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April 2013 FEA Stateside Update

APRIL 2013

Furlough -- There is nothing new to report on the potential furlough that has not already been posted. This week Dorothy and I along with two Educational Support presidents will travel to Peachtree City to bargain the impact and implementation of the potential furlough on our support employees.

MLA Negotiations: The next round of bargaining the new contract for teachers is still unknown. Until such time as we have signed a new contract (and that may take awhile at the current rate of progress) the current contract continues to stay in effect.

Differentiation: Please let your local president know if there are requirements for you to outline in your lesson plans how you ‘differentiate' your instruction. To expect a teacher to waste valuable time writing down each and every thing they are doing in the classroom shows a glaring disconnect of supervisors from the day-to-day reality of the classroom teacher. If your supervisor wants to know how you address the various needs of your students; that is how you ‘select, adapt and modify' per your performance appraisal standard, they should take the time to visit you in your classroom and observe the ‘master' at work.

Summer Communication: I have requested to have a common understanding as to how bargaining unit members on summer break can expect to maintain communication without a CAC card and access to DODEA email. We have suggested 1) any vacancy announcements during the summer recess period will be advertised on the district community website; 2) any information during the summer recess that employees are required to know (back to school procedures for example) will be forwarded in writing via mail to the employee; and 3) in the event any reassignment decision is made during the summer recess period, the teacher will be notified in writing per the mediation MOU agreement we signed in January. Because this is a recess period, we feel the written notice should be delivered via certified mail. (Ideally we'd like to think the administrator would also call and discuss with the teacher.)

BAS: Our agreement with DODEA is that substitute coverage will be provided for teacher to conduct the BAS testing this spring (5 weeks prior to the end of school). Substitute hours should be available, and not limited. Please make sure you request for what you need. If you have concerns, contact your local Association president immediately.

Summer Programs: We have signed agreements for the Summer Enrichment program as well as the Summer PLT Workshop. For these MOUS and others, to include the BAS, please go to feaonline.org. You will need your member number to log in to view these.

Congratulations! Jean Tuquero, a first grade teacher at McCool Elementary /Middle School in Guam who was recently selected as a state-level finalist in The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching--an honor awarded to the most distinguished mathematics and science teachers in the United States. Selectees are chosen by selection committees composed of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, school district level personnel, and classroom teachers. Jean said she is motivated to constantly follow her own curiosity about ways to infuse more Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in her classroom.

Terry