A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
Special Education Advisory Committee
Game Night
Pump It Up Party
Kinderclub Summer Sign-Up
Board Nominations
Garden Sale
GAI Summer Camp
Remember to Sign In!
Scrip Update
Host Families for Interns Wanted
Dance Performance for Festival of Nations
ElternbriefMarch 30, 2011

Dear Families,


Upcoming Dates

Tuesday - Wednesday April 12 and 13 MCA Reading Tests (3rd- 6th grade)

Tuesday - Wednesday, April 19 and 20 MCA Math Tests (3rd - 6th grade)

Wednesday, April 20th 6:30 Middle School Parent Meeting

Friday, April 22nd NO SCHOOL for kids/Curriculum Day for Teachers

Thursday, May 5th  11:00am to 12:45pm and 1:00 to 2:45pm

Teens Dance Performance  (Some 4th and 5th graders miss school)

Saturday, May 7th 12:30 to 2:15pm - Children Dance Performance Festival of Nations (Some 4th and 5th graders)

Tuesday, Wednesday May 10th and 11th MCA Science Tests -5th grade only

Saturday, May 21st 2:00 PM Performing Arts Performance

Friday, May 27th NO SCHOOL Report Writing Day

Friday, June 10th Last Day of School


Welcome back after spring break.  Looks like light rail construction on University Avenue may keep changing the routes and the ease with which we access school.  We will keep you updated as situations change and thanks for your patience and your renewed commitment to carpooling to keep traffic down here at school.


Season of Assessment  Spring brings with it the more formal measures of assessing kids' academic skill levels.  There are three standardized tools that the school uses to measure academic achievement that will impact class schedules in coming weeks.  One of the requirements of us as a school funded by the State of Minnesota is that all of our students over third grade participate in the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in both Reading and Math.  Teachers have been incorporating preparation for these tests throughout the year.  Math and Reading are paper and pencil tests given at each grade level over third grade.  An online Science Assessment is given only in 5th grade.  In addition 5th graders participate in a German Assessment called the A-2, which assesses language ability in speaking, writing, listening and reading.  In previous years we have given a Student Oral Proficiency Assessment to all children in the school.  This is an individually administered test that was funded previously by our grant from the Foreign Language Assistance Program.  Since that funding is no longer available, we will continue to administer the test for all students in second grade.  This has not yet been scheduled. 


Congratulations to Herr Solakhau and the group of 4th and 5th grade dancers!  Their dance program was approved for the Dance Performance at the Festival of Nations. They will participate in it amongst others professional and half-professional ethnic dance groups. Having a school dance group there is rather an exception. We haven't heard about any other school doing that. Mostly it is a job of cultural and ethnic institutions.


The dance groups perform in 3 categories: adults, teens and children.   The group was initially qualified as a children dance group, and got the time slot of 3 min. At the technical review, the selection committee was impressed by our performance and the variety of dances. As a result, they offered the group to perform as a teen dance group as well although none of our kids has reached the required age of 13. The group will get the additional time slot of 5 min. Thanks to the kids for volunteering and thank you to parents for supporting them!  See times TCGIS kids will perform at the Festival of Nations in the calendar above. 


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


Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School

[email protected]

Special Education Advisory Committee  


Dear Parents and Teachers,


In Minnesota each charter school is considered to be an independent school district. Since charter schools are considered to be public schools they must provide special education services to eligible students. Each charter school is also required to have a special education advisory committee as part of guiding special education services.


The purpose of the committee is to have a forum to address the general needs and delivery of special education services at TCGIS. The committee is made up of special education staff, general education teachers, and for parents of special education students, as well as parents of regular education students. This team is NOT a forum for concerns regarding specific special education students nor for complaints regarding specific special education teachers/assistants. The special education advisory committee reports to the Board of Directors. One meeting per year is mandated, but the committee can decide to meet on a more frequent basis.


Examples of topics/goals are:


-  Support, advocate, advise on special education matters (in general)

-Provide input into the decision making process of the special education department

-  Support the development of a special education manual for TCGIS (required by law)

-  Support teachers at our school, especially those who come from different school systems/countries, who may not be familiar with the mainstreaming/integrated school system

-To develop or help fund materials that support the German language learning for students with special needs, since special ed. financial resources do not support a German immersion education.


The first meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee this school year is planned for Tuesday, May 10th at 6 pm. We strongly encourage parents and teachers to participate in this forum. Please let us know in advance, if you are planning to come! A reminder will be sent out shortly before the meeting.


Anne-Kathrin Kile, Special Education Teacher 651-492-7106 ex. 200 or [email protected]

Game Night: Friday, April 8th from 6:30-8:30  


The PTO Parent Outreach Committee will be hosting a family game night at school.  This is NOT a fundraiser - just a community event!  Admission is FREE.  Bring a game and/or snack to share. The PTO will furnish drinks.  We will have three rooms: board games, card games, and party games.   


Each student can register to win a door prize. Choose from either a game for grades K-3 or a game for grades 4-6.


If you are interested in volunteering that night please email me (

[email protected]).   We need people to help with set-up, clean-up, getting door prizes, and picking up the beverages.

Kari Swedberg
(Mom to Elsie 1A)
Pump It Up Party    


Join us for a private Pump it Up party! This fun evening starts with an hour and a half of playing in their huge inflatable jumpers, followed by a pizza dinner. Adults are welcome to join the party too! You can stay and join the fun, or drop off your child. The more the merrier, and the more money for the school! Parents with children younger than 4 need to stay.


  • This is good for all ages. Yes, adults can jump too! Be sure to sign up siblings too!
  • Takes place at the Burnsville Pump It Up at 1182 East Cliff Road - just a short drive down 35E.
  • Date and time: Thursday, April 21 at 6:15 - 8:15 PM (plan on being there at 6:00 to get checked in so you have more jumping time).
  • Past your child's bedtime? There is no school the next day.
  • Cost is $10 and includes two slices of pizza and a drink. No need to pay now, pay at the door.
  • Must wear socks.

This is a fundraiser sponsored by Pump It Up Burnsville - 40% goes to them, 60% to the TCGIS PTO.

Sign up hereby Friday, April 8. Please note - if you signed up through the silent auction you are registered and paid. No need to sign up again.
Questions? Contact Michelle Sheire.


Kinderclub Summer Sign-Up    
Kinderclub offers an all-day summer program from June 13 through August 26.
For more information and to register please follow this link to the Kinderclub summer registration form.
The filled out form can be returned to the Kinderclub drop box in the school's front office.
Board Nominations    
This year's school board elections will take place on Friday, May
20th. We will be electing three new members to our nine-member board
of directors. One term on the board of directors consists of three
years, and a director may serve for up to two consecutive terms.
Having a diverse board representing different points of view benefits
the school in many ways. We would welcome nominations of people who
have experience in a  legal, marketing, business, finance,
facilities/realty, human resources or educational field (ideally
involving elementary or middle school curriculum and/or language
immersion) and who are interested community members.  We are also
looking for someone who would have the interest and skills to serve as
the Board liaison to the German government. Any person who has a
passion for the school, and a willingness to work with and for the
community to promote and improve the school would be a great asset to
the Board.

Board nominations and all application paperwork are due on Friday,
April 15.  The application forms can be downloaded from the TCGIS
website (http://www.germanschool-mn.org/board_docs.html) or picked up
from the school office.  If you have any questions or have suggestions
for potential candidates from our school community or the larger
community, please contact Lisa Friedman, Board Secretary
([email protected], 612-781-5182) or any other member of the current
board. Thank you for your consideration!
Attention TCGIS Gardening Enthusiasts  

Warmer weather is just around the corner, so now is the time to plan your flower - and vegetable garden. The garden sale is well underway.  Click here for an order form.  Order forms can also be found on PTO website, and at the front office.


UPDATE: You now have until Friday, April 1 to order.  The plants will be delivered to TCGIS on Friday, May 20th, 2011 along with the Community plant swap, library's used book sale and the Spring Strudel pick-up.

Questions?  Heidi Zimmermann - [email protected] 
Thanks for your support.
GAI Summer Camp  
Throughout the summer the GAI is offering week-long German language camps centered around different fun themes. For more information and to sign up please follow the link http://www.gai-mn.org/classes/sommer.html. If you use this .pdf form instead, please return the filled-out registration form to Amy Neeser at the GAI.
Remember to Sign In!   
Late Arrival
If your child arrives after 8:15 AM, please remember to sign him/her in at the front desk.
Early Departure
We also ask that you sign out your child if they leave the building during regular school hours.
Volunteer & Visitors
Outside of normal pick up and drop-off times, we ask that all visitors and volunteers sign-in and out while at TCGIS.  The sign-in/out sheets can be found on a clipboard at the front desk.  We ask that you also wear a "volunteer or "visitor" sticker while in the building.  Thank you for the countless hours everyone donates to our school and for the many visits we receive. We welcome you all! 

Scrip Update    

Hard to believe, but we only have two more scheduled Scrip orders for the year:  Tuesday April 5th, and Tuesday May 3rd.  We have earned nearly $1,000 this school year, and I'm hoping we can go well over with our final orders.  Keep us in mind as you think about your upcoming summer expenses, projects, etc...


This month, look for special bonus contributions on Build-A-Bear, Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic, and Kwik Trip (a generous 9% contribution - this is the largest contribution for gas/convenience store purchases we've seen!).  And don't forget, you can now purchase Target gift cards through Scrip as well.  Other popular choices with our group are amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot (who have just upped their contribution percentage!), iTunes, Land's End, and SuperAmerica.


Sign up for a family account at www.shopwithscrip.com, and make sure you use the school's enrollment code of 4CA2AE9714L14 so we get credit for your order.  The more people that participate, the more money we earn for the school!  Don't be afraid to ask your family & friends - it's an easy fundraiser to share.


Again, the next order is due TUESDAY, April 5thPlace your order online, and turn in your check made payable to TCGIS at the front desk.


As always, feel free to email Deb Helmel, TCGIS Scrip Coordinator with any questions.

Host Families for Interns Wanted!    


We are looking for new (and old...) host families for the Amity Interns for the coming school year. The Interns will be arriving at the end of August and will be staying until mid-January or for the full year. These young Germans mostly study to become a teacher and come here to work in our kid's classrooms for next to nothing. They want the teaching experience and to improve their English by living here. In return we promise "room and board"  (Kost und Logis).


We will have 14 Amity Interns this coming fall - so please consider putting up one of these young people!


One of the new Interns will be Bettina Hajek, who sent an email today, asking who she is going to stay with....Well, first we have to find the host families!


Bettina Hajek will be coming from Bavaria, where she is studying to become a teacher in English, Spanish and Italian.  She is 23 years old and likes swimming, volleyball and modern Dance, as well as literature, music and the Arts.  Bettina is very social and outgoing and enjoys teaching and helping children. She has worked a lot with children already in camps and tutoring through an agency for two years. She also works for the International Student Office at her University, helping foreign students to enjoy their stay in Germany.


Please contact Darcy Rindelaub for more information! 

Dance Performance for Festival of Nations      

Thank you to the dance group (4th-5th grade)!


Our dance program was approved for the Dance Performance at the Festival of Nations. We will participate in it amongst others professional and half-professional ethnic dance groups. Having a school dance group there is rather an exception. I haven't heard about any other school doing that. Mostly it is a job of cultural and ethnic institutions. Thanks to the kids for volunteering and thanks to the parents for supporting them!


At the Festival of Nations, the dance groups perform in 3 categories: adults, teens and children. We were initially qualified as a children dance group, and we would get the time slot of 3 min. On March 20th at the technical review, the selection committee was impressed by our performance and the variety of dances. As a result, they offered us to perform as a teen dance group as well although none of our kids has reached the required age of 13. We got the additional time slot of 5 min.


Now we have a new schedule of performances:

Thursday, May 5th - Teens Dance Performance - 11:00am to 12:45pm and 1:00 to 2:45pm


We will perform 1. Spinnradl; 2. Specknerin & Schiarazula Marazula


Saturday, May 7th - Children Dance Performance - 12:30 to 2:15pm

               We will perform Sternpolka


After the spring break we will work on details in a more relaxed schedule. We will meet once a week either on Tuesday or on Wednesday during the recess time.


One of the requirements for dance groups has been to perform under a name. We've chosen Blumenkranz (flower crown) in the second round. Welcome the newborn Blumenkranz!

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].