A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
Meet the TCGIS Board Candidates
Host Families for Interns Wanted
Fifth Grade Performance
Special Education Advisory Commiittee
Upcoming Diversity Task Force Meetings
Strudel Orders
Got Books?
Partnering with Germany for a Sustainable Future
Performing Arts Update
Glockenspiel Maifest
ElternbriefMay 4, 2011

Dear Families,


German Government Funded Teaching position.  We have a couple of exciting announcements about staffing for next year.    For the first time we will have a teaching position paid for through a program in the Germany government through a program called Bundesprogramm Lehrkraft (BPLK).  This position was secured for us last year through the hard work of the Grants and External Relations Committee with particular thanks to the leadership of Board member, Juergen Konzcak whose vision and hard work resulted in a successful application. 


Frau Elisa Schwalbach in 5th Grade We are very pleased to announce that the BPLK candidate, Frau Elisa Schwalbach, will be filling our 5th grade homeroom position for next year.  A hardworking committee of teachers interviewed a number of candidates and found Frau Schwalbach to be by far the strongest of all we interviewed both from the BPLK program as well as from other candidates.   We are very grateful to the Zentralstelle fuer Auslandsschulwesen for both sending us strong candidates from whom we could make an appropriate selection as well as for financing this position. 


Frau Schwalbach has 4 years teaching experience in a Realschule in Niederstetten.  She has teaching with experience with students in grades 5 - 8.  Her main teaching subjects are German and Biology.   Her references speak of her joy and skill at project-based learning, her professionalism, preparedness and consistent friendly, enthusiastic presence,  good humor and calm nature.  Coming to the United States to teach has been a life long dream for her and she is very excited about the opportunity.   Frau Schwalbach will be moving to Minnesota in early August and will need support in finding an apartment, a car and orienting herself to our area.  She told me her parents were worried she'd be standing alone at the airport.  I assured her we would have a support committee to greet her.  Can you help me make good on that promise?  Please let me know if you can offer hospitality in some form to Frau Schwalbach. 


Parents of future fifth graders will soon be receiving further updates about the schedule and format of classes for how Frau Schwalbach will team with the Middle School subject area specialists to meet the needs of next year's fifth graders.


Herr Hunter Goetzmann in 4th grade.  Herr Goetzmann is best known to children and parents as the steady presence at recess.  His leadership, attention to the needs of individual children and consistent presence has done much to stabilize this potentially difficult time of day at TCGIS this year.  Herr Goetzmann has also been present as the math teacher in 5th grade this year.   His initiative and generosity of time have enriched the Middle School teaching team.  He is a certified elementary teacher with a specialization in Social Studies.  I am pleased to announce that he will be serving the school full time next year as a 4th grade teacher.


Great thanks and appreciation to Frau Carolyn Breithaupt and Herr Uli Koester.    A welcome and excitement about new faces and new positions in the community is accompanied by a note of sadness about the people we will see either less or not at all next year.    Frau Carolyn Breithaupt and her family spanned two continents this year in order for her to have the chance to be here with us.  She will be returning to Frankfurt next year and her family will again be unified in one house.  Not only has Frau Breithaupt been a stellar presence in 4th grade, but she has provided leadership and insight on a schoolwide basis.  She will be deeply missed.  Herr Koester worked half time this year in 5th grade.  We are grateful we were able to draw on his expertise and insight as 5th grade Science and German teacher this year while Herr Koester retained his position as executive director of Midwest Food Connection.  As an institution we prioritized filling classroom positions with teachers available full time for next year.   We are grateful that Herr Koester is willing to return to us next year to continue to supervise the A2 German Language tests and to serve as a substitute teacher.  His presence and connection with students will continue to enrich our school. 


Supply Fee  You may recall that we asked each family to pay a supply fee of $70 for the year.  Some families set up payment plans to pay this in two or more installments.    If payment of this fee slipped your mind, it is not too late.  Feel free to ask Annie or Andrea at the front desk if you can't remember if you paid.  If we don't hear from you by the end of May, we'll send reminders to those who did not pay or turn in the attached sheet requesting full or partial scholarship. 


Thanks for all you do,



Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School


Meet the TCGIS Board Candidates  
 Please join me in welcoming Gregor Adriany, Liane Gale, Matt
Schneider, and Marcus Sheire as candidates for the 3 open board
positions. You can click on this link to read their candidate

To read the summary from the April 28th board meeting, click here.

Lisa Friedman,
TCGIS Board Secretary and Governance Chair

We Are Still Looking for Amity Intern Host Families for Next Year!    

When we will all return to school by the end of August there will be 14 new Interns helping our children and teachers in the classrooms. Our commitment is to offer them a home where they can stay while they are with us. We will need ten host families for the fall ( August 24th - January 19th) , four families to host for a year and another ten for Spring ( January 12th - June 7th).

One of our new interns will be Miriam Kobold. She will be coming from Bavaria, the Catholic University of Eichstaett/Ingolstadt, where she studies English, Spanish and Math. Miriam enjoys cycling, basketball and swimming. She also likes cooking, reading and watching American TV shows. She already had two internships

at German Kindergaerten and enjoys working with younger and older children. She will be here for the fall semester.

Coming from the same University and at the same time will be Anita
Bierschneider. She wants to become a teacher of German and Geography and likes to travel and read. She also has a great interest in music festivals and the theatre. And, since she likes to write and is interested in journalistic, she works as a freelance writer at her local newspaper.

Please contact Darcy Rindelaub for more information! 

Fifth Grade Performance   

We, the 5th grade, are presenting a play, a Shakespeare classic, a Midsummer Night's dream, on Saturday, the 21st of May, at 2 o' clock, at the St. Thomas Catholic More school's stage. Attend on

this date, as we are happy to accommodate you, your friends, and your family.  We guarantee that  you will remember this rendition for years to come.




The 5th grade.


Reminder: 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!


Anne-Kathrin Kile, Special Education Teacher 651-492-7106 ex. 200 or akile@germanschool-mn.org




Upcoming Diversity Task Force Meetings

The Diversity Task Force will meet Monday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 18 at 6 P.M. in the school conference room. Childcare will be available, please reserve it by emailing ratwi001@umn.edu

Last Chance Strudel Orders
The TCGIS PTO is sponsoring a spring sale of Ruhland's Strudel.  Restock your freezer with these elegant and delicious strudel while contributing funds to support our teachers and school.  There's still time to order online!  Click here.


Click here for the descriptions of each strudel.

Got Books?

Has your family outgrown some of its children's books? The Library Committee is soliciting gently used (good condition) children's books, especially those in German, for the upcoming used book sale. Donations will be excepted at the Front Desk from Friday, May 13th through Thursday, May 19th. Let us help you recycle those books back into our community - Danke! 

Partnering with Germany for a Sustainable Future

Building on the success of last year's event, the Germanic-American Institute, Twin Cities German Immersion School, and German American Chamber of Commerce Midwest, Minnesota Chapter will again host a celebration and discussion centering on the German-American partnership in Minnesota.  Please see the flyer for more information about the various events to participate in that day!  

Performing Arts Update

it has been a long, busy time since my last letter. I am glad to announce you some upcoming events.

May 5th and 7th - Festival of Nations
It is so far - Festival of Nations will start this week. Children from 4th and 5th grades called their dance group BLUMENKRANZ (flower crown). They are going to participate in the Dance Program with three dances Sternpolka, Spinnradl and Specknerin/Schiarazula Marazula. Cross your fingers for the BLUMENKRANZ, and if you can come to see us at the River Centre St. Paul on Thursday at 11:15am and 1:15pm and on Saturday at 12:30pm.

On Saturday, the 4th graders will also do presentations about German market places at the Culture Booth of the Festival of Nations, time span is from 10:30 to 12:30. Do not miss this feature!
Children took an effort in both dances and presentations and are very excited!

May 7th - Glockenspiel
Right after the Festival of Nations, our dance group will run to the Glockenspiel (605 7th Street West, Saint Paul, MN 55102) where we will be a part of the May Fest. There we will celebrate the beginning of the spring and have a lot of fun. Amongst other goals, this event will also fundraise money for our school. 

The TCGIS performance is scheduled for 3:00pm. We will start our program with German dances as we do at the Festival of Nations. 
The second part is a performance of the TCGIS Strings. By occasion I would say huge thanks to Sylvia Oxenham who constantly maintains performances of the String Group at very hugh professional level!
The third part is Tango (5th and 6th graders). Here I have to say thank you to Theresa Borgren for couching our Tango Group! 

All are welcome to join us at the Glockenspiel at 3:00pm!

May 6th - 1A and 1B Performance
Our little ones put together two beautiful fairy tales Aschenputtel and Frau Holle. 1st graders will perform them for parents this coming Friday at 5:30pm (downstairs). Students worked very hard on these pieces and are now ready to present them to a larger audience. This is an example how Performing Arts can support homeroom teachers. It has been a pleasure for me to work with Frau Mettke and Frau Cooper on this project - thank you!

May 21st - Annual End of School Concert
The End of School Concert has now a name - Kinderland! On May 21st, we will celebrate children's dreams and imagination  through story, song and dance. It will take place in St. Thomas More School - the place is already familiar to our school.

I would like to remember you that our concert is a part of the bigger event organized by TCGIS, GAI and GACC "Partnering with Germany for a Sustainable Future". 

Please bring your children earlier to give them enough time to find their class and get ready for the concert. You may bring your children already dressed in costumes.  
1st Part is from 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Intermission 3:00 to 3:15pm
2nd Part is from 3:15 to 4:00pm

Students will present the best what they've learned in Performing Arts class.  One of the features at this concert is the Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare, performed by 5th grade. 

I hope to see all of you on May 21st at the St. Thomas More School.

Thank you! 


Valentin Solakhau

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 deutsche@rccnet.org.

Click here to see the flyer!
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 aberge@tcgis.org.