A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
MACS Charter School Day at the Capitol
TCGIS Clothing Orders
TCGIS After School Activities: Call for Instructors
Attention aRtiSTs
Art News: February
Spring Break in Grand Marais
German Heritage Night with the Timberwolves
ElternbriefFebruary  16, 2011

Dear Families,


Wow!  Thanks!   The Carnival of Cultures Performance on Friday was stunning.  For those who were not able to be there, you might want to take a look at the program (Insert here).  Thanks to the efforts of parents and teachers to have kids present, costumed, motivated and ready.  Thanks for Herr Solakhau for his tremendous leadership.  It was certainly a moment to be proud of what we can accomplish as a community.  


Managing Illness/Lice  It's the season of both a fair amount of illness and also of lice at TCGIS.  You will have gotten a letter if lice were identified in your child's class.  It's a good season to find a good movie for your kid to watch, shine a light and do the lice check.  Lice are way easier to control if they are caught early.  Please click here for the info sheet on what to look for and treatment options.  Although we recognize it can be hard on both you and your child to stay out of school, please maintain the health of our community by keeping your child home when contagious illnesses including lice are present.  Thank you.


Outdoor Wear 

As the weather warms it's mitten and hat losing season.  We have a lot of them.  We'll have lost and found set out on conference days.  Please look for yours.  Also remember to send your child with proper gear.  Borrowing outdoor gear contributes to an environment that spreads lice.  Thanks for reclaiming your stuff and keeping your own kid outfitted.


Parent Teacher Conferences

Today is your last day to register for Parent Teacher conferences.  Please go to Conference registration.  Master password is 1745university.  


When you come for conferences here's a checklist:

1.      Are you registered for English conferences as well as for homeroom teacher?  Katie Stephens will meet with 4th and 5th grade families, Michelle Wallace will meet with 3rd grade families.  6th grade families can make special arrangements to meet with Katie Stephens as she is available.

2.      Are you planning to bring your child?  Children in grades 1-6 are welcome

3.      Library books:  Are there overdue ones at your house?  Please bring them back.

4.      Lost and Found.  Yes, I'll check for lost items from our house.  


Summer Options 

Further information about programs from the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth can be found at



There are a number of ways to enjoy German cultural community and financially support the school coming up.


February 26th, 2011  Maskenball.  Buy your tickets this week in the morning at the front door or at Maskenball tickets Price goes up next week.   Also check out the  Online Auction Many opportunities together with TCGIS community.  If you want to support the school but don't see things you want to bid on consider the Special Library Appeal Our library has not been growing in sophistication as fast as our kids.  Any money spent here will go directly to buying literature appropriate for Middle School.  Ask our voracious readers.  They're hungry for German books at their level.  Help invest in a gift that will serve us year after year.


March 1, 2011  Charter-School-Day-at-the-Capitol.jsp

March 7th, 2011 German Heritage Night with the Timberwolves. Click here.  Time is running out to purchase tickets.   (Annie - It appears to me links don't work for this.  Are they already expired)

May 5th, 2011 The Minnesota Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) Wine tasting  Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, will serve as the keynote speaker at this year's German American Chamber of Commerce Gala at Windows on Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS building.  This is a fundraiser for TCGIS.  More info here.


Thanks for all you do for your children and for the school. 


Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School

[email protected]

Parent Teacher Conferences
February 17th and 18th

1745 University Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

Maskenball is the PTO's Largest Fundraiser 

...in addition to being a really great party. This year, the Maskenball Committee made the decision to simplify the event and keep all of the auction online. At Maskenball, we will however have raffles, a fun card game as well as a direct donation request to benefit the school directly.

Thanks to the support of last year's bidders and donors, we raised over $24,000, which helped to fund:

  • Teacher discretionary funds so our teachers don't have so many expenses out of their own pockets; 
  • Classroom furnishings for the new classrooms at our expanding school;
  • Playground planning and equipment; and
  • Books and other curricular materials.

In order to make this year's fundraiser a success, we're asking for your help to get the word out, bid on auction items, buy raffle tickets and buy your tickets to come to Maskenball and have fun! (Watch for ticket and raffle sales in the lobby at school over the next two weeks.) See below for more ways you can help.

The Auction is Open!

 After only 2 days, we've already raised over $3,600! Keep the bids coming! Monitor the Silent Auction often through February 22nd, when the auction will close and you lose your chance to bid!  Remember, it's for the teachers and kids, so open your wallet - there's lots to buy!   


Wine Donations are Still Needed!

We need to gather at least 30 more bottles of wine for the Wall of Wine Raffle! Bring your bottle to the front desk at the school where it will be collected by the Wine Woman.


Sponsor an Intern to Maskenball!

Do you agree that our interns are part of what makes TCGIS so great? Please consider making a donation to help them pay for their Maskenball tickets. You can contribute $5, $10, or whatever you want to help the hard-working TCGIS interns enjoy the night too!


So far we've raised $90 to sponsor the interns. With your help we can get them all to the event! Feel free to also drop a check with a note in the PTO drop box at the school's front desk.



MACS Charter School Day at the Capitol: March 1

On Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools is organizing the 5th Annual Charter School Day at the Capitol to promote the 2011 legislative agenda and to share the benefits of a public charter school education with legislators.  Please come if you can make it.  For more information click here.

TCGIS Clothing Orders 


*TCGIS clothing orders will be available for pick up on February 22nd in the school office.*

TCGIS After School Activities: Call for Instructors  


Hello everyone. It is time to start to put together our plan for

Spring session after school activities. Spring session will run for 10

weeks from March 28th to June 3rd, the week before the last week of

school. We will publish the schedule on Friday, February 25th, so the

deadline to get your information to me is Thursday, February 24th at

5pm. Registration will close on Friday, March 11th. If you are

interested, please send me a short description of your class offering,

what grade levels it is for, preference for what day, price (most

classes are $10 per student per session), email and phone contact



For questions or suggestions please contact Scot Stephenson at:

[email protected] 

Attention aRtiSTs

We would like to invite you to participate in the First Annual TCGIS Family Art Show...to coincide with the First Annual Talent Show (sponsored by the Vienna Community Arts) on Sunday, March 6th at the Germanic American Institute, from 11 to 3 p.m.

We will have 3 categories: PAINTING/DRAWING, PHOTOGRAPHY and SCULPTURE.  All 2 dimensional artwork must be either framed OR matted, and sculptural pieces must be free-standing.  All art submissions must be made by no later than February 28th.  (ALL artwork will be returned!)

We invite TCGIS community members of ALL ages and abilities to participate!  This art display will not be a "contest" but a celebration of our visual arts talents.  If you are a student, parent, or other family member or even friend, please think about making a masterpiece to submit for the show!  Individual or group works invited.  Please fill out and submit this form with your piece.

Contact Mickey Jurewicz-Gruenheid (612.759.2996 or [email protected]) with any questions!

Art News: February

Things have been busy in the Art room!  If you have any questions or concerns about our Art classes, please contact me.

-- Frau Lenburg           [email protected]


Kindergarten  In Kindergarten we created some penguin pictures in January.  We then studied the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.  We learned that he painted portraits with lots of patterns and gold paint.  The students made their own portraits in Klimt's style.  Next we will be making masks and talking about showing feelings with color.


First Grade  In first grade, students did several assignments having to do with houses in January.  First, they drew their own houses, then they created collages that looked like the pattern houses in western Africa.  Finally, students got to paint their dream houses.  The kids are now enjoying learning how to weave.


Second Grade  The second graders learned about the ancient Chinese brush painting tradition back in January, and created their own ink paintings with different values (light and dark).  Then we made Chinese dragon puppets.  At the moment we are studying Vincent Van Gogh and his distinctive style of painting.


Third Grade  The third graders have been working since the winter break on a figure drawing unit.  Our theme has been bodies in motion, and they have been drawing each other in their sketchbooks using different techniques.  Right now they are finishing some final drawings, and next we will be making small figure sculptures out of paper mache.


Fourth Grade  In fourth grade we have been learning about some traditional folk art from Mexico.  The students learned that the Huichol Indians create "yarn paintings" on wood with yarn and beeswax.  They made their own small yarn paintings, and are about to start learning about architecture and styles of buildings.


Fifth Grade  In fifth grade recently, students created collages using calendar images as a starting point.  We also had a rousing discussion about what makes a work of art "good."  They were then introduced to surrealism, and three of the most famous surrealists who painted dreamlike pictures- Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, and Rene Magritte.


Sixth Grade In sixth grade we have been learning about Indian art.  We looked a little bit at art depicting stories from Indian mythology, but have spent most of our time learning about textiles from India.  In January the students did a little Shisha embroidery with mirrors, and currently they are working on some faux batik paintings on fabric.

Spring Break in Grand Marais

Click here to learn more about a trip to Grand Marais over TCGIS spring break!

German Heritage Night with the 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 for free child with adult purchase order form (no donation to TCGIS)  

Click here for discounted tickets (donation to TCGIS)

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

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].