Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

April 12, 2012

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Band Instrument Petting Zoo
:: Timberwolves Raffle!
:: PTO Retreat
:: Pump It Up Party
:: Congratulations to World Savvy Winners
:: Kaffeeklatsch this Friday
:: U of M Marketing Survey
:: TCGIS Parents: Amity Program Survey
:: 8th Grade Capstone Benefit Event
:: 2012-2013 School Calendar
:: International Film Festival
:: Summer Kinderclub
:: Sport Class Update
:: PTO Plant Swap Volunteers Needed
:: GAI Summer Language Camps
AnnikaProfile- cropped
Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Director
Dear Families,

We hope you were able to enjoy our spring break. The staff and I appreciated the teacher work day that we had on Monday. Classroom teachers focused on our writing curriculum, working on aligning our expectations between the grades and refining our portfolio collection to show your child's growth as a writer over his/her time at TCGIS. We are lucky to have a team of such dedicated teachers who are always willing to look more deeply at what we teach and how we prepare students for the expectations of future grades.


There are several exciting cultural events coming up for our community in the next weeks. We invite you to witness the talent and creativity of staff and students in our community at the Capstone Fundraising Event on April 15th.


In addition, we're grateful to efforts of the Marketing Committee to be co-sponsoring Crocodiles Strike Back, a German children's film, at the International Film Festival. Screenings will take place on April 21 and April 29. This is a great way to get our name out in the community and should be a fun cultural event for children to use their German skills outside of the school building. We hope you will join us.


Children in grades 3-7 will participate in the Reading Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments on April 17th and 18th. These tests will be done on paper, as opposed to the math assessments that are completed online. We will not have the advantage of immediate feedback, but will only be able to report these results in late summer. Please make every effort to have your student present, on-time and well-rested on those days - just continue to support your student with what he or she needs every day of the school year.


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

Find us on Facebook

Annika Signature


Annika Fjelstad   

Director, TCGIS 

651-492-7106, ext. 103

[email protected] 


UpcomingDatesUpcoming Dates
Save the Date  Calendar



13 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

13 - Instrument "Petting Zoo" for Concert Band

15 - 2 PM, Benefit for 8th Grade Capstone Trip

17-18 - MCA Reading

23-26 - MCA Math Round 2

26 - 6:30 PM, Board meeting

27 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

27 - 5:30 PM, PTO Pump It Up Fundraiser 

28 - 9 AM - 2 PM, PTO Retreat 

30 - 3 PM, Band Parent Info "Open House" 



1 - 6:30 PM, PTO meeting

8-9 - MCA Science

11 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

18 - School Board election

22 - 6:30 PM, Board meeting

25 - Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL

28 - Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL 


For the complete school calendar, click here.

Band Instrument Petting Zoo
April 13, Grades 4-7

On Friday, April 13 a representative from Schmitt Music will be at TCGIS to give students a chance to try out a band instrument! Krista Johnson will also be available to help students and answer questions. This is a chance for kids to see how they like the instruments, and if there might be one they wish to play. The available instruments include flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion (bells, practice pad, snare drum).


Parents are invited to attend, but we will also hold an after-school "open house" on April 30 when you will be able to talk to the Schmitt representative about renting.


Please note that you do not have to rent or buy an instrument from Schmitt Music to participate in the band. If there is another music store that you prefer, please go to them! Likewise, if you have an old instrument in the closet, dig it out! But perhaps have it looked over at an instrument repair shop, to make sure everything is in good working order.


Questions can be directed to Krista Johnson at [email protected] or at 612-209-3396.

See the Timberwolves and Support TCGIS!
Raffle to benefit the 5th grade class

Attention, sports fans! 5th-grader Lola Rubens is donating the Timberwolves package that she won while basketballtaking part in the World Savvy Challenge to be raffled off by TCGIS. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the 5th grade class. The prize includes:

* 2 tickets to see the Timberwolves vs. the Golden State Warriors on April 22, 2012 at 6pm
* Timberwolves t-shirt, adult size L
* Souvenir basketball & bobblehead doll

Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10. They are available at the front desk. The package is valued at $175. The winner will be drawn on Monday, April 16th.

Lola's goal is to raise $100-$150 for her class. That's just 20-30 single tickets. Help her reach her goal!
PTO Retreat
Join us on Saturday, April 28th

Each year the PTO holds a retreat to reflect on what went well, to think about what we should do differently, and to plan for the following year. This year's retreat is Saturday, April 28th from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the school (with lunch break). TCGIS Board President Lisa Friedman will facilitate the conversation. Everyone welcome! Even if you can just join us for a portion of that day, we want to hear what you have to say. Sign up here to attend.
Pump It Up Party
Friday, April 27th at 5:30

Join us for a night of fun! On Friday, April 27, 5:30 - 7:30 PM we will hold a fundraiser for the TCGIS PTO at the Oakdale Pump It Up (NOTE: different location than last year!). 

The cost is $10 per person and includes two pieces of pizza, a drink, and an hour and 15 minutes of jump time! The fee is payable at the door.

Adults are welcome to either stay and play, or drop off their kid(s) and enjoy and an evening out. If you plan on staying and eating, please sign-up. The cost is $10. You can also stay and not eat for no cost.

Sign up here if you would like to attend. If you signed up through the Maskenball auction, please do not sign up again. You will receive an email prior to the event with complete details. Contact Michelle Sheire at [email protected] with any questions.
World Savvy Winners

Congratulations Till, Konrad, Simon, Nele, and families! Our team was first runner up (2nd place) in the World Savvy online challenge, which was not limited to regional participants, but included participants from across the country. Of over 150 students, Till, Konrad, and Simon were first runners up! In addition, Konrad was on the first place team for the online Action Roundtables and Nele was on the second place team. Click here for more on the World Savvy online challenge!
Kaffeeklatsch This Friday
April 13
It is time for our next Kaffeeklatsch! It will be held this Friday, April 13th in the front lobby entrance. We start serving coffee by 8:05 AM. A cup of coffee or tea 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.
Help U of M Class develop a marketing project

Dear TCGIS parents,

We are students from a Communication Studies course at the University of Minnesota. Our term project this year is to develop a marketing/PR plan for TCGIS. As part of this project, we need to better understand what parents think and feel about TCGIS, immersion education, German and Germany, and a number of other issues related to education and philanthropy. We are asking you to help us by completing a short survey about these issues (~10 minutes). Your participation and responses will be held in strict confidence. While we will share aggregated information with TCGIS, we will not identify any respondent individually and we will aggregate the information such that no identification will be possible. Your can access the survey by clicking here. We are also planning to form a focus group; more information can be found while taking the survey.

Thank you very much, 

U of M COMM 5431 students
TCGIS Parent Survey
TCGIS Amity Program

We are currently working on finding amity interns for the 2012-2013 school year. However, at this time, we will need to limit how many interns we are able to invite unless we are able to find enough families that are willing to host.  We are committed to inviting as many interns as possible because they are such a crucial component of our successful program. We want to gather some more information about what obstacles families have that prevent them from hosting Amity interns. Please take a couple minutes to fill out this survey. The survey will be open until Friday, April 20th.
BenefitCapstone Benefit Event
Family friendly fun!!

When: Sunday, April 15th, 2:00 pm
Where: Germanic-American Institute, 301 Summit Ave
What: Live performances by TCGIS students, teachers and parents; Kaffee and Kuchen; games and story time; craft sale
Suggested donation: $5 for adults, free for kids

Come and join TCGIS students, teachers and their families for an afternoon of Kaffee und Kuchen, music, dance and more. Performers from all over the TCGIS community have come together to entertain you and your family! Featured artists include: dancers from Blumenkranz, Emily Schoonover, Hunter Goetzmann, professional violinist Carolyn Boulay and local singer Jim Crego.


In March of 2013 the first graduating class hasplane an opportunity to travel to Germany for a two-week "Capstone Experience." The Capstone will provide students with the opportunity to integrate and apply what they've learned during their time at TCGIS and to experience Germany first-hand. The Capstone Experience is the culmination of a TCGIS education and is planned for all future 8th-grade classes at TCGIS. Families are expected to cover costs unless they qualify for need-based scholarships. Our 7th graders are working hard to make this dream a reality for all of their classmates and have organized several fundraising events, including this one. All proceeds from this event will go directly to the "Capstone Fund" to pay for need-based scholarships and for teacher expenses.

Your support is most welcome! For more information about the Capstone Experience, please click here.
2012-2013 School Calendar
Calendar available now

We are happy to have approved the school calendar for the 2012-2013 school year. It is available here.
FilmInternational Film Festival
Watch Crocodiles Strike Back with TCGIS

On April 21 at 1 PM, and on April 29 at 3 PM, TCGIS will be co-sponsoring a German children's film at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. Please join us to watch Crocodiles Strike Back and participate in a German cultural event! Click here for more information about the film.
Summer Kinderclub
Registration Deadline on May 1

Summer Kinderclub is now accepting registrations for June through August of 2012. Kinderclub offers a 10-week full-day program during the hours of 8 AM - 6 PM. Summer Kinderclub starts on June 11th, 2012 and ends on August 17th. Each week will incorporate different child-friendly activities and themes in a German immersion setting full of summer fun!  


In an attempt to offer total flexibility for families, parents can choose one of many different payment and scheduling options, full or part time, occasional drop in days or weeks, and additional German Language Camps. Please contact the GAI directly at 651-222-7027 or sign up online if you are interested in these supplementary Language Camps. Camp hours are 9 AM-12 PM and can be supplemented with Kinderclub before or after camp hours. 

Note: We do not offer Summer Kinderclub during the last week of Summer Break (Aug. 20-24) due to set-up and take-down of classroom materials and toys and the move from the GAI to TCGIS.

Registration: Registration forms can be found below. If your child has been registered with Kinderclub in the past, no additional registration fee is required. Please only submit the Summer Kinderclub Registration form. If your child is new to the Kinderclub program, a $25/child registration fee is required ($15/sibling). New families should submit the Summer 2012 Enrollment for New Families form as well as the Summer Kinderclub Registration form. The registration deadline is May 1st, 2012. We encourage families to register at their earliest convenience to help us plan ahead for summer enrollment. Please contact Babbett Larimer, [email protected], with any questions.  


Registration forms:

Summer Kinderclub Registration form 

Enrollment for New Families 

Summer Kinderclub FAQ's 

Sport Class Update
Swimming instruction coming up in May!

Upcoming activities in Sport:

- Volleyball

- Fitness Testing

- Baseball/Kickball

- Frisbee

- Capture the Flag


Middle School Handball: Our middle school students recently completed a 4-week Handball unit at the YMCA taught by guest instructors who are some of the highest ranked male, female, and youth handball players in the United States. As a follow-up to this unit, on April 14th from 10-4, an All Women's handball clinic is being offered at the University of Minnesota. Gloves, goggles, and lunch will be provided free of charge. This is a completely optional event! Fliers with more detailed information will be handed out on Tuesday in homeroom classes.




Swimming Instruction during Sport Class is coming in May. We are very fortunate that the YMCA has once again offered us the opportunity to receive free swimming instruction during Sport. The classes will be available for grades 2 - 7. All Sport sections in grades 2 - 7 between May 7th - May 24th will participate in swimming. 6th and 7th grade will have an additional swim day on Tuesday, May 1. In the next few weeks, permission slips will be made available online and by hard copy. The YMCA is asking us to have parents sign permission slips a second time. Parent volunteers (dads too!) are needed to help with hair drying, clothing management, and general supervision. Anyone that can help would be greatly appreciated!

Enjoy Gardening? Like Sharing? You'll Love This Volunteer Opportunity!
Plant Swap volunteers needed

The PTO is seeking someone to coordinate our fourth annual Community Plant "Swap" Sale, scheduled to take place on Friday, May 18th. Every year, this plant sale features plants donated by our green-thumbed TCGIS gardeners, and coordinates with a festive spring day of community activities, including board elections, the library's used book sale, Ruhland's strudel pick-up, and the Gerten's flower and vegetable sale (more on that later). This is a fun and easy volunteer activity that involves work during the morning of May 18th to receive and label donations, and during the afternoon and early evening to coordinate ongoing donations and plant sales -- little to no pre- or post-work required! Additional volunteer support will be available to help out on this busy community day, but the Community Plant "Swap" Sale needs a coordinator to help things run smoothly. Unfortunately, without a volunteer to coordinate the Community Plant "Swap" Sale, we may need to cancel this fun and rewarding part of our spring community day, so please contact Kate Olson ASAP at [email protected]or(651) 216- 8680 if you are interested in volunteering or if you have any questions.
GAI Summer Language Camps
Space available this summer
Language camps
There is still space available in the Germanic-American Institute's summer language camps! These weekly day camps are centered around a fun, interactive theme and are for beginners to bilingual campers ages 6-12. Camp instructors are professional German teachers with extensive experience in teaching German as a foreign language. Enrollment fee includes all materials and daily healthy snacks. Early morning and extended options available. Join us this summer! Contact GAI Language Services at 651.222.2979 or visit the GAI online for more information about dates and themes.

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.