Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

 September 8, 2011

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Introducing the Amity Interns
:: Parent Satisfaction Survey Results
:: Construction Update
:: Grants Committee Meeting
:: Curriculum Night
:: After School Activities Coming Soon
:: New Faces in the Lunch Room
:: TCGIS Strings Group
:: Magazine & Book Collection
Annika Fjelstad

Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Director


Dear Families,


We are looking forward to greeting you next week Thursday, September 15th for Curriculum Night. This is a night to come and get an overview from your child's teacher of schedule, topics being covered, skills being assessment, homework routines and other themes that give shape to your child's day at TCGIS. More detailed information is included below.   


On Friday from 1:00-2:00 we are happy to be hosting a delegation from our sister city, Neuss, along with General Counsel from Germany, Christa Tiefenbacher-Hudson, and the president from the German American Chamber of Commerce and sister city coordinator, Linda Michel.  


There's a map in the entryway that shows where families from TCGIS live. Many families put in their own pin on Open House Night. If you don't show up on the map, please add your pin when you pass by. Many people are interested about the far range from which we draw families as well as being able to see neighborhoods where families from school cluster. We want you to be part of the picture!  


We are happy to send you the link to the 2011-2012 Parent Manual here. It explains a number of our policies and procedures. Please take the time to skim it.


Sincerely, Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


651-492-7106, ext. 103





UpcomingDatesUpcoming Dates 
Save the Date  
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


For the complete school calendar, click here.

Amity Interns 

Introducing Bernadette Pfefferer 



We would like to introduce our interns for those of you who are not "fans" of our Facebook page.  Our first intern is Bernadette Pfefferer.  She is studying philology (English and Spanish) at the University of Augsburg. Bernadette lives with her family (parents and two brothers) in Bavaria. She spent the last six months studying in Spain. She will be working this fall in Frau Kuhn's third grade class. She will be staying with the Elliots. Her hobbies include music, dancing, singing, going out with friends, traveling, and working with children.

Parent Satisfaction Survey 
93% Satisfaction

Each year since the school started we have done a Parent Satisfaction Survey. Highlights from this year include that 93% of survey participants are satisfied with their children's educational experience at TCGIS and 91% indicated their children will return.  We also did some exploration this year as to how well we are fulfilling our mission for our students to become active and informed world citizens. Over three-quarters of survey participants believe TCGIS prepares its students to be informed and active citizens. 


We are also pleased that our already high rate of parent involvement increased last year to 87% and that 91% were satisfied with their volunteer experience. As a school we're pleased for the affirmation of things that are working for families and grateful for the feedback of ways we can improve our performance. As a growing school we are a work in progress constantly learning from our experience and setting new goals.  More detailed information is available here.


A huge thank you to Nancy Bostrom who has conducted this survey for the school each year since the founding of the school. Nancy would love to partner with some new volunteers in doing this survey and make a secession plan as her son reaches graduation age. Please let Annika know if you would like to help, particularly if you have some assessment or evaluation background.   


Students win prizes in summer reading program


A big congratulations to second grader Andrew Lehnen, who took the Grand Prize in our summer reading program!  For reading 16 German books, Andrew received a €10 gift certificate to Amazon.de.  Fourth Grader Innokenti Shuran took second place with 13 books; Michalina Solakhava, 5th Grade, took third with 10 books.  All participating children got to choose a prize from the library prize basket every time they read five German books, and brought in their completed and signed reading charts during summer library hours.  Prizes varied from small toys to chocolate treats to books.  Thanks to all who participated, and congratulations again to Andrew!

An Introduction to TCGIS' Shop with Scrip Fundraiser


 SCRIP Photo







What Is Scrip?

Scrip is a term that means "substitute money".  When you purchase scrip, you're purchasing negotiable gift certificates and prepaid cards that are used just like cash. You can use scrip to purchase everyday expenses like groceries, clothing, gas, and other essentials, and with every purchase, you earn revenue for our organization.  The gift cards are the same cards you would get if you walked into one of the stores to purchase one, but with one important difference.....


How scrip generates revenue for TCGIS

The Great Lakes Scrip Center acts on behalf of churches, schools and other non-profit organizations to purchase large quantities of gift cards from grocery stores, department stores, and other retailers. Because the cards are purchased with cash up front, the participating retailers offer a substantial discount. TCGIS families & friends order cards online at face value & remit a check to the TCGIS office.  The discount - from two to fifteen percent or more -  is the school's revenue.  Last year we earned over $1,000 for the school from Scrip sales!


Scrip is "shopping cart fundraising"

Scrip is a popular fundraiser because families don't have to sell anything. Organization members produce revenue by making regular household purchases they would make anyway. Groceries, clothing, toys, gifts, even gasoline can be purchased with scrip.


Find Out More

There are hundreds of participating retailers!  Check out www.shopwithscrip.com for the full retailer list and to place orders. Contact your scrip coordinator listed below for any questions. Then put your shopping dollars to work for our organization!  Our first order is DUE 9/13/11.


Twin Cities German Immersion School

Enrollment Code:  4CA2AE9714L14

Deb Helmel, Scrip Coordinator

debh@siewertcabinet.com or 612-729-8415


GAI Event - KinoKneipe
7:00 PM Friday, September 16

Grab a beer, socialize, and use your German! 7:00 PM conversation hour, 8:00 PM screening of "Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed" (Reiniger, 1926) This silhouette film, which took Reiniger three years to make, was the first animated feature film and was based on The Arabian Nights.


The film will be shown in German with English subtitles and both German and non-German speakers are welcome. Get more information here.

Thank you!
Volunteers keep TCGIS garden green


Thanks to Heidi Zimmerman, Ina Elliott, Katy Jackson Huebsch, Jo Nelson, Kordula Coleman, Cornelia Fritsch, Kate Olson, and the Meyer and Feilmeyer families for watering the raised beds and rain garden during the summer. Your efforts have helped to make the school yard look very colorful.


Thanks also to Michelle Sheire for the new look of the Elternbrief and support to administration in upgrading our communications, Sylvia Oxenham for leading a tour for our visitors from Neuss and coordinating our strings program, and the PTO for organizing information night and helping parents connect with committees and projects that draw on their skills and interests.

ConstructionUpdateLight Rail Construction
Wheeler/University intersection closed!

While progress on the light rail is exciting, it also causes congestion. Construction is now taking place on the North side of the roadLight Rail Train and you can no longer turn onto Wheeler from University. You will be able to cross University at Fry and at Fairview. You will need to turn onto Wheeler from the north. More detailed information about the construction timelines is provided here.

Grants Committee Meeting

New members welcome

The Grants Committee will meet on Monday, September 12 at 5:30. The committee is open to the public and would be happy to welcome new members with or without experience in seeking or writing grants or in general fundraising.

CurriculumNightCurriculum Night

Learn about your child's day at TCGIS

Curriculum Night is an opportunity to hear from your child's teacher about the classroom schedule and daily routine. We will have two concurrent sessions running from 6:30 to 6:55 and 7:00 to 7:25. Grades K-4 will repeat the same content in both sessions. The structure in grades 5-8 will be slightly different. 6:30 to 6:55 will give an overview of the middle school program as a whole. 7:00 to 7:25 will break into two groups: 5th grade and 6-7th grade. If you have a child in both the middle school program and the elementary program, we recommend that you attend the first session in middle school and the second session in the elementary school.


Childcare will be provided. Please register by sending an email to Gwendolyn Stangl at gstangel@tcgis.org. The cost will be $5 per family. We will accept younger siblings who are over three years of age if they attend with their school age sibling.

After School Activities
Classes Coming Soon

The school is excited to be restructuring our afterschool activities program. This year payment will be made directly to the school and the school will coordinate payment of teachers. We are looking forward to sending out our catalog of afterschool options on Tuesday, September 13th with a planned start date on Monday, October 3rd.

As a preview to some of our after school activities we would like to take the time to highlight our program Blumenkranz.

Blumenkranz is a dance troupe at TCGIS. It was founded in January 2011. In the short 1st season we did a lot of performances, and we are going to perform even more. This year, Blumenkranz will be offered as an after-school activity within a restructured after-school activities program at TCGIS. For more information on Blumenkranz and an update for the Performing Arts, click here.

New Faces in the Lunch Room
Leigh York and Kelby Cook Join TCGIS


We'd like to introduce you to Leigh York, our new Lunch and Office Coordinator. Leigh joined TCGIS two weeks ago and has become a familiar face behind the front desk as well as in the lunchroom. Leigh is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul and is preparing to embark upon her graduate studies in German Language and Culture. Her great ideas and hands-on approach have already made her an appreciated and integral part of our team. We're excited to have her with us and looking forward to a great school year. 

Our new Lunch Server, Kelby Cook, is a student at the Metro Deaf School and is excited about working with our community. She is deaf and communicates through sign language. An interpreter will be with her on-site until we have communication between her and the students running smoothly. Kelby is looking forward to working with the children and hopes to exchange some ASL for some German. We're excited to have her join our team and anticipate that our students will enjoy working with her.

TCGIS Strings Group   
Meeting Soon!

This is the 4th year of the TCGIS strings group. The group started with seven string players and was originally put together as part of the entertainment for the school's main fundraising event - the now famous "Maskenball". The group is lead by Sylvia Oxenham and Valentin Solakhau assists.

The main focus of our group is to have fun making music together. The majority of our string players follow the Suzuki method and as it happens most of the beginner pieces are based on traditional German folk songs. Although we practice pieces during our after school sessions the main aim is to learn to play together as a group. The children are therefore expected to come with their pieces prepared!


If you play violin, viola, cello or double bass and would like to join our group, come and join us next Friday, September 9th. We will meet right after school in the downstairs Kindergarten room. Bring your instrument and be prepared to jump in! For more information on the TCGIS Strings Group and how you can get involved, click here.



Daily Schedule 


Teachers begin Morning Circles at 8:15. Many classes have tight schedules to keep to get to specialist classes on time. Late kids disrupt the flow of the morning. Remember that we will close the front door at 8:10. If we buzz you in after we've closed the door, please make your first priority to help your child enter the classroom before 8:15. Next, please come back in and sign in as late. We apologize the closed door seems unfriendly. Our objective is to help classroom work start smoothly and on time.  

Magazine & Book Collection

Women's Advocates Logo
You stil have time to drop off your magazines and books for Women's Advocates!
As part of the TCGIS PTO's Family Volunteerism and Community Service theme we will collect donations for area non-profits at each meeting.


Women's Advocates is a safe place where battered women and their children can escape domestic violence. In addition to providing shelter, Women's Advocates provides advocacy, personalized support (including mental health therapy and aftercare services), education, and resources for nearly 1,000 women and children every year. Thank you for helping us make this new project successful!

Interested in coordinating a monthly collection? Sign-up here.


Educating Children for Informed and Active World Citizenship


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