A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
LAST CHANCE: Garden Sale
Special Education Advisory Committee
Game Night
Library Open House and Spring Book Sale
Mime and Creative Movement
Thanks to the PTO for the New Recess Equipment
Pump It Up Party
Kinderclub Summer Sign-Up
Audio of Carnival of Cultures Performance
Board Nominations
GAI Summer Camp
March Board Update
Host Families for Interns Wanted
Dance Performance for Festival of Nations
ElternbriefApril 6, 2011

Dear Families,


Dear Parents,


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


Anti-bullying Presentation  Kids in grades 1 - 3 had the opportunity to see a powerful interactive puppet show on Tuesday that helped give them tools to stop bullying whether against themselves or others.  Thanks to Frau Stegmann for her leadership in setting up this opportunity.  It would be a good time to follow up with kids about the show and about their own experiences with how to respond to kids being mean.  We're really working with kids at school to encourage them to ask for help if social dynamics aren't working.  Tattling is telling just to get someone in trouble.  Telling is doing what you can to stop a problem and work towards solutions.  Make sure your child is clear on the difference. 


Dismissal Procedures  The end of the school can be an awkward and difficult time for some students as they transition from teachers who supervise 1:24 and parents who may supervise 1:1.  Kids who are waiting patiently with their teachers have a hard time seeing kids who have been released to their parents running freely and inviting them to play.  We want parents to stay and socialize in the school grounds.  If you do, however, please be sure to keep your kids on the east end of the school yard where the bike racks are and away from students with teachers.  Also please keep your children from climbing on the handicap ramp.  Thanks for your assistance in this. 


Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Preparations for Grades 3 -6.  Parents with children in grades 3 through 6 will be aware that the MCA tests are coming up next week.  For those interested in helping their children reinforce some of the skills tested a useful website is   http://PerspectiveForFamilies.com/MN .  This has generic access to practice for third graders who have never taken the tests before.  Children who have taken the tests before can have personalized practice with use of a Locater Number that reinforces the areas they were weak in previously.  This number is on the official report you received last fall and can be retrieved from your child's teacher.  Practice with these exercises can help enhance your child's test results for this year.  A one-on-one refresher with your child at home may be a good way to target specific areas for review, and can also help alleviate any test anxiety. 

The best way you can prepare is to ensure adequate sleep, good nutrition and not too much additional stress or pressure.   


School Calendar Please click here to see the Board-approved calendar for the 2011-2012 school year.


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


Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School

[email protected]

Last Chance to order your Spring Plants!!!

We are still accepting orders for the Spring Plant Sale until Friday, 4/8.
Order forms can be found at the front desk or online at the TCGIS PTO website.

All plants will be delivered for pick up at the school on Friday, May 20.  
If you have any questions contact Heidi Zimmermann at [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)
Library Open House and Spring Book Sale  


With summer just around the corner, the time is right for gathering good reads for those sunny days ahead!


Check out the TCGIS Library's Open House and Spring Book Sale! The TCGIS Library Committee will once again be collecting book orders to place through globalbooks.de. There are no shipping charges, and a portion of all book orders will be donated back to the school.


Not sure what to order? With help from TCGIS teachers and parents, we have compiled a list of recommended books for all grade levels. Orders are not restricted to the list - you may add any book available through globalbooks.de to your order.


In conjunction with the book sale, the TCGIS Library Committee will also host an Open House on Wednesday, April 13 (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm) and Friday, April 15 (3:30 pm to 5:30 pm). Stop by to view the library's collection, get book ideas, or chat with library volunteers about your book order.


Fillable order forms and a list with recommended books will be sent out electronically later this week. All orders are due back by April 18 with pre-payment by check (payable to TCGIS). We will pool orders at an exchange rate of 1:1.45.


Thank you for supporting the volunteer-run TCGIS library!


Please contact Kelly Huxmann at [email protected] with any questions.



We would like to invite all parents to stop by our Kaffeeklatsch this Friday, April 8, 2011! Freshly brewed coffee is usually ready by 8:05am. Grab a cup of coffee for your commute to work or stay around for some chatting with other parents! Coffee is $1 if you bring your own mug, or $1.25 should you need a paper cup. All proceeds of the Kaffeeklatsch events go to finance coffee for our teachers.
Viele Gruesse!
Euer Kaffeeklatsch Team
After School Activity Mime and Creative Movement still accepting new students   


We have a small group in our mime and creative movement class, and we are looking to add a couple more to our ranks! Mondays after school, we learn some mime skills, make mini shows aimed at making people laugh, and play movement games. Mime is a particularly great way to help growth in motor skills, coordination and focus.

If you have a student interested in joining, it is not too late! Join us starting Monday, April 11, and the cost will be pro-rated to $70 dollars for the remaining 7 sessions. We are already coming up with great and funny ideas for the showcase at the end of the year. It promises to be a great time.

Hunter Goetzman
Thanks to the TCGIS PTO for New Recess Equipment!  


Because of the hard work and generosity of our parent and school community, the PTO was able to provide funds for us to get some more playground equipment. Now that the ground is starting to thaw out, you and your students can expect to see some new equipment and new games soon. We are excited that we will be installing tether ball soon, and we just may celebrate the Twins' home opener with a TCGIS whiffle ball opener on Friday.

We will be introducing the equipment to the playground over the next week, but if you or your students have any suggestions for other equipment or games, let Herr Goetzman know. Our playground may have limitations, but you just might have a great idea that will make our students very happy and satisfied at recess.

Again, thanks to the TCGIS community for your support of our school!
Extra thanks to Gina Vader for transportation and Molly McBeath for accounting!
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.
Audio of Carnival of Cultures Performance

Brian Hagerty, father of Maura Hartfeldt in KB, recorded audio at the recent Carnival of Cultures program at St. Thomas More.  It can be found here: http://www.brianhagerty.com/files/
Please note, this audio file is huge and unedited, and the levels need a lot of adjustment. 
Brian will probably take the file down in a month or so, so anyone who wants it should download it now.
Also, please let us know if anyone has video from the event they would like to circulate by sending an email to [email protected]

Thank you!
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!
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.
March Board Update  

Host Families for Interns Wanted!    

We would like to have A LOT MORE HOST FAMILIES for our interns this fall! We will invite 14 interns that will get here by the end of August and are looking for a temporary home.


So far all of our fall interns are studying to become teachers in Germany. They are all very excited about coming to our school,. It is always a lot of fun to accept them, because they are very much looking forward to their stay.


One of our new Amity interns will be Barbara Humpf.  She is 21 years old and wants to be a middle school teacher in English, Religion and Music. Barbara likes sports and music, she sings and plays


the organ at her church. Having grown up in the countryside in a very nature oriented family, she is now looking forward to "living in a big city". She is very curious about our Immersion School concept ( which is not very common in Germany).


Also I would like to introduce AnnaLena Gerhardt.  She will be coming from the University of Wuerzburg, where she studies to become   

a teacher of English, German and Latin. AnnaLena likes the Theatre, dancing and Ballet, but also to cook, garden and read. She enjoys working with smaller children and had good ideas how to engage them at school.


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].