Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

 February 9, 2012

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Scholastic Book Fair This Week!
:: School Board Nominations
:: Carnival of Cultures
:: TCGIS Inclusivity Task Force Meeting Tonight
:: Kaffeeklatsch
:: Re-enrollment Survey
:: Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments
:: Advertise in the TCGIS Yearbook
:: 7th Grade Valentine Craft and Bake Sale
:: Teach an After School Class
:: TCGIS Trip to Grand Marais
:: Help with the TCGIS Yearbook!
AnnikaProfile- cropped
Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Directo

Dear Families,


Our Carnival of Cultures is fast approaching! Please join us on Thursday, February 16th at St. Thomas More School in St. Paul. See below for the performance schedule and to find out when your child should arrive.


TCGIS uses several standardized tests to get feedback on the effectiveness of our school in teaching towards a number of our goals. We measure our success in German language instruction with the Standard Oral Proficiency Test at the end of the 2nd grade. During the 5th grade we use the Common European Reference test called the Deutsche Sprachdiplom at the A2 level. As a school funded by the state of Minnesota, we are also required to use the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) to test reading and math for all grades over grade 3, as well as science for grade 5.


For the first time this year we will be giving the math assessment online. The move to online tests from paper tests will modify the previously published schedule of testing dates. For more information on online testing and for our new testing schedule, please see below.


Testing can be stressful for children and families. It can be helpful to think of standardized testing as a test of a school's effectiveness as opposed to a test of an individual's performance. We are working hard to make sure our instruction is preparing students for the areas on which they will be tested while maintaining an environment focused on the joy of learning for its own sake. Excessive pressure on students about tests can backfire. If students know the material they've been taught they should be well prepared. We will make sure to familiarize them with the testing format so that that unfamiliarity does not stand in the way of showing what they know.


Thank you for your support,


Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


Annika Fjelstad   

Director, TCGIS 

651-492-7106, ext. 103

[email protected] 


UpcomingDatesUpcoming Dates
Save the Date  Calendar



6-10 - Scholastic Book Fair 

9 - 5 PM, Inclusivity Task Force meeting 

10 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

10 - 7th Grade Valentine Craft/Bake Sale - before and after school   

14 - Enrollment deadline 

16  - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

16 - 6 PM, Carnival of Cultures 

17 - NO SCHOOL - Teacher work day

20 - NO SCHOOL - Presidents' Day

23 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

24 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

29 - Charter School Day at the Capitol 

29 - 6:30 PM, Board meeting



1 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

6 - 6:30 PM, PTO Meeting

7 - 6:30 PM, State of the School

8 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

9 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

15 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

15 - Parent Teacher Conferences - PM ONLY (SCHOOL OPEN)

16 - Parent Teacher Conferences - NO SCHOOL 

22 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 

22 - 6:30 PM, Board Meeting

23 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

23 - 6:30 PM, PTO Game Night

29 - 8:15 AM, Tour for prospective families 


For the complete school calendar, click here.

You're Invited to Our
Scholastic Book Fair & Family Fun Night

Stop by tonight for Family Fun Night!

Our first annual Book Fair is this week! On Thursday, February 9th bring the whole family for Family Night! We will be having a luau, so dress the part!
TCGIS cafeteria

Hours and themes:

Thurs, Feb 9
: Family Night 5:00 - 8:00
Clothing Theme - Let's have a Luau

Fri, Feb 10: 7:50-8:20, Last Chance Day 3:00-4:00

We also have an online book fair. All books purchased will ship to TCGIS with no shipping charge. To order books online, visit our Book Fair Homepage anytime February 1 -17.
It's time for School Board Nominations
School board elections coming up in May

This year's school board elections will take place on Friday, May 18th. We will be electing three new members to our nine-member board of directors. The board plays a crucial role in providing direction, vision and continuity for our growing school community. We hope that you will give serious consideration to volunteering for a board position, or will take the time to recommend someone who you think would be willing and able to support the school in this way. Please click here for more information about the TCGIS school board and the election process. 

CarnivalCarnival of Cultures
Coming up on February 16!

Our Carnival of Cultures is on February 16th at St. Thomas More for kindergarten through fourth grade. We will be splitting these grades into two performances due to occupancy limits set by the fire code. Please plan for your child to arrive promptly according to their grade level and other group participation. Blumenkranz and other musical groups may be performing at a time different from their grade level. 



5:45 - Kids arrive for first performance: Kindergarten, First grade, Junior Blumenkranz and TCGIS Consort


6:00 - First performance begins: Kindergarten, First grade, Junior Blumenkranz and TCGIS Consort  


6:30 - Kids arrive for second performance: Second grade, Third grade, Fourth grade, Blumenkranz; Senior Strings should also stay for the 2nd performance


6:45 - Second performance begins: Second grade, Third grade, Fourth grade, Blumenkranz, Senior Strings   


Further information, as well as the complete schedule, can be found here.  


Families with children in multiple grades are welcome to stay for both performances. If your child is not performing, you are responsible for supervising them. We would like all of the students to be dressed nicely in concert attire. Please be sure your child is not wearing boots or shirts with writing.


St. Thomas More is located at 1065 Summit Ave, St. Paul. Parking is available behind the school. Please enter through the middle door.

TCGIS Inclusivity Task Force
Meeting tonight!

TCGIS' Inclusivity Task Force, which includes parents, staff, and Board members, will meet on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 5:00 in the school's conference room. Childcare will be provided.

Friday, February 10

It is time for our next Kaffeeklatsch! It will beCoffee held this Friday, February 10th in the Front Lobby entrance. We usually start serving coffee by 8:05am. A cup of coffee is $1.00 if you bring your own cup, or $1.25 if we provide you with a cup. All proceeds go to the PTO. Hope to see you there!
Please Take Our Re-enrollment Survey
Let us know if your children will be returning to TCGIS

We need your help to determine our re-enrollment rate next year. Pleaseclick here  to fill out our re-enrollment survey and let us know if your children will be returning to TCGIS next year.  

MCAsMinnesota Comprehensive Assessments
Information about online tests and our new testing schedule

We will be giving the MCA Math Assessment online for the first time this year. There are many benefits to taking the test online:


1) The online test modifies the questions based on how students are performing. This feature prevents students from being exposed to many test questions for which they are unprepared. It also allows students who are excelling to respond to questions appropriately targeted at their level.


2) By using the online test, we have the opportunity to conduct multiple testing sessions, giving our students more than one chance to show off what they know. The highest scores will be reported to the state.


3) Online testing gives us immediate feedback on specific areas where both individuals and groups need additional instruction.


With the move to online testing, we have changed our testing dates in order to use the opportunities for retesting strategically. There will be three available testing windows for the math test. The first testing session will be used as a practice version to help students become more comfortable with the testing system. This also gives us the opportunity to see what instructional areas to focus on before the second testing window, when all students will take the test. The third testing window is available for specific situations where we can document that students have received instruction and show reasonable chances of succeeding in areas in which they did not succeed during the first two sessions.


Upcoming Testing Schedule:

March: Sprachdiplom - Grade 5  

March 19-22: MCA Math Testing Window #1 - Grades 3, 4, 6, 7 (Practice Test)

April 17-18: MCA Reading Test - Grades 3 - 7

April 23-26: MCA Math Testing Window #2 - Grades 3 - 7

May 8-9: MCA Science Test - Grade 5

May 14-15: MCA Math Testing Window #3 - Grades 3-7 (by referral only)

Advertise in the TCGIS Yearbook
Proceeds go to 8th grade trip

Looking for a great way to make your business known? Parents, want to send a greeting to your favorite students? Well, here's your chance! You can buy space for advertising in the first ever TCGIS yearbook! Here's the deal: $50 for a whole page (8'' by 13''), $25 for half of a page, $13 for one fourth of a page, and $8 for one eighth of a page. What a bargain! If you're interested, please fill out a this form and turn it in to the front desk. If you have any questions please contact Molly Kalda at [email protected]

All proceeds from advertisement sales will directly benefit the 8th grade trip to Germany next year.
7th Grade Valentine Fundraiser
Craft/Bake Sale on February 10 to support 8th grade Germany trip
The 7th grade will be selling Valentine-themed cards, crafts, and goodies on February 10 to support the 8th grade capstone trip to Germany. Pick out Valentines for friends and classmates and goodies to take home! Sale takes place in the elevator lobby before and after school on Friday, February 10.
After School Activities Instructors Needed
Form available now

It's that time again! We are looking for instructors to offer after school activities for Session 3. Classes will be from March 19th through June 1st. Pay rates vary from $15-40/hour depending on the number of kids that sign up for your class. If you are interested in teaching, please fill out the Class Offering Form. Please turn in your forms by February 21.
TCGIS 5th Annual Trip to Grand Marais
March 16th-18th
Grand Marias

Looking for a fun family getaway this spring? Explore the great outdoors with your kids, tour Grand Marais, and spend time with other TCGIS families in a beautiful setting. Join us at East Bay Suites in downtown Grand Marais on Lake Superior's North Shore over the long weekend on March 16-18. East Bay Suites has Studio, 1, 2, & 3 bedroom beachfront condominiums with spectacular lake and village views. Each unit is fully furnished and most have full kitchens. Click here for more information on how to reserve rooms at a reduced TCGIS rate!  

Help with the TCGIS Yearbook!
Photos and artwork needed

ATTENTION PARENTS AND STAFF: Do you have some photos that you'd like to share? Well here's your chance! Yearbook class is looking for interesting photos of TCGIS students for publication in the first ever TCGIS yearbook. Please send all photos to [email protected]. Please send photos from the 2011-2012 school year only.

ATTENTION ALL STUDENT KÜNSTLER:  Be the artist to design the cover of the very first TCGIS yearbook!! Here's how:
-Submit any original color artwork
-Your entry must measure 8.5" x 11"
-It must relate to the school & theme (global citizenship)
Drop off your artwork--with your name and grade on the back--at the front desk. This contest is open to all TCGIS students. If you have any questions or concerns, email Molly at [email protected] Remember: Deadline for submissions is February 15th!

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.