A Weekly Update for Families
In this issue...
2011 TCGIS Board Election
Amity Update
Volunteer Appreciation Talent Show
Art News
Plant Sale
Class Photos
MAIN Parents Meeting
Talent Survey
Seeking Host Families
Fifth Grade Performance
Clothing Orders Are In!
Spring Plant Sale and Strudel Pick Up
Got Books?
ElternbriefMay 18, 2011

Dear Families,


Friday May 20th  Board Elections

Saturday, May 21st 2:00 PM Performing Arts Performance.  1:30 PM Arrival time for performers

Saturday, May 21st 4:30 Partnering with Germany for a Sustainable Future/ Germanic American Institute/ German American Chamber of Commerce Joint Event

Thursday, May 26th 1:30 Volunteer Appreciation Talent Show

Friday, May 27th NO SCHOOL Report Writing Day

Friday, June 10th Last Day of School/ School Picnic


The theme of this week's Elternbrief is "success" and the rallying cry is Congratulations!


Success #1  Kinderland - a Celebration in Story, Song & Dance of Children's Imagination is a success waiting to happen.   Please have your children at St. Thomas More Church by 1:30 on Saturday, May 21st for our final performance and concert of the year. Here is the program for an exciting line up of the distinctive mix of dance, song and theater that characterizes our dynamic Performing Arts program under the leadership of Herr Valentin Solakhau.  Please help your child know the importance of showing up ready to perform on Saturday.    All children should sit with their teachers during the first half of the show.  First through 4th graders can join their parents after intermission for the performances of 5th and 6th grade. 



Success #2  Stability of the Amity program is ensured.  Thanks to those who contacted your legislators.  The note below is a note from Amity International thanking you for your outreach.  The photos of our new interns are posted in the office.  They still need host families.  If you have a spare bedroom calling for a native Germany speaker to hang out with you and your family please contact the Amity committee.


Success #3   All of our 5th and 6th graders have passed the A2 exams which are standardized language exams administered through the Goethe Institute documenting the language proficiency of our students.  Thanks to Uli Koester and Karin Magill-Cuerdan for their administration of these exams and congrats to the kids for your language proficiency.  Congrats to the teachers for supporting our kids and bringing them to where they need to be for documented proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing at the A2 level.  



Success #4  Twin Cities German Immersion School was awarded a grant from the Perpich Center for Arts Education for Using the Theater Arts to Enrich Literacy Development in our school.  The grant will pay for staff development opportunities for Valentin Solakhau, Esther Eufinger, Yvonne Kuhn and Scot Stephenson. 


They will attend a week long summer workshop and follow up professional development days during the school year.


Success #5 Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed May 6th, 2011 German Language Education Day and names our schools as one of a handful of institutions successfully providing German Language Education in Minnesota. Official proclamation language here.


Success #6  We are sustained by volunteers.  Whether you serve on committees, drive for field trips, help us with library, technology, amities, finances, public relations, or first aid, we could not be the institution we are without the amazing volunteer hours logged by parents.  Come let our kids deliver thank you cards and cookies and observe the talents of our students on May 26th at 1:30 PM.


Partnering with Germany for a Sustainable Future  It's almost too late, but not quite to register for the dynamic evening of speakers at the Germanic American Institute called Partnering with Germany for a Sustainable Future.  The registration has been extended to today (Wednesday) for the reception and childcare.  It's a busy day, but a fruitful and rich one.  We hope you will be able to come. 


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



Frau Annika Fjelstad
Twin Cities German Immersion School

[email protected]

Inclusivity Task Force
May 25th

TCGIS Conference Room



2011 TCGIS Board Election Friday, May 20th 


In just two days, we will be electing three new board members. Please read through the candidates' statements included in this Elternbrief and on the TCGIS website. 

TCGIS voters will be able to cast their votes during an election day.

All parents or legal guardians and staff members are eligible to vote

in the election.


This Friday, the ballot box will be open at the school during the

following times:


At drop off - 7:45am to 9:00am

At lunch - 11:00am to 12:30pm

At pick up - 3:00pm - 6:00pm


Won't be here on election day or can't make it to the school while the

ballot box is open?


No problem. You can go to the TCGIS website and print and fill out a

proxy form.  The proxy form allows you to authorize somebody else to

cast your ballot for you.  Your proxy must bring the completed form to

the ballot box to be able to cast a ballot for you.  Ballots are available on the TCGIS website or at the school.  Ballots will also be available on voting day.


If you are unsure whether you are an eligible voter or not, please

check with Annie Berge or Andrea Zibble at the school

([email protected] or 651-492-7106).


If you have questions about the use of the proxy form or the election

in general, you can contact Board Secretary Lisa Friedman at

[email protected] or 612-781-5182.

Amity Update 


It is with great pleasure that I can inform you that Amity has received the one-year re-designation letter for our current intern program today. The State Department followed our request of allowing Amity to continue under the current program designation. This gives us sufficient time to clarify certain issues related to our application for the Intern designation. I want to personally thank those of you who have followed the recent Call to Action. The Department was contacted by several representatives who shared the importance of this fine program in American schools.


Our office is ready to issue visa documents to those applicants that have been invited. We are looking at an exciting school year 2011/2012.

Best regards,

Trudy Hermann
Executive Director

Amity Institute
Art News: May


I can hardly believe that this is my last Art update until fall- it has truly been my pleasure to work with the TCGIS students this year.  I hope to do one more round of uploading student artwork to the school's Artsonia gallery at http://www.artsonia.com/schools/Twin561 in the next few weeks.  One thing to keep in mind this summer is that we always need empty gallon-sized plastic ice cream buckets in the Art room!

-- Frau Lenburg           [email protected]


Kindergarten  In Kindergarten we have been learning about the Native American artist Lucy Lewis who made amazing pots in the southwestern United States.  The students know that clay comes from the ground, and have made their own pinch pots like Lucy Lewis.  We just started making books about some of the things that artists do as a way of reviewing some of what we've learned this year.


First Grade  In first grade, students have finished making their own copies of the artist Paul Klee.  We also read the story of "Regenbogenfisch" and created our own Rainbow Fish collages with glittery scales.  Last week we worked together to make large fish collages.  In the next weeks we will be looking at some Chinese art and reviewing what we've learned about the Elements of Art.


Second Grade  The second graders have recently continued the theme of animals by creating portraits of African animals and small clay animal sculptures.  The African animals were framed using African-inspired stamps that the students made.  We are now studying the African-American artist Faith Ringgold and her "story quilts."  Every student is creating a square for a second grade (paper) story quilt inspired by her work.


Third Grade  The third graders have been observing flowers very carefully, drawing them on a large scale like the American artist Georgia O'Keeffe.  We have been discussing how artists have to make decisions to "frame" their pictures, figuring out what to put in the picture and what to leave out.  With our remaining time this year we will be making African rainsticks.


Fourth Grade  In fourth grade we have been learning about design.  Students explored the differences between "fine art" that hangs in museums, and designed items that are made to be used for a more practical purpose.  After discussions about product design, students designed cans for their own beverages last week.  In these last few weeks we will be learning about the paintings of the Aborigines of Australia.

Fifth Grade 
In fifth grade recently we have been talking about artists who use their art to explore social issues and to express how they feel about problems they perceive in the world around them.  We explored Picasso's enormous painting "Guernica" and several examples from other artists.  The class is making plaster masks of their own faces, which they will then paint expressing an issue that has meaning to them.


Sixth Grade In sixth grade we have recently been studying Ancient Greece, especially the beautiful vase paintings.  The students have become acquainted with the various vase shapes and styles of painting.  Currently they are making their own small vases out of clay, inspired by these ancient vessels.

Class Photos Tentatively Scheduled for Monday

Barring any unexpected changes from Photographer's Guild, class photos are scheduled for Monday, May 23.  If you have any questions, please contact Linda Michel.
Calling All Scientists, World Travelers, Rock Guitarists, and Philatelists!

Do you or does someone you know have some interesting or unique skills or experiences you might be willing to share with TCGIS kids?  If so, please complete the TCGIS Classroom Enrichment Talent and Resource Survey:   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R72YZLJ

We are collecting this information for our TCGIS teachers, who will use it as they plan classroom enrichment activities for next year. The information will not be shared with anyone other than TCGIS staff. Please feel free to forward this survey to any friends or families who might be willing to help support TCGIS kids' learning in this way. Thank you!

--The PTO Education Support Committee (Leslie Watson, Ursula Hargens, Lisa Friedman, Julie Elias, Chris Weimholt and Anna Botz) 

There will be 14 new interns coming to our school this fall - please consider hosting one of these young people!
  You can also look at their short introductions with pictures in the office.


Andreas Zeilnhofer will be coming from the University of Passau for a full year.

  He studies English and Economics and is looking forward to the opportunity to teach and make a difference in the classroom. He is interested in biking, hiking and skiing, as well as going to the movies, cooking and reading.   


For more information, please contact Darcy Rindelaub


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.


Clothing Orders Are In!

Please pick up your TCGIS clothing and merchandise from Gina Vader or Missy Morrisey in the school office before or after school.  We appreciate your patience with this order.  Danke.

Spring Plant Sale and Strudel Pick-Up   
Spring Plant Sale and Strudel Pick-up is this Friday, May 20 from 3:00-5:30.  Pick-up with be outside the school, weather permitting.

*It's not too late to buy something, there will  be a few extra sorts plants and veggies available for purchase on Friday, 5/20.

Don't forget the "Share Your Garden" plant sale and TCGIS library's used book sale with also be happening Friday, 5/20 after school outside as well.

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! 

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].