Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

 October 6, 2011

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Cereal Boxes Needed for Martinstag
:: New Electronics Policy
:: Facilities Committee Information Night
:: Kinderclub Open on School Release Days
:: TCGIS Inclusivity Task Force Meeting
:: Introducing the 2011-12 Elternkontakts
:: Chinook Books for Sale
:: Student Directory Coming Soon
:: Outreach to Prospective Families
:: Auflauf Cook-off and Community Dinner Tickets on Sale
:: Picture Day Update
:: TCGIS Lice Policy
:: Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
Annika Fjelstad

Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Director


Dear Families,


The best way to keep TCGIS strong and financially viable for years to come is to recruit new students and, of course, retain them once they come. The Board has set a goal to start a third Kindergarten class for the 2012-2013 school year. Because word of mouth is our strongest, most effective and most affordable outreach effort, this goal will take a community effort. As a way of measuring our collective success we'll be keeping a tally in Elternbrief of the number of families that have registered for tours, information sessions and visits, as well as enrollment forms received. See below for upcoming outreach efforts that you can help us with.

We are grateful to have been able to schedule hearing and vision screeners to come to the school on December 13th. The recommended protocol is to check both vision and hearing for Kindergartners, first graders and fifth graders. We will give you more information as we approach that date.


We have recently formalized our policy on electronics at school. Please discourage your child from bringing electronics to school, or, help him or her find a place to keep them in backpacks if needed for afterschool use.    


We need to evaluate and adapt our pick-up and drop-off routines to accommodate the increased amount of cars, parents and children in the parking lot. Please see below for ways we all can coordinate for efficient and safe drop offs and pickups.   


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


Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


Annika Fjelstad  

651-492-7106, ext. 103




UpcomingDatesUpcoming Dates
Save the Date  Calendar
12 - 4 PM, Information session for prospective  families
12 - 6 PM TCGIS Inclusivity Task Force Meeting
13 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 
14 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch
14 - 6 PM, PTO Auflauf Cook-Off 
17 - 2 PM, Pre-school teacher open house
18 - 6:30 PM, Facilities Committee Information Night 
20 & 21 - NO SCHOOL
- Author Monika Schröder visits TCGIS
- 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families  
27 - 6:30 PM, School Board meeting
28 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch
28 - 2 PM, Tour for pre-school teachers
29 - Halloween & Fall Festival
30 - 2 PM, Information session for prospective families

8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families
3 -
Parent Teacher Conferences- PM Only (school open)
4 - NO SCHOOL Parent Teacher Conferences
10 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families
17 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families
- 6:30 PM, Information session for prospective families
22 6:30 PM, School Board meeting


For the complete school calendar, click here.

Cereal Boxes Needed for Art Class
Boxes needed next week for Martinstag celebration!
10-6 Martinstag

Please bring your empty cereal boxes and round cheese and oatmeal boxes to school!  We will be needing them NEXT WEEK for the elementary students' art classes, where we will be making lanterns for our Martinstag celebration in early November. You can send them to school with your child, or bring them up to the Art room. Thank you!
ElectronicsPolicyElectronics Policy
New policy for electronics at school

It is the TCGIS policy to forbid forms of electronics on school premises during school hours, except for emergency communication before and/or after school. Forms of electronics include all smart phones, MP3 players and other hand-held video or gaming devices. This policy is an effort to ensure equality among students as well as to prevent theft, damage and/or loss. The consequence for violation of the above policy is that the student will be asked to leave the device in the office for the remainder of the day. Students will be escorted to the office to leave their device in a pre-established site. The child may pick up the device at the end of the school day, and the parent will be informed that the device was confiscated. It is permitted to store an electronic device in the off-position in a backpack or locker strictly for after-school use. Further exceptions include the use of such devices for the purposes of special education as well as teacher pre-approved academic use.

Facilities Committee Information Night
Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 PM

The TCGIS Facilities Committee would like to invite you to an information night to learn more about the committee's long-term facilities planning process. At the meeting, we will introduce the committee members, share the new facility search process, discuss the long-term needs of the school and more. The meeting will be held at TCGIS on Tuesday, October 18th at 6:30 PM. Please RSVP so we can appropriately plan space for the meeting.  
If you have any questions, please contact Marcus Sheire, TCGIS Board Parent Liaison, at marcussheire@comcast.net or Rob Hennelly, Facilities Committee Chair, at rjhkmm@mac.com.
Kinderclub Operating on School Release Days
October 20th and 21st

Kinderclub will operate from 8am to 6pm on October 20th and 21st if minimum enrollment is met. The cost per day per child is $35.00. Please contact Babett Larimer at blarimer@gai-mn.org with questions.
Thank you!
Lunch server Kelby Cook talks to classes about American Sign Language

Thanks to Kelby Cook and American Sign Language interpreter Dawn Cardarelle for visiting each of our classrooms and helping kids get comfortable knowing how to communicate with Kelby. Kids have had great questions and teachers have been appreciative of Kelby's willingness to share her story.
TCGIS Inclusivity Task Force
First Meeting Wednesday, October 12

TCGIS's Inclusivity Task Force, begun in spring 2011, is ready to reconvene this fall. The Task Force seeks to improve racial and ethnic diversity at TCGIS, to develop curriculum to make it more reflective of all cultures and to find ways to make the culture and climate at TCGIS more inclusive. Its mission: deepening the extent to which TCGIS fosters an environment that invites, welcomes, and sustains families from diverse backgrounds and experiences, to more closely reflect the demographics of the Twin Cities. Anita Ratwik, Task force and TCGIS Board member, has prepared and submitted a grant proposal to fund some of these efforts. Members from last year and other parents interested in working towards this mission are welcome to attend our first meeting of the school year on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. Free childcare will be provided. Anyone unable to attend but interested in participating is urged to contact Barbara Holmes, bgholmes@q.com.
Introducing the 2011-12 Elternkontakte
Parents assist teachers in TCGIS classrooms

Thank you to all this year's Elternkontakte. Please recognize these parents in your classrooms as they will be assisting your teacher with communication, coordinating parent volunteers for field trips, gathering classroom materials, organizing social events for your class and addressing questions from parents as needed.


KA Marilee Tuite and Annegret Theis

KB Cyndi Miller and Angela Schulz

1A Nancy Nordeen and Alexandra Weeding

1B Allison Burkhow and Ilona Lange

2A Lisa Erickson and Patrick Schmid

2B Sara Wright and Tessa Nagel

3A Colleen Grogan and Elaine White     

3B Neala Shager and Sue Westacott

4A Barbara Holmes and Elvira Houben-Schlag

4B Rebecca Johnson and Carmen Dahlberg

5th Nicole Grenz                                      

6th Silke Moeller                        

7th Cheryl Meyer

Specialists- Karin Spencer


Following is a calendar of events for EKs and Classroom Support Committee to assist with during the upcoming year:


Halloween & Fall Festival (October 29)
Parent Teacher Conferences Evening Meal (November 3)

Martinstag (November 7)

Staff Appreciation Potluck (December 16)
Parent Teacher Conferences Evening Meal (March 15)
Maskenball (February 4th)
Year-End Picnic (June 7th)

Don't Forget to Buy Your Chinook Book!
Available at the front deak
Chinook Book Cover
Buy your Chinook Book at the front desk for $20 cash or check payable to TCGIS PTO. You save on purchases around town at local and sustainable businesses, and the TCGIS PTO keeps half the proceeds ($10 from each book) to support our school. Plus, this year's Chinook Book features 300 additional mobile coupons via the new Chinook Book mobile app included with each book. Questions? Contact Kate Olson at
kathryn.a.olson@gmail.com or 651-216-8680.
Student Directory Coming Soon!
Please check your family's information

We are in the process of getting the school directory together. Starting next Wednesday we will have a printed list of each family's demographics and information in the office for you to review. Please take a minute to stop by and initial that the data is correct and check the permission box next to your family's directory information. Upon request from many families we are also publishing both parents' or guardians' e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers and if applicable addresses. If you wish for the student directory not to contain any of this additional data, please cross out the relevant field(s). Thank you!
Lunchroom Safety
Please pack lunches in non-breakable containers

We have had a few incidents of glass breaking in the lunchroom. In order to maintain a safe environment for our students, please pack your child's lunches in non-breakable containers. Thank you!
ProspectiveFamiliesOutreach to Prospective Families
Upcoming outreach efforts at TCGIS

Tours for pre-School teachers: On Monday, October 17th and Friday, October 28th, TCGIS will be hosting tours and information sessions targeted at pre-school teachers. These teachers are often influential figures in helping parents consider and prioritize Kindergarten options. Again, a personal connection and a personal testimonial is likely to be what catches a pre-school teacher's attention. Please print the attached flyer, or ask for a hard copy in the office to hand to a pre-school teacher in your neighborhood or faith community who might be interested in learning more about our program. Please pass on contact information to Annika at afjelstad@tcgis.org for people you contact.


Tours and information sessions for prospective families: We have tours every Thursday and two Information Sessions scheduled for Wednesday, October 12th at 4PM and Sunday, October 30th at 2PM. Please invite parents of 4-year-olds you know to check our website to register. In addition, we suggest you invite prospective parents to Kaffeeklatsch on October 14th and 28th. Children will have the opportunity to visit Kindergarten and parents can gain perspectives and testimonials from current parents.


Parent volunteers: We'd like to build a core of current parents willing to follow up on school visits and  information sessions with cards and calls. If you like to talk about our school and would prefer volunteer work that you can do in English on your own schedule and from your own home, give your name to Annika at afjelstad@tcgis.org. You could play a crucial role in our outreach effort.

TCGIS Auflauf Cook-off and Community Dinner Tickets on Sale Now! 
Friday, October 14, 6pm-8pm


Get out the casserole 9-22 auflaufdishes! It's time to compete in the 3rd Annual Auflauf Cook-Off.The dish to beat is Lisa Friedman's Kugel, which won top honors last year from both judges and attendees. 


We need Volunteers and more Aufläufe! You have until midnight on Wednesday, October 12th to sign-up to enter an Auflauf. We also need some help. Please sign up at VolunteerSpot. We especially need servers and kid-room attendants for the 3rd and 4th shifts! Hey, 6th and 7th graders, you can help too! Think about serving Auflauf. 


Our celebrity judges will choose winners in three categories: German Traditional, American Traditional, and the Rest of the World. Once the judging gets going, we will all join in a community dinner. Don't forget to take notes and vote for your favorite in the People's Choice. 

Announcing the Celebrity Judges:

Leubbert Kruizenga - GACC

Martin Ziegler - owner of the  Glockenspiel 

Kristen Boldon - blogger for Minnesota Monthly

Lisa Friedman - TCGIS Board Member, Chair

Marcus Sheire - TCGIS Board Member

Sarah Bailey - TCGIS Staff

This year we are introducing the "Non-Judgmental" Dessert Buffet - for those who enjoy cooking but not the competition. 


Cook-off and Dessert Buffet participants both receive a reduced ticket price. Tickets are on sale now. Space is limited! The Cook-off will be at the Salvation Army Community Center at 2727 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis.


Click here for more details and competitor info.

Picture Day Update
Retakes coming up soon

Thank you to all students, staff and volunteers for making this week's Picture Day run so smoothly! The photographer made us aware that there was some confusion about the choice of background for ordering pictures. If your child's envelope was missing or the box for special background color was checked, but it was not noted on the ordering form and the extra payment of $4.00 was not included, the student's photos will have the standard grey background. We will let you know about the date for retakes in the next Elternbrief. Questions? Contact Stefanie at sberres@germanschool-mn.org.
LicePolicyTCGIS Lice Policy
Please check your child carefully

Keeping lice infestations under control is a responsibility of the entire community. Our school lice policy is that if nits or lice are found, the child may not return to the classroom until s/he is treated and checked. The child's head may be treated according to an approach found preferable by the family. The child must be nit-free as verified by school staff to return to the classroom. Even if nits have been killed by treatment, they must be removed.


You will receive notification if lice are found within your child's classroom. Although we do checks at school, we do not have the capacity to check each child carefully. For not only your sake, but for the sake of the community, please check your child carefully. Also, once a child has been nit-free, you must continue to monitor for up to 21 days to catch any possible reoccurrence.  


Resources regarding lice at TCGIS: 

DropoffPickupDrop-off and Pick-up
Help us keep kids safe in parking lot

Drop-off: As we approach 8:10, families get anxious to get to school on time, lines back up in the parking lot and safety decreases. A few changes in stopping and parking routines will help everyone arrive safer, calmer and more punctually.

  • If you are a parent who likes to arrive early and come in with your child(ren), please park on the far side of the loop as opposed to right next to the school. You'll be able to get out much more easily when you want to go. Children who are being dropped off later won't have to brave as much traffic. Cars coming later will have places to park without needing to wait for families dropping off and not parking.  
  • When dropping kids off, please pull forward to the very bottom of the loop and around the corner in a way that allows other parents to get by you on the left.

A staff member will be outside next week in the mornings to help direct traffic to one of three drop-off spots near the wood chips. If these spots are full, please pull into a parking spot and accompany your child(ren) through the parking lot to the wood chips.


Pick-Up: It is very difficult for teachers to keep kids waiting for their parents in line when their peers who have been dismissed to parents are playing nearby. We encourage you to linger and chat with other parents if you are able. We ask, however, once you pick up your child(ren), that you supervise them and respect the following rules:

  • Please keep your child away from the class lines and between the four-square sidewalk and the west fence.

  • Please keep your children out of the bushes by Metro Sound. This will keep them in your line of sight and help us retain a good working relationship with our neighbors.

We want the time after school to be fun for everyone and we appreciate your help in keeping the children safe.

Amity Interns 

Anita Bierschneider and Katharina Tengen


Amity- Anita Bierschneider
Anita Bierschneider in an intern in Frau Grimm's second grade class. She is staying with the Spencers. Anita is studying German and Geography for the German "Realschule" in Eichstätt. She enjoys traveling, listening to music, meeting friends, going to the theater, reading, and movies.      


Amity Katharina 

Our next intern is Katharina Tengen. She is studying English and history at the Leibniz Universität Hannover in Northern Germany. She is working all year in Frau Eufinger's kindergarten class. She is staying with the Hauth-Schmids. In her free time she loves to read, travel, go to the theater, play sports, and spend time with friends and family.  

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.