deserve to be honored every day of the year. More info here

April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, child abuse is an issue that we, as education employees, encounter more than most. Identifying and preventing abuse of any child is a cause that deserves everyone's attention and efforts. More info here

April is also Autism Awareness Month. Autism is an issue that we are only beginning to understand and one that impacts education in so many ways. I encourage you to learn more by going to the Autism Society's Web page. More info here

NEW DENTAL/VISION OPTION
NEA Member Benefits will be launching a new dental and vision insurance program in April. As NEA members, we have the option of subscribing to such programs. To learn more, go to www.neamb.com, the NEA Member Benefits page, and click on the "Insurance" tab.