Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

May 10, 2012

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: Protecting Your Online Footprint: Internet Safety Training
:: The Future of Maskenball
:: Used Book Sale
:: Introducing Next Year's Amity Interns!
:: Geo Lino: Resource for Middle Schoolers
:: U of M Research Study
:: Band Registration
:: End-of-the-Year Picnic
:: Plant Swap
:: 2012 TCGIS Board Election
:: Last Scrip Order of the Year
:: Pre-Order Your Yearbook Today
:: Beginning Violin Class Information Session
:: Full-day Kinderclub Offered on May 25
AnnikaProfile- cropped
Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Director
Dear Families,


We are proud to be hosting "Protecting your Online Footprint," a presentation on Internet safety by Alison Feigh, tonight at 6:30. Click here for more information and to register for the event. Childcare will be provided. The presentation will be at TCGIS, upstairs in the big empty space. Coincidentally, Alison Feigh and her work at the Jacob Wetterling Foundation will also be featured on Minnesota Public Radio (91.1) tonight at 9:00 PM on "The Story" with Dick Gordon.


Parents of 6th and 7th graders are also welcomed to a 7th and 8th grade curriculum meeting just prior to the internet presentation, at 5:30 in the 7th grade classroom.


Yesterday the TCGIS Board of Directors sent a letter to the school community outlining the new Strategic Plan and initiatives for implementation, including a change of school leadership. I am deeply saddened by their decision for me to not continue in my role as director. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to collaborate with the talented staff, parents, students and Board in co-creating a vibrant, nurturing and enriched German immersion learning community for our children.


Our school's vision is "Educating children for informed and active world citizenship. Andere hören, andere sehen, weltoffen denken und handeln." My top priority has always been to work toward systemic support for teachers to create classroom communities where students can live out our vision. This will continue to be the case in the time that I remain at TCGIS.


Thanks for all that you do to assist 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


10 - 6:30 PM, Internet safety training 

11 - 8 AM, Kaffeeklatsch

15 - 6:30 PM, The Future of Maskenball  

18 - Plant Swap 

18 - School Board election

18 - 2:00 - 5:30 PM, Used Book Sale 

18 - 3:45 PM, Beginning violin class information session 

22 - 6:30 PM, Board meeting

25 - Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL

28 - Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL  



5 - 6:30 PM, PTO meeting

7 - End-of-the-Year Picnic and last day of school! 


For the complete school calendar, click here.

InternetProtecting Your Online Footprint
Internet safety training tonight at 6:30

TCGIS and the TCGIS PTO are pleased to sponsor "Protecting Your Online Footprint," a presentation by the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center. This presentation is suggested for grades 5-12 with parents and caregivers. Teens will learn about the importance of making healthy choices both online and with cell phones. Online risks and dangers will be discussed so that youth are aware of behaviors that should trigger warning flags. Risky behaviors, including sexting and cyberbullying, will also be covered.


The presentation also addresses positive ways students can use the Internet to advocate for each other. This training is designed to help initiate conversations at home about using technology in a positive way while giving families tools to make healthy decisions online.


The presentation will take place at TCGIS tonight, May 10 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. While the presentation is aimed at 5th graders and up with their parents, parents of children in younger grades are also welcome to attend. The PTO will provide free babysitting for kids younger than 5th grade. In order to help us plan for adequate seating and to sign up for babysitting, please click here to register.   

The Future of Maskenball
Discussion and decision-making meeting

With four years of the TCGIS Maskenball Gala behind us, we've created a lot of great memories and learned some lessons about hosting a gala along the way. Now is a great time to consider how we can re-envision Maskenball and its role in our school community. Shall we keep the gala just as it is? Does it need some tweaking to make it even better? Or are there new and exciting ways that we can gather as a community to celebrate our school, moving forward from the old gala to something different?
Please join us for a discussion and decision-making meeting about how to move forward with plans for Maskenball 2013. This meeting is open to everyone - you need not have been involved in planning a Maskenball in the past - and we encourage anyone with ideas or opinions to attend. 
-Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
-2285 University Avenue (Carleton Artist Lofts Building). Enter through the parking lot between the tall flagpoles.
-Desserts and beverages provided (BYO dinner.
 -Note: street parking is available, or consider carpooling with a friend!
Contact Kate Olson at [email protected] or 651-216-8680 with RSVPs, questions, or to provide your thoughts and comments if you are unable to attend the meeting.
Used Book Sale
Collecting donations May 7th - 11th

BooksOur annual Used Book Sale will be held on Friday, May 18th, 2:00 - 5:30 PM. We are looking for donations of gently used children's books, games, CD's and DVD's (English or German), as well as newer books for adults. Drop-off will be during the week of May 7th - 11th in the front office. All proceeds of the Book Sale will go to the Library Fund to help buy new books for the library. If you are interested in helping out during the sale on May 18th, please contact Alexandra Weeding, [email protected], or Heidi Zimmermann, [email protected].
Introducing Next Year's Amity Interns!
Meet Judith Becht, Patrick Dörner, and Kathrin Öchsner

We would like to introduce you to three of the Amity interns that will be joining us at TCGIS this fall!

JudithJudith Becht is a student at Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz. She is studying English and politics. Judith is from Mainz, and she enjoys playing sports, meeting friends and reading books (especially crime novels).

PatrickPatrick Dörner is a student at the University of Augsburg. He is majoring in foreign languages (English and Spanish) and education. His hometown is Augsburg. Patrick enjoys sports, music, cinema, cooking, traveling, photography and playing guitar.

KathrinKathrin Öchsner is studying English and Sport in Augsburg. She enjoys athletics, especially hurdling. She also enjoys skiing, snowboarding, biking, swimming and soccer. She will be joining TCGIS this fall as the Sport intern! 
Geo Lino
German web site for Middle Schoolers

A fun online resource for middle school kids is the digital site of the magazine Geo Lino. This month find a special article about the Frankfurt Flughafen and about children in the civil war in Syria.
U of M Research Study
Study on children's literature

A University of Minnesota research study on changing cultural values as reflected in children's literature is looking for popular children's readers or story books from four different cultures in three different time periods: German, Russian, Italian, and Swiss around 1920, around 1950, and around 1980. The study can work with readings in the original languages or in faithful translation. If you have citations or actual readings that fit any of these specs, or with questions or comments, please e-mail Professor Ken Doyle at [email protected].
Band Registration
For current 4th-7th graders

We need to have a firmer idea of who is going to be in the band next year. If you signed up with Schmitt music last week to rent an instrument, they had you fill out a registration form. If you didn't, please stop by the front desk and fill out a form. It is very short, and can be filled out right there. The front desk will also have flyers about renting from Schmitt music if you need information. Please contact Krista Johnson with questions: [email protected] or 612-209-3396.
End-of-the-Year Picnic!
Sign up for food and for volunteer opportunities

HotdogPlease remember to turn in your sign-up sheet for the end of the year picnic on June 7! Each TCGIS student will receive one hot dog free of charge (vegetarian options will be available). You may use the sign-up sheet to order extra hot dogs for siblings, family, or guests for $1 each. The form also includes a volunteer sign-up. Please let us know if you are able to Watermelonhelp out! Turn in your form to the front office by Thursday, May 23rd--only one form per family please. If you lose your form, you may find a copy attached here.
Plant Swap
Friday, May 18
Calling all gardeners and wanna-be-gardeners! Divide the hostas & day-lilies, split the rhubarb, part with some irises & daffodils...Friday, May 18th we will have a plant sale/swap. Donate plants during the school day on the 18th at the back of the school on the loading dock. If possible, please label the plant variety and put it in a small bag or bucket. Volunteers will sort and price the plants and they will be sold for $2-5. Come over and shop for a "new" plant anytime throughout the day! Contact Sara Scholtens at [email protected] with any questions.
2012 TCGIS Board Election
Friday, May 18

On Friday, May 18 we will be electing three new members to the TCGIS Board. We are excited to announce that we have three well-qualified candidates running this year. Please read through the candidates' statements, available here and on the TCGIS website.


All parents or legal guardians and staff members are eligible to vote in the election. On May 18th, the ballot box will be open at the school during the following times:

  • At drop off - 7:45am to 9:00am
  • At pick up - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Won't be here on election day or can't make it to the school while the ballot box is open? No problem. You can go to the TCGIS website to fill out a proxy form. The proxy form allows you to authorize someone else to cast your ballot for you. Your proxy must bring the completed form to the ballot box to be able to cast a ballot for you. Ballots will be available soon on the TCGIS website and at the school. Ballots will also be available on voting day.  


If you are unsure whether you are an eligible voter, please check with the front office ([email protected] or 651-492-7106), where we have a list of all eligible voters. If you have questions about the use of the proxy form or the election in general, please contact Board Vice Chair Kimberly Koempel at [email protected] or 651-414-0304.

Last Scrip Order of the Year
Order your Scrip gift cards by May 22nd

Our last Scrip order for this school year will be due on May 22nd. Orders will be available for pickup the following Thursday, May 31st (due to the holiday).


-Are you thinking of end-of-year appreciation gifts? Scrip has many great options, including Starbucks Teacher Appreciation cards!  

-Doing some spring gardening or home improvement projects this summer? Home Depot, Lowes and Menards gift cards are all available.


Groceries, gas, entertainment -- just about everything can be purchased through Scrip, and your purchase helps earn money for TCGIS. It's easy to sign up for a family account at the Scrip home page, and hundreds of retailers are donating a portion of sales back to TCGIS. You pay only the face value of the gift cards you purchase, and they are the same gift cards you would purchase at each retailer. Just make sure you use TCGIS's enrollment code when you sign up so that we get credit for your purchases - our code is 4CA2AE9714L14. Place your order online, and bring a check (made out to TCGIS) to the office by Tuesday, May 22nd - simple!


Feel free to contact the Scrip Coordinator, 6th grade parent Deb Helmel, with any questions at [email protected]

Pre-Order Your Yearbook Today!
TCGIS yearbook coming soon

The yearbooks yearbookwill be coming soon! Stop by the office and pre-order your copy today. Cost is $15 and all proceeds go towards the 8th grade Capstone Experience. Yearbooks will be distributed to the classroom teachers on May 17th. Additional yearbooks will be available for sale after school on May 17th.
Beginning Violin Class Information Session
Friday, May 18th at 3:45 PM, KG - 1st Grade

ViolinOn Friday, May 18th at 3:45pm we will have an information session regarding an after-school beginning strings class to be offered next fall for Kindergarten and 1st grade students. Leif Petersen, the strings group instructor, will talk briefly about the philosophy and curriculum of the class as well as more practical considerations such as instrument rental and time commitments.


This meeting is for students AND parents. Please attend if you have ever considered starting your child on the violin! The presentation will be followed by music from the TCGIS string ensemble and some Q&A time. Leif Petersen will also be available afterward to answer questions one-on-one. Please contact Leif Petersen with any questions: [email protected], (206) 719-1372.
Full-Day Kinderclub Offered on May 25
All-day child care for school release day

We are offering full-day Kinderclub care for the teacher work day on May 25. Please sign up here if you would like your child to attend Kinderclub during the hours of 8am - 6pm on May 25th. Please sign up by Thursday, May 17th. Late and last-minute sign-up is based on availability and will incur a late fee.

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.