A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
St. Paul City Ballet Presents...
Board Notes
Last Scrip Order before the Holidays
Picture Retake Day December 8th
After School Activity Sign-Up
Announcing the PTO Winter Strudel Sale
German Heritage Night with the Minnesota Timberwolves
Sick Kids? TCGIS Guidelines
ElternbriefDecember 1,  2010
Dear Families,                                   

Speaking Contest from the Zentralstelle für Ausslandsschulwesen

It was my pleasure in mid-November to sit in on the Poster presentations done by 5th and 6th graders participating in a contest sponsored by our German government liaison.  The topic of the presentations was German in My Environment, also captured by some as My Connection to Germany.  The presenters as a group were articulate, eloquent, well prepared.  Each speaker was a strong testament not only to themselves as individuals but to us as a school community for their poise in public, their fluency in German, the depth of their reflections and the focus of their presentations.   It was an honor to be present.

The panel of six judges composed of parents, teachers and students had a challenging task of identifying two speakers to be chosen as winners, from a panel showing so many different strengths as artists, orators, musicians, humorists and masters of multi-media.    Congratulations to Leonie Jacobs and Till Konzcak,  who were chosen to represent our school this weekend in Chicago at a regional forum for students from German Immersion schools. A special thanks to Silke Moeller who will serve as their chaperone.   We know that you will represent us well.

Holidays at TCGIS Our vision is 'Educating children for informed and active world citizenship.  Andere hoeren, andere sehen, welt offen denken und handeln.'   We highly value studying and understanding cultures from around the world with a particular focus on German culture. Celebration of the Christmas season is an important shared experience for many with deep roots in German culture.  As a community we continue to dive into the challenge of how to immerse ourselves in a culture in which religious tradition is prominent, while fulfilling our commitment as a public, state funded school to not celebrate religious traditions.

 Our cultural program in December is guided by the following aims:

  • Create events that bring together the community.  These events grow out of celebration of our academic curriculum and bring focus to the learning accomplishments of our students.  We share food, performance and other academic and/or artistic accomplishments. 
  • Expose students to a diversity of cultures 
  • Ensure that there is a balanced study of cultures through the students' tenure at the school. 

Host Families Needed One of the highlights of the TCGIS experience is the extra one on one time that students are able to have with teaching staff, due to the Amity aides that we have in each classroom.  An important way the school facilitates this program is through the generosity of families that serve as hosts for Amity interns.  The Amity committee is still in need of several host families starting in February for both full and half semesters.  Please contact Darcy Rindelaub via email [email protected] or phone 651-324-4270 with questions or offers regarding hosting.

Good Wishes to Ms. Wallace.  Welcome Mr. Klarman  Third grade English teacher, Ms. Wallace leaves her desk complete with sub plans each day now as she approaches the due date for the birth of her first child.   Andrew Klarman will take on her duties as third grade English teacher as well as assist Ms. Stephens with 6th grade English.  Mr. Klarman has taught English at the International school in Berlin.  He has been an important presence at TCGIS throughout the fall at recess and lunch and as a short term sub. We're pleased to welcome him to the team in his new capacity.  Ms. Wallace plans to return in early February. 

Parking Etiquette  A lot of cars need to pull through the parking lot between 3:15 and 3:30 PM.  There can be no stopping and waiting as cars pull through the line.  Parents who have younger siblings sleeping in car seats can pull up next to the playing field as long as other cars can drive by.  Please be respectful of cars behind you and do not park in the handicap parking spaces at any time (including if you are picking up from half-day Kindergarten), unless if you are designated to do so.  Avalon has several students who rely on those parking spots and they come and go throughout the school day.

School Pictures  We recognize that there has been some confusion and problems regarding receiving school pictures from the Photographer's Guild.  Thanks to Annie Berge at the front desk for working to resolve these and to you for your patience. 

Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School

[email protected]
St. Paul City Ballet Presents...

Three TCGIS students (Maya Sampson 2A, Olivia Bruhn 4B & Ingrid Sampson 5) are performing in the St. Paul City Ballet production of The Enchanted Toy Shop.  Discounted tickets are available for the Saturday, Dec 18th performance at 2:00 pm for the TCGIS community.  The tickets are $15.00 for students and $18.00 for adults.  If you are interested in discounted tickets, please call Cornelia Sampson at 651-765-0499.

Board Notes from the November 23, 2010 School Board Meeting
Attached are notes from the TCGIS school board meeting held on November 23, 2010.

Click here to access this document.

A copy of the Board Packet for the December 16th meeting is available at the front desk for viewing.

Last Scrip Order before the Holidays
********DUE DECEMBER 7th************

Place your order online at www.shopwithscrip.com, and bring your check (payable to TCGIS) to the office.

For those of you hoping to support the school by purchasing your gift cards through Scrip, this order will be available for pickup on Wed. 12/15.  There are hundreds of retailers for great gift ideas for everyone on your list - kids, grandparents, teachers, coworkers, babysitters (for suggestions, click HERE).

Several retailers are also offering special promotions at this time.  For example, when you purchase a Land's End card (popular with our group), they will donate back 18% to the school!  (If you haven't discovered the Land's End "Not Quite Perfect" store at HarMar Mall, it's a hidden treasure!)  Or perhaps you happen to have an American Girl fan--they've just been added to Scrip and are offering an introductory contribution of 10% (good online or in stores).  Click HERE for a full list of specials.

Ordering is easy - you just need to set up a Family Account at www.shopwithscrip.com.  Just make sure you use TCGIS's enrollment code so we get credit for your order - enter 4CA2AE9714L14 when prompted.


Thanks so much for helping support the school, and have a wonderful holiday season!


Deb Helmel

Scrip Coordinator

[email protected]

Teacher Appreciation

There are many ways to show appreciation to our teachers at TCGIS. One recent way was the PTO-funded dinner on the Thursday evening of the fall parent/teacher conferences. The teachers and office staff enjoyed Pizza Luce pizzas, veggies, and beverages. This is always a long day for our teachers and office staff, and we wanted to acknowledge their hard work by providing them with a tasty dinner to fuel them through the evening. The PTO and all those who have donated money to the PTO in the last year should know that the faculty and staff were very appreciative. This is a great use of PTO funds.

Soon we'll have another opportunity to thank our teachers at the staff appreciation potluck scheduled for Friday, December 17. It's always a lovely affair and receives rave reviews from teachers, interns, and office staff alike. We ask families to contribute a yummy dish, so be watching the Yahoo! discussion group for sign up information. Last year the Auflauf Cook-Off winners recreated their prize-winning dishes. Perhaps this year's winners will be so obliging.

The PTO Classroom Support Committee (CSC) has discussed the holiday gift-giving practices within individual classes, with an eye toward developing guidelines that are culturally and financially sensitive, and that also strive for more equitable treatment of teachers. For this year, the CSC established a policy that the Elternkontakts' official job duties will not include collecting money for a holiday gift from each class. Rather, a class-wide collection will happen in the spring and be used for a year-end gift. Individual families remain free to give individual Christmas or holiday gifts to teachers and staff.

The PTO has designated funds to send the interns on an outing in January, before the first semester's group leaves us. Full-year and second-semester interns take part in the year-end staff party, which is partly funded by the PTO. Thanks, again, to all who contribute to the PTO, so we are able to fund such displays of appreciation!

Kami Blackwell Kinney, Chair
PTO Classroom Support Committee

Picture Retake Day December 8th
School pictures from Photographer's Guild went home in backpacks earlier this week.  If you did NOT receive photos, or would like to order and forgot, please contact Nick at Photographer's Guild directly: [email protected] or 651-646-4239. 

If you are unhappy with your photos, retake day will be on December 8th.  Please let us know if you are planning to get your pictures retaken, so we can get an idea of how long Photographer's Guild should schedule to be at TCGIS.  If you'd rather have your pictures retaken before December 8th, feel free to contact Photographer's Guild to schedule a time to go into the studio on Snelling in St. Paul.
After School Activity Sign-Up
***Registration due December 10th
After School Activities Sign-Up for the Winter Session (January 4 through March 14) is now open!

Click here for the list of After School Activities.

Click here for the TCGIS registration form.

Completed registration forms are due in the office by December 10th.  There is a $5 per child registration fee payable to TCGIS (or you can include it in a check to the instructor).  If you are only registering for a YMCA class, please make the check payable to TCGIS.

For questions or suggestions please contact Scot Stephenson at:

[email protected]
Announcing the PTO Winter Strudel Sale
The TCGIS PTO is pleased to once again offer Ruhland's Strudel  - just in time for holiday entertaining! Information and an order form should be coming home in your student's backpack, and orders are due Thursday December 2. You can also see sale information by clicking here and here or by visiting the PTO website at http://tcgispto.org/ where you can also place online orders via the zencart.
Strudel will be delivered to the school on Thursday December 16 and can be picked up between 3 and 5:30 pm in the parking lot.


German Heritage Night with the Minnesota Timberwolves

First Annual German Heritage Night with the Minnesota Timberwolves

This special evening will be a chance to cheer for former NBA MVP and Germany's own Dirk Nowitzki!

It will be a fun and exciting evening of Timberwolves basketball and German culture.

A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Twin Cities German Immersion School.

WHEN: Monday, March 7, 2011 at 7:00pm

WHERE: Target Center

PRICE: $36 lower level seats ($40 regular) or $12 upper level seats ($15 regular)

German Heritage Night includes:

  • Early entry into the arena to watch the Mavericks warm-up
  • A possible meet and greet with Dirk Nowitzki after the game (not guaranteed and subject to the approval and discretion of the Dallas Mavericks
  • A post-game photo for the entire group
  • Also, the first 40 kids to sign up get to high-five the players as they run onto the court before the game!
  • A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Twin Cities German Immersion School
Click here to see the flyer!

For more information contact Jacob Widerschein, widerschein(at)timberwolves.com, 612.673.1282

Sick kids? TCGIS Guidelines
Winter is upon us, and that means cold and flu season is, too!

Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands and cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze, but germs still spread.

If your child does catch a bug here a few guidelines for when it's ok to come back to school:

24 hours AFTER a fever has broken
24 hours AFTER the last time a child has vomited

Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday!

Elternbrief Submissions

Please have all articles pertinent to the TCGIS community submitted to the Elternbrief by Monday at 9 am prior to Wednesday publication. Submissions may be sent to [email protected].