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May 19, 2011 FEA President's Report

To: FEA Members and Local Leaders Worldwide

From: Michael Priser, FEA President

Re: FEA President's Report

Date: May 19, 2011


DoDEA RECOMMENDS CHANGES TO GRADUATION REQUIREMENT AND DIPLOMAS -- DoDEA Headquarters is soliciting input from stakeholders as to whether changes are needed in the requirements for a student to receive a DoDEA diploma. FEA has strongly urged that educators and counselors need to be highly involved. Let us know what you think:

* Do the current requirements provide sufficient rigor?
* Should DoDEA move to a 2 or 3 tiered diploma with different requirements?
* Should the amount of required courses in academic area be increased?
* Should courses in middle school be disallowed for high school credit?
* Should the grade point average be raised (for higher tiered diplomas)?
* Are the current requirements appropriate for both the college bound and non-college bound students?


ISSUES RELATED TO THE VOLUNTARY EVACUATION/DEPARTURE FROM JAPAN -- A number of issues and questions have been raised as a result of the confusion surrounding the evacuation of some educators and/or their dependents from Japan following the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor emergencies earlier this spring.

For some educators, there are questions about their leave status if they left Japan before the voluntary evacuation was declared; or if they received erroneous advice from supervisors on whether they could leave Japan; or if they were escorting dependents to a safe haven. Were they in a paid leave status or unpaid? Some have issues with their benefits entitlement (evacuation pay, etc.). Many educators incurred significant expenses in getting transportation to the safe havens (in the U.S. or in foreign areas). Now that events are relatively calmer, educators are filing with DoDEA for reimbursement of these expenses.

DoDEA management will review each reimbursement claim on a case-by-case basis. Since each educator's situation is unique and in order to ensure proper review of each claim, the Association recommends that each teacher who was impacted by the evacuation file an individual grievance requesting reimbursement.

Accordingly, it is the Association's advice that you contact your FRS at your school in Japan and file an individual grievance as soon as possible. Please remember to elevate your grievance in accordance with the contractual timelines as well.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT -- Those of you looking for professional development opportunities this summer (or beyond) are encouraged to visit the NEA Academy Web site at www.neaacademy.org. There you will find numerous online classes and resources that are available to members at discounted prices. You can do anything from take a single course to obtain a Master's Degree. Be sure to read the details of any course you are interested in and check with DoDEA if you want to receive continuing education or college credit for taking a course.


PSCD VISITS -- Thanks to FEA Europe Area Director Chuck McCarter for reminding members of the MOU between FEA and DODEA covering home visits for Students in the DoDEA Preschool Services for Children with Disabilities (PSCD) Program. FEA highly recommends that all PSCD educators and others with an interest in these home visits review this MOU as they begin preparations for next school year. FEA members can view this MOU here.


MATH AND SOCIAL STUDIES MATERIALS -- Recently signed MOUs have been added to the FEA Web site at our MOU page. These MOUs cover the materials roll outs for the Pre-K through 12th grade math and the Pre-K through 6th grade Social Studies curricula.


CONGRATULATIONS -- Erika Meadows and Lisa Zimmerman, both FEA members and educators in Hohenfels, Germany, have been selected as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Erika was recognized for her skills as a math teacher and Lisa as a science teacher. This prestigious award is given annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. In all, just 85 math and science teachers from throughout the U.S. were selected to receive the award this year, making it a very rare honor. Congratulations to both Lisa and Erika!