Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

 December 1, 2011

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Last Scrip Order Before the Holidays!
:: PTO Meeting December 6
:: Order TCGIS Spirit Wear Tomorrow to Receive it for the Holidays!
:: TCGIS Photo Contest
:: Community Events
:: Buy Gifts Featuring Your Child's Artwork
:: TCGIS Directory Available Now
:: Permission Forms for Swimming Instruction During Sport
:: Sponsor a Student for Read to Feed
:: After School Activities Registration
:: Amity Host Homes Needed!
:: Audit Results
:: Holiday Shopping at Target Helps Our School
:: New Paraprofessionals at TCGIS
AnnikaProfile- cropped
Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Directo
Dear Families, 

Holidays at TCGIS Our vision is "Educating children for informed and active world citizenship. Andere hören, andere sehen, welt offen denken und handeln." We highly value studying and understanding cultures from around the world with a particular focus on German culture. Celebration of the Christmas season is an important shared experience for many with deep roots in German culture. As a community we face the challenge of immersing ourselves in a culture in which religious tradition is prominent while fulfilling our commitment as a public, state-funded school not to celebrate religious traditions. Our cultural program in December is guided by the following aims:

  • Create events that bring together the community. These events grow out of celebration of our academic curriculum and bring focus to the learning accomplishments of our students. We share food, performance and other academic and/or artistic accomplishments.
  • Expose students to a diversity of cultures.
  • Ensure that there is a balanced study of cultures throughout students' tenure at the school.      

Host Families Needed One of the highlights of the TCGIS experience is the extra one-on-one time that students are able to have with teaching staff, due to the Amity aides that we have in each classroom. An important way the school facilitates this program is through the generosity of families that serve as hosts for Amity interns. The outstanding participation in the Give to the Max campaign showed that our community is ready to make a financial commitment to this program. This must also be complemented by commitments from families to provide host homes and hospitality to interns. As our program grows the work of the committee in placing and supporting interns also expands. At this time the school is limited in its capacity to commit to maintaining the rate of one intern per class without additional support. If you've ever considered hosting an intern, but weren't sure the right moment was now, please consider letting the committee know you are open. Partial semester and temporary placements also help relieve the pressure on a number of families who have filled this role for years. Please contact [email protected] if you are able to help by hosting one of our new interns.    


Afterschool Activities We are proud to be sending out registration information for a great diversity of activities offered after school by members of our community. Our goal in offering afterschool activities is to provide a variety of affordable, enriching activities to TCGIS families with an equitable pricing structure. We are pleased this session to be able to reduce the fees on many classes. We do provide a set of classes that are cheaper than others because of the service that the students in these activities provide to the school and/or the core connection to enhancing our school's mission such as supporting children with homework. Please be reminded that there is a scholarship option for those who wish to participate but are not in a position to pay. Please see below for more information about registering for activities.


Thank you for all you do for the school,

Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


Annika Fjelstad  

651-492-7106, ext. 103

[email protected] 


UpcomingDatesUpcoming Dates
Save the Date  Calendar


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

6 - 6:30 PM, PTO Meeting 

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 




13 - NO SCHOOL- Teacher Work Day

14 - NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

18 - 5 PM, Info session for prospective families

26 - 6:30 PM, School Board meeting

29 - 2 PM, Info session for prospective families 

For the complete school calendar, click here.

Last Scrip Order Before the Holidays!
Order by December 6th

This is it - the last Scrip order before the Holidays. Orders are due Tuesday, December 6th, and will be available for pickup by December 14th.


We are behind in our proceeds from last year, but can make it up in a big way with some added participation this time around. If you'd like to help out, please visit the Scrip website to sign up and place your order. Please use enrollment code 4CA2AE9714L14 when you sign up so TCGIS gets credit for your purchases. Checks payable to TCGIS should be dropped off at the front desk.


There are hundreds of retailers who give us money every time you purchase a gift card - these are the same cards you get when you buy them in the store. Just purchase through our Scrip program, and the dollars really add up! Even if you don't want to GIVE a gift card, you can still help by purchasing the gift card & using it to make your purchases.    


Need stocking stuffers? iTunes, AMC Theaters, Subway, or Chipotle fit the bill

Teacher gifts? Try Barnes & Noble, Panera Bread, or Starbucks 

Hard to shop for person on your list? Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Target, or hundreds of restaurants should satisfy just about anyone.  

The most popular cards among our group include Bath & Body Works, Land's End, Home Depot, Kohl's, Walgreens, Best Buy, Office Depot, TJ Maxx/Marshalls, Sears, Holiday Gas, Macys, Cub Foods, and all cards listed above!


If you've used the Scrip program in the past, THANK YOU! Please encourage your friends, neighbors, and other TCGIS parents  to participate as well. There are some flyers at the front desk that summarize the program if you'd like a tangible reminder. It's an easy way to give TCGIS a financial boost! As always, if you have any questions about the program, please email [email protected], parent coordinator.

PTO Meeting
Tue., December 6, 6:30-8:00 PM at TCGIS

At the meeting next week, we will discuss a couple of funding requests, including a purchase for the staff, teachers and interns. We will also be clipping and organizing soup labels, box tops and milk caps. So if you have any, bring them!

Meeting Documents:

Please RSVP here so we can effectively plan on how to set up for the meeting. Also, use the RSVP to sign up for FREE babysitting-- you must sign up for babysitting.


Also please note that the January PTO Meeting originally scheduled for January 3 has been cancelled. There will be no PTO meeting in January.  

Order Your TCGIS Spirit Wear
Get your orders in tomorrow in order to receive spirit wear in time for the holidays

Spirit Wear is now available for sale in the office. There are sweatshirts, baseball caps, t-shirts and bags. If you want your order in before Christmas, your spirit wear must be ordered and paid for by Friday, December 2nd by 3:00pm. Non-rush orders are due in the office by December 16th. If you have any questions, please email Missy Morrissey at  [email protected]org. Stop by the office and check out the samples and thank you for supporting TCGIS Student Council!
TCGIS Photo Contest
We want your pictures!

TCGIS is looking for images to represent the school on our website, in marketing materials and even in the yearbook. The six most suitable pictures will be used in the banner headings on our new website, which is currently in development. We are offering a prize for the best overall photo: tickets to a production by the Children's Theater Company this Spring! Please submit your photos by January 15 to [email protected] See flyer for more info.
GAI Nikolaustag & Holiday Open Haus
Sunday, Dec. 4, 11am-5pm

Come experience a taste of German Christmas! This holiday season the Germanic-American Institute will combine two well-loved events, Nikolaustag and the Holiday Open Haus. The Haus will be decorated and filled with information tables staffed by local arts and culture organizations, GAI Gruppen, and local vendors selling German Christmas gift items. Enjoy live music provided by the Volksfest Singers, historic Haus tours, model trains, freshly grilled bratwurst, gingerbread, Glühwein, and more!

Nikolaustag Activities:

-$8 member child, $10 non-member child
-Day-of registration only 

-St. Nikolaus will be available from 12-4pm to visit with children. Price includes an authentic Adventskalendar, holiday treats, and the opportunity to make holiday crafts.
-In case of inclement weather, please call the GAI or check the GAI's website/Facebook page for event status.

Buy custom gifts featuring your child's artwork!
Gifts available from online art gallery

As you plan your holiday lists, consider purchasing items from our online art gallery Artsonia (search for Twin Cities German Immersion School). I just received magnets for stocking stuffers and cards with my children's art on them- we'll use them for thank yous after the holidays. Lots of other items are available, and as a bonus, part of every purchase goes to our school art program! Thanks for your support. -Frau Lenburg
TCGIS Directory
PDF available

The TCGIS directory is attached here in pdf format.
Last-Minute Notice: Swimming Instruction during Sport Class
Please return permission slips to teacher

We are very fortunate that the YMCA has offered us a last minute opportunity for our Sport classes to receive free swimming instruction. There is, however, little time for planning as the first classes would begin next Monday. The classes will be available for grades 2 - 7. All Sport sections in grades 2 - 7 between December 5th - December 16th will participate in swimming. In order for your child to participate you must:
  1. Fill out the this permission slip. We will also send home hard copies in backpacks tomorrow. Please turn in to the classroom teacher.
  2. Please bring a swimsuit and towel. Those without proper dress will need to watch only.
  3. Please bring a hat or scarf because of needing to step outside immediately after swimming.
  4. Please consider volunteering if you are able to facilitate getting ready in the locker room. Dads are especially welcome. I will be contacting Elternkontacts to facilitate support. Support especially requested from 2nd and 4th grade families. Hair dryers helpful.  
We and the YMCA apologize for the late notice, but are most grateful for the opportunity. Click here for more information about the YMCA Water Safety Program and here for the curriculum plan.
Sponsor a Student to Support "Read to Feed"
Help the fourth graders raise money for Heifer International
Heifer Logo
Have you heard about Read to Feed? Fourth Grade has been working hard on a "Read to Feed" giving program with Heifer International. If you have been recruited to sponsor a fourth grade student, please visit the TCGIS gift registry web page to send your donation by December 15th. Mail-in forms will be sent home during the week of December 5th.

If you have not been recruited to sponsor a student for the "Read to Feed" program and you would still like to donate to the cause, please do so at the TCGIS gift registry. Donations can be made anytime between now and December 15th. Fourth Grade students will be having a fundraising celebration breakfast on December 16th. We will play games and recognize our success with "Read to Feed." Thank you for your support and donation!
AfterschoolRegister for After-School Activities
Class list and registration form available now

After-school activities will begin January 9. Please follow the links for a class list and class descriptions. Registration forms are available here and in the front office. All registration forms and payments are due January 4. We will not be sending this paperwork to every family, but it is all available in the front office.
AmityInternsHost Homes Needed for Our New Amity Interns! 
Introducing Anja Löwigt and Ann-Kathrin Mueller-Dieckert

Please email Amy Davis at [email protected] if you are able to host one of our interns next semester. Please consider helping to support this valuable program.

Introducing two of our spring interns:
Anja Löwigt is studying English and German to become a teacher for the German "Gymnasium" at the
University of Mainz. She is planning on graduating in January. She loves traveling, hiking and reading. She also enjoys cooking and baking.
Amity- Ann-Kathrin

Ann-Kathrin Mueller-Dieckert is currently studying German, English and Religion at the University of Goettingen in order to become a high school teacher. She is very interested in other cultures and languages and greatly enjoys traveling. She has played volleyball for 15 years. She loves skiing, reading, meeting friends, and baking. She likes to meet new people, and is very fond of animals- she looks forward to getting her own dog when she returns to Germany!
Audit Results
Clean audit report for 2010-2011

The school achieved a clean audit report, with no concerns about how the school handles financial and human resources data. In a year where the state withheld 30% of the school's funds, not to be repaid until the next school year, TCGIS continued the trend of increasing the school's fund balance. The fund balance serves as a cushion of cash and other assets to help the school weather unexpected expenditures, enrollment declines, and funding deficiencies. For more information about the fund balance history click here

Holiday Shopping at Target Helps Our School!
Designate TCGIS as the beneficiary when you use your RedCard

Target RedCard holders can register online to have 1% of their purchase benefit the school through the Take Charge of Education program. The school has already received over $8,200 from Target since enrolling in the program. The most recent check in August was for more than $2000! If you already have a RedCard you can register for the program online, in-store, or over the phone at 1-800-316-6142. Our School ID number is 122860.  

New Paraprofessionals at TCGIS
Introducing Paul Carlson and Nik Maier

Paul Carlson went to the University of MN, PaulMorris campus where he studied German, Anthropology and Philosophy. He has experience with kids as a camp counselor in the US, but most of his experience as an educator is from Japan. He lived in Japan for three years teaching at a variety of ages and levels. His hobbies are fencing, climbing, camping, construction and writing.
Nik Maier 
Nik Maier is from Seattle, WA. He moved to Minnesota to attend St. Olaf College, and stayed for the lovely weather. In college, he majored in German, which gave him the opportunity to travel to Germany and study abroad at the Universität Konstanz. This is his third job working directly with kids and he loves it! His hobbies include photography, cooking, gardening, camping and bicycle maintenance.

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.