A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
Game Night a Success!
A Request from an Avalon Student
Summer English Activities
The Strudel Are Coming!
A Request from an Avalon Student
School Board Elections
Vienna Community Arts Summer Programs
Library Open House and Spring Book Sale
GAI Summer Camp
Host Families for Interns Wanted
ElternbriefApril 20, 2011

Dear Families,


MCA Update Congratulations to Families and Students for making it successfully through the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments.  This is a high stakes important test that can add a lot of stress to the individual and the community.  Thanks to the seriousness and attentiveness to students to working to do their best.  Results for the school as a whole will be released in late June.   We will have individual results to pass on to you by the beginning of the next school year.


Help Save the Amity Program nationally If you've ever said or thought, "I sure love the Amity Intern program.  It really makes a difference to both the  school as a whole and to my child in particular" this is your moment to express that thought in a public way.


 We've received notice from our contact at Amity that the whole program nationally is in jeopardy due to a bureaucratic decision at the Department of State  that could deprive our school of a valuable and cost-effective resource to sustain foreign language teaching. Since February 2001, Amity has sponsored the J-1 visa for most interns in the category Specialist and in category Student/Non-degree for a handful of interns assigned to universities. Last year the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs instructed Amity to apply for visa sponsor designation in the Intern category instead.  Amity filed that application, but recently learned that its application will be denied by the State Department, despite its excellent track record. Without receiving this designation, Amity cannot conduct its intern program, and this valuable resource will be lost to us and other schools around the U.S.  Please click here for a sample letter of how to contact your senators immediately about this important need. 


Update on our TCGIS Amity program.  The hardworking committee consisting of Mary-Fred Bausman Watkins, Nicole Grenz, Darcy Rindelaub, Andrea Zibble and Ina Elliot has already interviewed and offered positions to many interns for next fall.  They are excited about the skill, potential and enthusiasm of many young German teachers in training coming to Minnesota.  After you write your letter to congress insuring that they can come, consider contacting the Amity Committee, per information below and  offering to host.  If you wish you could support the program, but don't have the room or the transportation.  Consider writing a check to the school with the designator "Amity Lunches".  There are many, many ways to be part of the  village that enables these young people to join our community. 


Diversity Task Force  We're grateful for those that attended the first meeting of the Diversity Task Force.  This group is working on discerning steps to take to ensure that our environment is welcoming, inclusive and  equitable for all current and prospective members of our community.  There are many ways in which we are and also ways in which we can improve.  We welcome all to join the conversation.  The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 27th at 12:30 PM. 


Thanks for all you do for your children and the school as a whole.



Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School

[email protected]

Library Open House
Wednesday, April 20 (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm)


Meet the TCGIS Board Candidates 
 We are fortunate to have four very qualified and committed people
running for our school board! Please join me in welcoming Gregor
Adriany, Liane Gale, Matt Schneider, and Marcus Sheire as candidates
for the 3 open board positions. Next week's Elternbrief will have
their candidate statements and photos, so that you can learn more
about them. Please mark your calendars as well with two opportunities
to meet them in person: the April 29 Kaffeeklatsch 8:00 am @ the
school and the May 2 PTO meeting 6:30 pm @ the school, where each
candidate will give a short presentation. Finally, do mark your
calendars for the election itself on May 20. Thank you for taking the
time to support the governance and leadership of our school.

Lisa Friedman,
TCGIS Board Secretary and Governance Chair

Please also not that the board meeting dates for May and June of 2011 are changing.  The board will be meeting on Tuesday May 31st, 2011 and then Monday June 20th,2011. 
April Art News

Can you think of a better gift for Mother's Day or Father's Day than something with your child's artwork on it?  I can't!  Check out the school's Artsonia gallery at http://www.artsonia.com/schools/Twin561 to find your student's work and order a coffee mug, notecards, an apron or one of many other gift items- with your child's masterpiece on it.  And as an added bonus, a percentage of your purchase price goes to support the art program at TCGIS. 

If you have any questions or concerns about our Art classes, please contact me.

-- Frau Lenburg           [email protected]


Kindergarten  In Kindergarten we have been creating abstract pictures.  The students experimented with "painting" using tissue paper shapes and water, and also tried their hands at printing.  Currently, we are learning about the artist Monet.  He liked to paint smeary pictures, and we are painting still lifes in his style.


First Grade  In first grade, students tried to coax spring to Minnesota by creating spring landscapes- they learned to draw trees using the letters "V" and "Y."  We also learned about the eastern tradition of mehndi and created "pocket pots" out of clay.  This week we will be learning about how artists copy each other and making our own copies of the artist Paul Klee.


Second Grade  The second graders learned about the paintings of Kandinsky, one of the first artists to paint completely abstractly.  We have spent the last several weeks studying the author and illustrator Eric Carle.  Students watched a film of him creating one of his illustrations, and then made their own animal collages using the same techniques.


Third Grade  The third graders have spent the last few weeks studying the Impressionists.  We learned that a group of artists can have similar styles and ideas about art.  The Impressionists were interested in showing light in their paintings, not making them look like photographs.  Students made pictures with very thick "paint" and with a blurry style like the Impressionists.


Fourth Grade  In fourth grade we have continued to learn about architecture.  Students painted their clay buildings and learned more about several modern architects, such as the Bauhaus artists, Hundertwasser, Rizzi and Gehry.  They are about to begin studying design and its role both in art generally and creating and promoting products specifically.


Fifth Grade  In fifth grade recently we have been talking about different color schemes such as primary, secondary, complimentary and warm and cool colors.  Students have created abstract watercolor paintings using these color combinations.  Our last big assignment for this year is going to be a sculpture project.


Sixth Grade In sixth grade we have recently been studying the Xian terracotta warriors from ancient China.  To represent these amazing, taller-than-life clay figures which are over 2,000 years old, we are also learning about printmaking.  Each student has drawn their own soldier, and we will be making them into prints or multiples, displaying at least one of everyone's prints together to make our own army.

Summer English Activities

Frau Wallace encourages you to look into summer English enrichment opportunities covering students from K-7.  While these services are not provided through TCGIS, we wanted to let you know about programs and services available to you for free and/or fee based in our community.  If you would like to share a summer activity please spread the word by submitting a blurb to the Elternbrief. 

OPTION 1:  Summer School provided through your home district 

St Paul Public School Residents: 

St Paul Public Schools Summer Session for Students who reside in St Paul Public Schools District
for more information go to: extendedday.spps.org 

Minneapolis Public School Residents 

Go to school office nearest where you live to register.  That school will have the forms, transportation information and and other information you may need. 

Please see link for further information: summerschool.mpls.k12


YMCA's throughout the Twin Cities offer day camp types of programs for kids during the summer.  Some further information may be found at: http://www.ymcatwincities.org/summer-programs  


This article on Summer Camps appeared in Minnesota Monthly, March, 2011:  http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/March-2011/Summer-Camps-amp-Classes/

Includes camps that offer: academic, art, culture, music, outdoor activities, sports, etc.

This appeared in the Star Tribune as well: 
The strudel are coming, the strudel are coming!

The TCGIS PTO will be sponsoring a spring sale of Ruhland's Strudel. Watch your student's backpack for the order form and more information and check out the zencart on the PTO web site http://tcgispto.org/Restock your freezer with these elegant and delicious strudel while contributing funds to support our teachers and school.
A Request from an Avalon Student

My name is Kayleigh Dollinger.  I am a senior at Avalon, and my senior project is on Waste Reduction, Native Plant Restoration and Invasive Species Removal.  I am currently collecting 4 different items, they include: All FRITO-LAY chip bags, Batteries, Capri-Sun juice pouches, and bottle caps.      

All of the Capri-Sun and Chip bags will be shipped to TerraCylcing, free shipping, and up-cycled into tote bags for grocery shopping and other reusable items. The Bottle-caps I am bringing to Aveda hair school. The batteries I will bring to a Best Buy location where they will safely recycle them. I can take any type of battery out there!! This includes all sizes and even computer batteries!  Also computer parts that you do not know what to do with I can bring to Best Buy. 
I have a box in the cafe on the third floor for students to put these items in and also  a box in the basement cafeteria.   This is really important to me and I am planing on continuing my waste reduction.  Cleaning up trash out side is also another thing I have been doing to change the community.  When someone sees another person cleaning up and making an effort it is like a virus the love for our earth spreads. 
Glockenspiel Maifest

The Glockenspiel Restaurant on W. 7th in St. Paul is also interested in running a fundraiser for our school during their Maifest on May 7th. They would like to put on a baked goods contest.There will be 2 categories (Kuchen und Torten). The participants will bring their baked items to the Glockenspiel for judging. The first place of each group will (if willing to share their recipe) be featured at the Glockenspiel as the cake / torte for the month of June. The first 3 places will receive a gift Certificate to the Glockenspiel from us. The entry fee for the baked goods contest is $5.00 per entry, of which 100% will go to the school.  For further information please contact Marty Ziegel at 507-648-3388 or [email protected].

Click here to see the flyer!
Summer Activities for Kids 

Looking for something for your child(ren) to do this summer? Check out these fun camps and classes offered by some of our 2011 Maskenball donors. When you register, be sure to let them know you heard about them through TCGIS.


Sky Hawks Sports Camp


St. Paul Urban Tennis 

Macalester College Swimming Lessons  

GAI Summer Camps
Vienna Community Arts


Also be sure to check out information on an upcoming open house from Maskenball favorite, Evelyn's Bunzlau Pottery. Evelyn also sells German knives

Vienna Community Arts Summer Programs    


Waiting for the Train on University Ave.?

If you can't wait for the next light rail train, come to our "All Aboard! In St. Paul" railroad camps.  Vienna Community Arts teams up with the Minnesota Transportation Museum in June and July to offer two new exciting summer adventure camps for students ages 7-12.

Camp 1:  "All Aboard!  Great Train Explorations" from June 20-23.

Camp 2:  "All Aboard!  Working on the Railroad" from July 18-21.

Check out our flyers for details!  Here as attachments or located

in TCGIS lobby.   Contact Herbert/Nancy  651-773-9525.

[email protected]net or [email protected]net



Aardvark Arts

Hey!  Where's the Aardvark?  Somewhere in Herbert's studio. Come check out the summer adventure camps at VCA and find out just where that creature is.  Click here for the flyer. 

Aug. 1-4,  OZ!

Aug. 8-11  A Bug's Life

Aug. 15-18   Sounds of Salzburg

Contact Herbert/Nancy at Vienna Community Arts for details.

[email protected]net or [email protected]net


Summer Chor Opportunities!!!

Expand your vocal repertoire and perform community service during summer break.  Performances at area senior homes.

In session one "Americana!" we'll celebrate music of Stephen Foster,

Woody Guthrie, and more.       

June 21-July 12, Tues. 6pm to 7pm. Grade 2-7.


In session two "Favorite Musicals"  we will sing and choreograph numbers from Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Aladdin, Jungle Book, and Hansel & Gretel. July 19-Aug 9, Tues. 6pm to 7pm, Gr. 2-7.   Contact VCA at 651-773-9525 or [email protected]net   or [email protected]net

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 several Open Houses. The library will be open Wednesday, April 13 (2:30 pm to 5:30 pm); Friday, April 15 (3:30 pm to 5:30 pm); and next Wednesday, April 20 (2:30 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.


Click here for an order form, or pick one up at the front desk.  All orders are due back by April 21 with pre-payment by check (payable to TCGIS). We will pool orders at an exchange rate of 1:1.45. Families also have the option of ordering and paying directly online with a special code. All ordering instructions are included with the book list.


Thank you for supporting the volunteer-run TCGIS library!


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

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.

Host Families for Interns Wanted!    

There will be 14 new Amity Interns arriving this fall and we are currently looking for families to host them.


We will have four interns that will come for the full school year. One of them is Alyssa Okfen. Alyssa is coming from the University of Trier for

the full year. She studies English, Politics, and German as a Foreign

Language. Some of her favorite pastimes include swimming, biking,

rollerblading, skiing, using the gym and reading.  She sounded quiet in her phone interview, but very likeable; and she loves to laugh.


There will be ten interns just for the fall. They will arrive at the beginning of the school year and stay through mid-January.  


Bettina Weber will be one of the fall interns. She studies English and Spanish at the University of Augsburg. Bettina has been working with children since she was 15 years old. She already finished her education as an specialty subject teacher. Besides traveling, she likes to read and cook. She is also very interested in Art.


There will also be another ten interns coming in the spring of 2012.  We already except host family applications for that time as well!


Please contact Darcy Rindelaub for more information! 

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].