Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

 August 15, 2011


Educating Children for Informed and Active World Citizenship


in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Open House
:: Front Office Staff Updates
:: Facilities Update - More Info Soon
:: Thank You Volunteers
:: Performing Arts Fundraising Update
:: School Start Time Update
:: School Clean-Up
Annika Fjelstad

Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Director


The bustle at school is getting busier as we prepare for the school year.  Packages of textbooks and furniture are arriving and the office staff is busily preparing both space and paperwork for students. Teachers are starting to appear and are putting curriculum and plans into place. 


We look forward to greeting you at our Open House on the 25th. Or we may see you sooner than that with a dust rag and a furniture dolly - learn how you can help us prepare the building and classrooms for back to school.


We know that everyone is anxious to learn teacher assignments. We're finalizing our lists and will plan to get these out to you by Tuesday, August 16th. If any families are not returning and haven't told us please update us immediately as class divisions are greatly affected by knowing exactly who will be here. 


Sincerely, Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


651-492-7106, ext. 103

[email protected] 




Upcoming Dates 
Save the Date  
25 - 4:00 - 6:00 PM, Open House
25 - 6:30 PM, School Board Meeting


1 - 8 AM, Welcome Back Kaffeeklatsch
5 - Labor Day, NO SCHOOL
6 - 6:30 PM, PTO Meeting followed by Info Night
9 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch
15 - 6:30 PM, Curriculum Night
20 - 6:30 PM, New Parent Night Out
22 - 6:30 PM, School Board Meeting
23 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch
4 - 6:30 PM, PTO Meeting
14 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch
14 - PTO Auflauf Cook-Off
20 & 21 - NO SCHOOL
27 - 6:30 PM, School Board Meeting
28 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch


OpenHouseOpen House 
Meet The Teacher 

This is your opportunity to greet your new teacher and drop off school supplies.
 Teachers will be in their classrooms from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.   

Teachers will not have curriculum information for you that day.  Please put Thursday, September 15th at 6:30 PM on your calendar as the day to come and get a comprehensive overview of curriculum and routines for the school year.     

At the Open House you will also have the opportunity to pick-up a school-year calendar put together by the PTO. The calendar includes school, PTO and GAI important dates and events. It is 
available to everyone for a small suggested donation to help defray printing costs.


Staffing Updates 
Restructuring of Front Office

We have done some restructuring of responsibilities in the office over the summer and want to keep you updated on who is there and how they can help you. In a previous message you were already introduced to Sarah Bailey, Site Administrative Manager, below are the other changes.


You will see Stefanie Berres much more than last year.  Her position moves from .5 to .8. She adds Events Coordinator and coordinating communication to her former responsibilities as Data Coordinator and Powerschool Administrator. Stefanie has seen the office and school transition many times over the last six years and we're grateful for her leadership and stability.  


Congratulations to Annie Berge on her new position as Orientation and First Year Programs Graduate Assistant at Hamline University. Annie's last day at the school will be August 26th. We're grateful to Annie for the friendly and gracious presence she brought to all for whom she was the voice and the face of the school and for the leadership she provided in Admissions and Kindergarten enrollment. She will be missed and we wish her the best in her future endeavors. 


A big thank you to Wera Mohns Patten and Gwendolyn Stangl who previously coordinated lunch and Kindergarten Plus.     Wera covered for Gwendolyn when she went on maternity leave. She will be returning to Germany in the fall. Gwendolyn will be home with her beautiful, healthy twins Ivan and Gemma. 


Molly Kalda will be joining us as Office Coordinator. Hers will be the first face to greet you at the front desk and the most likely voice to answer on the telephone. She comes with a strong background of working with children through after-school program coordination as well as strong office skills.  Please greet and welcome Molly when you come. 


Amy Davis is known to you as Special Education Teacher. This year she'll have another role at the school in addition - .3 of her position is dedicated to administrative support.  Her title there is Assistant to the Director. I can not be more overjoyed for the organization and attention to detail that Amy is already bringing to many tasks to improve structure, predictability and routine to many of the tasks which come through the office. 


Carol Mecklenburg will be serving as our school psychologist this year. We are grateful for the extensive background she brings in both counseling and assessment. She will be working closely with our special education team. 


A thank you and good-bye to Susan Kelley who served as school psychologist for many years.  Susan is well remembered by many students for the years she did Character Education classes in Kindergarten and First Grade.

Facilities Committee Update
Long-Term Planning 


Look for more information this week for an update from the Facilities Committee on long-term planning and building needs for the school.


Thank You Volunteers!      
Volunteers Keep Busy This Summer

The danger of course of expressing thanks is overlooking some of the many phenomenal people who give generously of their time and skills to serve the school. This week we draw attention to some groups that never really took a break in their volunteer hours over the summer, but have been working hard to have infrastructure in place for students when they return in the fall. 


The Amity Committee consisting of Ina Elliot, Nicole Grenz, Darcy Rindelaub, Mary-Fred Bausman-Watkings and Andrea Zibble have been in steady correspondence to insure that 14 host familes are lined up for our new 14 Amity interns. The attention to detail to insure that everyone is picked up from the airport and settled in is phenomenal. It is hard to speak to how vital to our ability to provide quality education this volunteer work is.  


Britta Walker is single-handedly responsible for creating a schedule for the school. Britta has put in countless hours ensuring schedules that meet the needs of students and teachers and optimize teachers abilities to support each other and students abilities to have daily routines that maximize their learning potential.  The schedule is a huge piece of infrastructure for the school and is a gift to all of us from Britta. 


The Technology Committee is crucial to teachers and students having access to computers. Peter Clark facilitated the donation of 12 desk tops that will greatly increase student access in the lower grades in particular. Jesse Zibble maintains our server, gives technical advice to all who ask and has played a crucial role in the school staying functional technologically.  Last year, Jesse came in regularly to deal with all technical issues that surfaced. Thanks also to Peter Huxmann, Aaron Grenz and Joel Westacott for their active service on this committee.  


Rob Hennelly, Marcus Sheire, Rich Swedberg, Colin Halpenny and Chris Weimholt worked with new Site Administrative Manager, Sarah Bailey and her dad, Paul Brandt to rent a truck and bring in new banks of lockers to be installed for our expanding middle school. 


We also look forward to introducing you to a new revitalized Sustainability Council under the leadership of Amy Eian and Elise Amel. 


We're grateful to the members of library committee who worked to keep German literature accessible to our community throughout the summer.  


This list of summer volunteer help is NOT exhaustive.  The quality of our school is a reflection of the many hands and hearts that help shape it.  THANK YOU!



Performing Arts Fundraising Update 
Goal Exceeded

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the all the families who chipped in to help us cruise safely past our goal of $15,000 to be matched to fund the Performing Arts Program. The current thermometer reflects $15,603. That is a great showing of support from our community. We're grateful for sustenance of this successful program.


We think middle school families will be especially excited about the musicways Performing Arts programming is being integrated into middle school curriculum.  


School Start Time Update 
Make Sure Your Child is on Time to Learn

Students need to be settled into their classrooms ready to learn by 8:15 AM. That's not the same as slipping in the front door. 

One change from last year is that we will close the front door and you will need to sign in late students at 8:10 AM. Please make carpool plans accordingly now - 8:11 is late.  

Students must be in their actual classrooms at 8:15. Being to school on time or early helps your child socially and academically. Late children disrupt the smooth start of the day for the entire community. Let's take on punctuality as a goal together.


VolunteerDayVolunteer Day - Help Get the School Ready of Class 
Friday, August 19th

There is still a lot to be done to get classrooms ready for students.  Furniture and lockers need to be cleaned, napping mats need to be sorted, walls need to be prepped for painting, and much, much more! If you are interested learn more and/or sign-up here. Both TCGIS and the PTO are now using VolunteerSpot to schedule volunteer activities. 

Cleaning and moving that is accomplished by parents this week, will allow teachers to focus on curriculum and planning for the 
VolunteerSpot Logo next week.

Can't make it on Friday?You can still help out - w
e're keeping a to-do list on a white board in the office, so if you can, stop by this week - we'll be able to find a task for you!  

The Elternbrief is published electronically Wednesdays throughout the school-year and on an as needed basis at other times. Submissions are due by 3 PM on Mondays. Content printed at the discretion of the TCGIS administration.