Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

May 17, 2012

in this issue
:: Upcoming Dates
:: PTO Parent Outreach Committee
:: Used Book Sale
:: Letter from the TCGIS Transition Team
:: Introducing Next Year's Amity Interns!
:: Pre-Order Your Yearbook Today
:: Full-day Kinderclub Offered on May 25
:: End-of-the-Year Picnic
:: Plant Swap
:: Library News
:: 2012 TCGIS Board Election
:: Last Scrip Order of the Year
:: Volunteer Appreciation Night
:: Beginning Violin Class Information Session
AnnikaProfile- cropped
Annika Fjelstad, TCGIS Director
Dear Parents,


MCA scores are only one measure of academic success, but they are a very public and highly scrutinized one. We have to wait until summer for our results in Reading and Science, but our Math MCA scores are in, and they are exciting! We as a community deserve to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and of the teachers who guided them. We can be proud to know that by objective, standardized measures we are meeting our mission of valuing high academic achievement. The attached graph highlights our students' and teachers' successes.


The percentage of our students who not only passed but also exceeded the standards is impressive. Even in areas where students may not have met standards, a deeper look at the data still reveals significant growth within those scores. Last fall our Math MCA scores in 3rd and 6th grade were a sobering wake-up call to make sure we were covering the Minnesota State Standards in all areas. Teachers and staff rallied to action to make sure we could address the concerns raised by these scores. Strategies we used to make these improvements included:

  1. Adopting a new inquiry-based curriculum called the Connected Math Program from 5th grade on up, which is aligned to the Minnesota standards.
  2. Having a certified math teacher guide instruction in grades 5 - 7.
  3. Extending the middle school math teacher's position to include K-8 math curriculum oversight.
  4. Conducting teacher training in implementation of daily oral math practice.
  5. Holding a staff development day dedicated to the alignment of math curriculum and the identification of gaps and overlaps in the meeting of standards.
  6. Introducing online testing, which allows for immediate feedback and re-testing, thereby enabling us to emphasize and re-teach areas of identified weakness.  

Our improved Math MCA scores are a team accomplishment on the part of teachers and staff who pulled together to improve our students' learning. Congratulations are due all around.


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


18 - School Board election

18 - 1:30 PM, School-wide talent show 

18 - 2:30 - 5:30 PM, Used Book Sale  

18 - 2:30 - 4 PM, Plant Swap  

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

21 - 6:30 - 8 PM, PTO Parent Outreach Committee meeting 

22 - 6:30 PM, Board meeting

25 - Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL

28 - Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL  



5 - Volunteer Appreciation Night 

5 - 6:30 PM, PTO meeting

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


For the complete school calendar, click here.

PTO Parent Outreach Committee
Meeting on Monday, May 21

A meeting of the PTO Parent Outreach Committee will be held on Monday, May 21, 6:30-8:00 PM at 2285 University Avenue (Carleton Artist Lofts Building). Enter through the parking lot between the tall flagpoles.

If you are interested in helping out with any of the Parent Outreach activities, please join us! We are always looking for new people and new ideas! Contact Krista Johnson, [email protected], or Mickey Jurewicz, [email protected], for more information.
Used Book Sale
Join us tomorrow for our annual sale!

BooksJoin us for the annual Used Book Sale on Friday, May 18th, 2:30 - 5:30 PM. Browse through gently used children's books, games, CD's and DVD's (English or German), as well as books for adults. All proceeds of the Book Sale will go to the Library Fund to help buy new books for the library!
Letter from the TCGIS Transition Team
Managing the upcoming transition in leadership

Dear students, parents, and members of the Twin Cities German Immersion School community:

We, the undersigned teachers and staff of Twin Cities German Immersion School, want to ensure you of our unwavering commitment to the continued success of our school as we bring both a Curriculum and Assessment Director and an interim director, and eventually a new permanent director, onto our team. We have identified and have begun making an action plan for the elements that are critical to the learning of students, day-to-day functioning of the school, and successful teamwork between the board, administration, staff and parents. We are confident that by working together we can ensure that the coming transition will be as smooth as possible, and will continue to create healthy movement towards a more remarkable community.

Sincerely,  the Transition TeamSignatures

Sarah Bailey

Stefanie Berres

Regina Brenner

Amy Davis

Hunter Goetzman

Khrisslyn Goodman

Susanne Grimm 

Nicole Halvorson

Elena Heindl

Molly Kalda

Anne Kile

Anka Krug

Amy Lenburg

Mandi Rosenthal

Valentin Solakhau

Denise Stegmann

Katie Stephens

Scot Stephenson

Michelle Wallace


A PDF of the above letter is attached here

Introducing Next Year's Amity Interns!
Meet Annika Arndt, Lena Neugebauer, and Martin Smollich

AnnikaAnnika Arndt is studying biology and English at Lebniz University in Hannover. She is also studying to become a teacher. Annika is originally from Hannover, and she likes to play basketball, bike and inline skate. She also enjoys playing clarinet, reading, playing with her younger siblings, learning new languages and spending time with family and friends.

LenaLena Neugebauer is a student at the University of Augsburg. She is studying English, Spanish and German as a second language. She would like to become a secondary teacher. Lena lives in a small village called Langenneufnach. Her hobbies are playing clarinet and guitar and climbing.

MartinMartin Smollich is studying English and geography at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. He is studying to become a teacher. Martin enjoys playing guitar and clarinet. He also enjoys playing soccer, ping pong, running, swimming and hiking. He loves to read good books and to travel to other countries.
Yearbooks are in!
Available for purchase at the front desk

yearbookThe yearbooks have arrived! If you didn't pre-order your copy, we still have plenty of yearbooks available for purchase at the front desk! Cost is $15 (checks made out to TCGIS), and all proceeds go towards the 8th grade Capstone Experience.
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.
End-of-the-Year Picnic
We still need volunteers!

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. 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.

We are still looking for volunteers to help with grilling, security, and games. Please let us know if you are able to Watermelonhelp out! There is a space for volunteer sign-up included on the form; you can also contact Amy Davis at [email protected] if you would like to volunteer.
TCGIS Share Your Garden Plant Swap
Friday, May 18, 2:30 - 4:00 PM
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.

Just a Few Easy Steps!
1. Dig and divide your garden perennials, your houseplants, or any other green thing that you'd like to donate to the sale.
2. Pot plants into small (~4") or large (~1 Gal.) pots, depending on size.
3. Label pots with plant name (masking tape works great!).
4. Drop off your plants on Friday, May 18, either in the morning (between 7:45 and 8:30 AM) or in the afternoon (2:30 PM). Plant drop-off will be at a table by the front door if the weather is fine, or at the loading dock if it's raining.

Anyone can shop this community plant sale, regardless of whether or not you donate plants. Small pots will cost $2; Large pots will cost $4. The plant sale is sponsored by the TCGIS PTO. Thank you for sharing your garden! Contact Sara Scholtens
at [email protected] with any questions.
Library News
Thank you to all of our library volunteers

libraryThis week was the last week of the school year for students to check out books from the library. A HUGE thank you to our volunteers who will be in again next week checking books back in and putting everything back on the shelves. Thank you for your contribution to our school this year!  

If there is a book missing that is checked out to your child, you will have received a note in their library bag. Please contact Khrisslyn Goodman ([email protected]) with any questions or issues that might come up. A summer library schedule is currently in the works and will be available before the school year comes to a close!
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]

TCGIS Volunteer Appreciation Night
Save the date!

To say thank you to our wonderful volunteers, we will be holding a Volunteer Appreciation Night on the evening of June 5. Save the date and watch for more details to come!
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.

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.