Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

 November 3, 2011

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Help us Promote TCGIS Kindergarten
:: After School Activities Instructors Needed
:: Scrip Update
:: Parent-Teacher Conferences
:: TCGIS Martinstag Performances and Lanterns
:: PTO Craft & Bake Sale
:: Update from the TCGIS Lunchroom
:: Community Events
AnnikaProfile- cropped
Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Directo
Liebe Eltern,


Trick or Treat for UNICEF was a success! From the boxes collected so far we have $492 to send to UNICEF to help bring medical supplies to underserved children. Thanks to the PTO, the 6th and 7th graders and to Katie Stephens for the organization and education about this project. Thanks also to the third graders in Yvonne Kuhn's class, who are the official money counters, and to the children who participated.


Help spread the word about Kindergarten options! If possible TCGIS would like to have enough applicants to open a third Kindergarten in 2012-2013. We also still have spots in this year's Kindergarten. Talking to your friends and neighbors about the school is not only the most affordable form of advertising but also the most effective. See below for ways to help us meet our enrollment goals!


Last year an Inclusivity Committee came together with the mission of "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." One of the outgrowths of this committee is a Culture Curriculum committee. One of our tasks is to identify, acquire and if necessary translate quality children's literature that teaches the social studies objectives of exposing children to stories from a variety of cultures. We would love assistance from anyone who has an interest in pulling together booklists or translating simple picture books for us. Our goal is to enrich and deepen our curriculum while ensuring authenticity in sharing stories from cultures around the world. Please contact me if you see yourself being involved in this project.


Very special thanks to the Authorizing Committee at the Germanic American Institute who have worked phenomenally hard in putting together a top-rate application to continue as our Authorizer for the State of Minnesota. Nancy Bostrom, Mary-Fred Bausman-Watkins, Jeana Anderson and Christian Engelblom have put in long hours on the school's behalf. We are waiting to hear from the state whether they will be approved.   

Thank you for all you do to support our school,


Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


Annika Fjelstad  

651-492-7106, ext. 103

[email protected] 


UpcomingDatesUpcoming Dates
Save the Date  Calendar
3 - Parent Teacher Conferences, PM ONLY
4 - NO SCHOOL Parent Teacher Conferences
6 - 4pm, St. Martinstag celebration at Landmark Center
10 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families
17 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families
- 6:30 PM, Info session for prospective families
18 - 2:30-5:30 PM, PTO Craft & Bake Sale
19 - 9 AM-12 PM, PTO Craft & Bake Sale
22 6:30 PM, School Board meeting



1 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

5 - 6:30 PM, Info session for prospective families

8 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

13 - Vision and hearing screenings

15 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

15 - 6:30 PM, School Board meeting

19-30 - NO SCHOOL 


For the complete school calendar, click here.

KindergartenSpread the Word About Kindergarten
Help us open a third Kindergarten next year!

Most people who come to TCGIS have a personal connection to the school. We need your help to meet our goals for enrollment next year! If you know a nursery school, faith community, food co-op or coffee shop where you might publicize upcoming information sessions about our school, please print out the attached flier or contact the front desk for print copies for distribution. Together we have contacts in many neighborhoods. So far we've received 13 Enrollment Forms and had 20 visitors for tours and information sessions. Thanks for your assistance in sending a few more families of prospective Kindergarteners our way. Keeping classes full stabilizes our school financially.

TCGIS Directory
PDF Attached here, OR Sign up for a hard copy in the front office

The directory is finally here! To minimize paper usage we are only sending it out in pdf format. It is attached here. In addition to a staff directory, three different family contact lists have been generated in this document. First, there is a class list for each student. Next, there is a list of students by last name with more complete contact information. Finally, there is a list of students by last name, arranged by zip code. 
If you are not able to print, you can place a special order for a hard copy with the office by signing up at the front desk. The sign-up sheet will be available until November 10th, including during Parent-Teacher conferences this week.
After School Activities
Instructors needed for Session 2

It's that time again! We are looking for instructors to offer after school activities for Session 2. Classes will be from January 9th through March 15th. Pay rates vary from $15-40/hour depending on the number of kids that sign up for your class. If you are interested in offering a class, please stop by the office for the form you will need to fill out. Student registration will begin in December.
Scrip Update
Pick up a Scrip brochure at the front desk-- Invite your family/friends to participate!


As the holiday season approaches, consider helping TCGIS as you shop! Did you know that if you purchase gift cards through Scrip for the stores you usually shop at, those retailers will give a percentage back to TCGIS? It doesn't cost you a penny more, but they give anywhere from 1-20% of your purchase back to the school! There are literally hundreds of gift cards available: iTunes, Best Buy, Home Depot, Cub Foods, CVS, Barnes & Noble, Target, Amazon, Lands End, Chipotle, Starbucks - the list goes on and on...  


You can buy gift cards as gifts, or to use yourself for your holiday and day-to-day shopping. Whether you're planning your holiday dinners, doing some last minute home fix-ups, need a few generic gifts to have on hand, or just want a dinner out amidst the craziness, there's Scrip for every purchase.


I use Rainbow Foods for groceries, Office Depot for my company's office supplies, Amazon for nearly ANY need, Holiday for gasoline, Noodles & Co. for mom-daughter dinners out, Target (for everything), and Menards for all of our home improvement projects (just to name a few!).


More information can be found here. Don't forget to use the school's enrollment code when you sign up so TCGIS gets credit for your purchases - it is 4CA2AE9714L14. The next order is due November 8th, and will be ready for pickup on November 16th. Place your orders online, and bring a check to school by the 8th. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions:    


Deb Helmel

6th grade parent & Scrip Coordinator

[email protected]


Amity Interns
Introducing Miriam Kopfer

Amity- MiriamKopfer
Miriam Kopfer is another one of our interns. She is studying English, French, and German as a foreign language at the University of Augsburg. Miriam is working in Frau Knoll's third grade class this year. She is staying with the Schoonovers. Miriam's hobbies are sports (running, volleyball), cooking, listening to music, spending time with friends, traveling, reading books, languages, and working with children.  
ConferencesParent-Teacher Conferences Thursday and Friday
Registration Now Closed

Remember that parent-teacher conferences are today, November 3, and tomorrow, November 4th. Teachers are looking forward  to meeting with you to share observations and insights about working with your student. 
TCGIS Celebrates Martinstag
Join Us November 6 at the Landmark Center

Performances: The 2nd grade and the String Group will be performing at the Landmark Center on November 6. The Program is as follows:

4:15 Welcome
4:15 - 4:45 Lantern making/music: TCGIS String Group performance
5:00 - 5:30 2nd Grade & TCGIS Consort performance

Join us, bring your lanterns, wear your TCGIS t-shirts, and sing along and parade with us.

Lanterns: The lanterns that K-3 and 4B students made in art class will go home today. TCGIS battery lights will be available for students to use at the Landmark Center, and can be checked out from at the TCGIS booth. Please return them after the parade, or check them back in to the front desk at school by Wednesday, November 9.

Volunteers: There will be volunteer opportunities at the Landmark Center. We need parents to help out at the TCGIS booth, help with lantern making from 4:15-5:00, and guide people to the parade at 5:30. Please contact Valentin Solakhau, [email protected], if you can help with any of these things.

Attention 2nd Grade & String Group Parents: Please bring your children to the Landmark Center with costumes at 3:30pm on Sunday. The children will get familiar with location and the stage, and we will practice one more time before the performance starts. Please keep in mind that Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.
PTO Craft & Bake Sale
Coming Up on November 18th-19th

 PTO Logo Color

The 3rd Annual TCGIS-PTO Craft and Bake Sale is just around the corner. This year's sale will be held on Friday, November 18 from 2:30 PM-5:30 PM and on Saturday, November 19 from 9AM-noon in the TCGIS Cafeteria.  
New this year will be the addition of children's crafts at children's prices. There will be cake and other treats sold by the slice with coffee or cider.

For more information, and to register to donate or volunteer, please click here. If you have any questions contact Heidi Zimmermann at [email protected].
Update from the TCGIS Lunchroom
Improvements to the Lunch Program

We've had an exciting and challenging year in the lunchroom! We want to let you know about some of our efforts to improve lunch and make sure it is operating as smoothly as possible.


There have been a few food shortages this year, resulting first from children taking vegetarian meals when they ordered regular (and vice versa) and second from a shortage in the food delivered by the caterer. We have actively taken steps to prevent these issues from happening in the future: first, we have implemented a card system to make sure that each child picks up only the food that they order. The students must pick up and present either a "Regular" or "Vegetarisch" card in order to receive their food. This has the added benefit of helping to facilitate communication with our server Kelby.  We have also implemented a system of detailed checks to make sure that our caterer has provided the correct amount of food, and have been able to communicate with them about problems with shortages.


The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade lunch is our largest lunch session, and we thank all of those students for being patient through the sometimes long lines and crowds! The new card system has helped us speed up the process of serving lunch, and we have also rearranged traffic flow in the lunchroom to help make lines move as quickly as possible.


We are currently in the process of transferring the information from our old lunch database to a new data system. We are excited about the opportunity to use a new database to help us communicate with parents about accounts and make the whole lunch process more efficient.


We would love to hear your ideas and feedback about lunch! Please contact Leigh York at [email protected] with any questions, comments, or feedback.

Spielmannzug MN Community Events
Karneval Season begins November 11!

Friday on November 11, 2011 at 11:11am Karneval season officially begins. We open the season with Plucking the Prinz on Friday, November 11 above the Glockenspiel at 7:00pm. This event is only $5 (or free with a Prinzenkroenung ticket!). Festivities include a door prize, raffle, passing of the boot, music, dancing, and other merriment! 


Saturday, November 12th at 6:00pm is the Prinzenkrnung, where the new "Prinz and Hoff" are crowned for the 2011-2012 Karneval Season. This event takes place at the Kelly Inn (161 St. Anthony Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103). The cost is free for children under 5, $12 for children 5-17 and $32 for adults, and includes dinner, dancing, and door prizes.

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.