Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

September 13, 2012

In this Issue
:: Upcoming Events
:: Flu Clinic for Parents and Teachers
:: Pay for Lunch and Supply Fees Online
:: Book Fair!
:: New Class at GAI
:: Boxes Needed
:: Library Volunteers Needed
:: Davanni's PTO Fundraiser
:: Elternkontaks Needed
:: New Early Release Policy
:: Chinook Books
:: ZfA Immersion Conference
:: After School Activities Registration
:: Volunteers Needed
:: Performing Arts News
:: Kaffeeklatsch
:: Blumenkranz at the Renaissance Festival
:: New Books at GAI Library
:: GAI Household Memberships 40% Off

A Letter from Dr. Greener


TCGIS Families,


It looks like the weather is finally starting to cool down a little which according to some of the faculty and staff means that the students start to become a little more interested in the classroom and the school. 


The Board is continuing its work for a new Director and is nearing a conclusion. Plans call for the Board to inform the parents soon as to the schedule and status of the search.


This week I have spent most of my time interviewing the faculty and getting to know them a little better. For the most part, in their opinion, the school year has gotten off to a good start and the students old and new are adjusting to the daily schedule. I have also met with a number of parents of those students who need a little special attention and continue to be impressed with the assistance that is available through the Special Education staff and paraprofessionals who are here to help.


TCGIS has received MCA scores and in the future will be sharing a general report with the school community. In the meantime, parents may pick up explanations and scores from the tests which were taken last year. From first look, TCGIS did very well. If parents have any questions regarding MCA scores etc, they should contact Amy Davis who is coordinating the MCA program.


Next week has a couple of key dates which parents should remember.  First, Wednesday, September 19th  is the first early release day. Parents will be expected to pick up students who are not involved in after school activities at 12:45 pm.  In addition, Thursday, September 20th is scheduled for Middle School Curriculum Night from 6:30-8:00 pm.


PTO calendars are still available in the front office and are extremely helpful for parents to determine activities and daily schedules. Parents are asked for a donation of $3.00 to defray the cost of printing. PTO did an excellent job in providing the details of the calendar.


Volunteers have stepped up and it is hoped that we will have the library up and running for the teachers and students next week. Parents are encouraged to spend time on a regular basis reading to or with their children. My understanding is that TCGIS has one of the largest German children's book collections in the country.


Beginning on the 21st, TCGIS will be hosting the Conference of German Immersion schools with seminars and activities planned for faculty with several members of the TCGIS staff presenting. Some of the educators attending the conference will also be visiting classes at TCGIS on Friday, September 21st.





Dr. Ken Greener

Interim Director TCGIS 

Upcoming Events
September 13-30 
12-14 Fourth Grade Field Trip
14- Kaffeeklatsch 8:00 am
14- Flu Clinic for Parents and Teachers 8:00 am
17-19- Scholastic Book Fair
19- Early Release Day (12:45)
20-Middle School Curriculum Night 6:30-8 pm
21-23- ZFA Immersion Conference at TCGIS
24- After School Activities Begin
24- Davanni's Pizza Party Fundraiser 4-8pm
27- Elementary School Curriculum Night 6:30-8:00pm
28- Kaffeeklatsch 8:00am 
Flu Clinic TOMORROW!
September 14th from 7:30-9 am

The Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency will be administering Flu vaccines to parents and teachers at school on Sept. 14th from 7:30-9 am. They accept 17 health insurance providers including Health Partners and Blue Cross. There is a signup and further information about the vaccine and the clinic in the front office.

New Online Payment Option for Lunch and Supply Fees

For your convenience, TCGIS has contracted with RevTrak, a national credit card payment processor, to provide you the simple security and convenience of making online payments for the 2012-2013 school year's food service and supply fee payments. It only takes a few minutes to check your account balance and add money using a Discover, VISA or MasterCard (credit/debit) card. There are no additional fees charged for the convenience of using this service. Please see these instructions for more information. 

September 17 - 19th

7:30am to 8:15am

3:10pm - 4:10pm

New Class for Teens at the Germanic-American Institute
German for Teens

The GAI is proud to announce a new Sams-
tagsschule class for the Fall 2012 semester! With many middle schools in the area no longer offering
German, the GAI has designed German for Teens for students ages 12-14. Targeted toward relative beginners, German for Teens will take a comprehensive approach to language learning by incorporating conversational skills, reading, and writing into an age-appropriate curriculum. We are very excited to expand our language offerings to a new set of students hope you can help make German for Teens a success!

Samstagsschule classes for ages 4-14 meet Saturdays beginning September 22. For more information, please visit www.gai-mn.org/classes/samstag.html or contact Language Services at 651 222-2979.
September Art News
by Amy Lenburg

I am so excited to be starting a new year of Art at the Twin Cities German Immersion School! The art room is already buzzing with creativity and enthusiasm. I plan to update families once a month in the Elternbrief, to let you know about the great things we are learning in the art classes. We are starting out slow, spending a class or two discussing and practicing the rules and procedures of the art room. But soon we will be needing paint shirts, so please send an old shirt (labeled with your student's name) to your child's homeroom teacher if you haven't already!

Also, because of this year's schedule and our additional Kindergarten class, I'm already thinking about collecting cereal and oatmeal boxes for our lanterns, which we'll make in October. Please start saving boxes and look for more information soon. In addition, be on the lookout for information about our exciting Artsonia online gallery!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at
Amy Lenburg
Boxes Needed 
Please start bringing to school your empty cereal boxes, oatmeal boxes, and round cheese boxes.  They are needed for the lanterns the elementary students will be making in art class for the german festival of Martinstag.  Due to schedule changes, about 200 boxes are needed earlier than ever before!  Please either drop them off in the art room or in the front office.

TCGIS Library - Volunteers needed
Our school library houses a great collection of German and English children's books. It is certainly one of the best assets to the school and also an essential cornerstone of students' reading skills and comprehension.
Every class has half an hour library time per week so that children can have continuous access to German reading material. They may check out as many as three German books per week. Our experience shows that use of the library dramatically increases children's reading level.
However the existence of the library heavily depends on parent volunteers who help with library circulation. In past parents did an incredible great job of running the library, but as the school grows we could use more volunteers. You are welcome to join the Library Committee, where you can help with library circulation or even with processing new and donated books!
If you are interested please contact Carolin Bindert at [email protected] or Valentin Solakhau at [email protected].
Enjoy a Night Out at Davanni's Fundraiser Night
Join the TCGIS PTO for a fun evening of pizza and hoagies at Davanni's. It's easy - all you need to do is pick-up a "ticket" at the TCGIS front desk and turn it in when you place your order at Davanni's. Twenty percent of your total order will be donated to the TCGIS PTO, which in turn goes back to the school for classroom supplies and more. 

When: Monday, September 24 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM (though they will take tickets before and after)
Where: The Davanni's on the corner of Cleveland and Grand in St. Paul.  
Who: All TCGIS families, staff, friends, neighbors, etc. are welcome. 

Make sure you give your ticket to your server. Tickets will be available at the front desk and passed out to students on the 24th. Take extra tickets to share with your friends and family! 

Please note: Davanni's does not allow the passing out of tickets to non-TCGIS friends/families in the restaurant or parking lot.

The community room in the back of the restaurant is reserved for TCGIS from 4:00 - 8:00 PM. Not feeling social but want to participate? The tickets are also good for take-out! Tickets are *not* for use with delivery.

Interested in helping out? We need people to help passing out tickets the morning or afternoon of the 24th or to serve as a greeter at Davanni's that evening. All shifts are one hour or less. Sign up here to help.
Questions? Contact Michelle Sheire at [email protected]
Elternkontaks Needed for Classrooms

The Classroom Support Committee is setting up Elternkontaks for all classes. Elternkontaks are parent volunteers who help out with special classroom activities, field trips, and other events. Field trips are beginning, and it's important that each teacher have parents to count on for communication and organization of events; plus, it's a lot of fun! If you'd like to be an EK, please ask your child's teacher if there is a need or contact Committee Chair Cindy Miller at [email protected].

New Early Release Policy

Our first early release of the semester will be Wednesday, September 19th. We will be releasing at 12:45 pm. All students will be served lunch on this day.

2012 Chinook Books Are HERE! 
Buy a Coupon Book and Support the School

The 2012 Chinook Books are here! As always, the Chinook Book is full of coupons to help you save at local sustainable and community-oriented businesses. This year, Chinook Book is offering two options: A traditional book full of your favorite coupons, or a mobile coupon pack for your smartphone that has the same great coupons but is paperless.

The cost is $20 per book or $14 for a mobile pack and the TCGIS PTO keeps half of the cost to support our school community. Save money and support our school with Chinook Book!

Peruse this year's coupon book and pick up your copy of the book or the mobile pack in the front office at TCGIS. Checks are payable to the TCGIS PTO - please place cash or check payment in the TCGIS PTO box.

Questions? Contact Kate Olson at [email protected].

ZfA Immersion Conference
TCGIS Hosts!

We're proud to be hosting this year's ZfA Immersion Conference from September 21st- 23rd. The annual Immersion Conference is sponsored by the Zentrale für Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA) and has been hosted by the German schools in Washingon D.C., Chicago and San Diego in the past few years. Our school has sent teachers to this conference every year for the past several years. The ZfA has supported our school in a multitude of ways and we are excited to be able to welcome the conference participants to TCGIS. There are a few logistical challenges over the weekend that I'm hoping a few of you can help us handle. These projects will assist us greatly and usually take 30 minutes to an hour of your time. The projects include setting up classrooms and preparing food for Friday afternoon, and preparing for our reception on Friday evening. We also need volunteers before lunch and in the afternoon on Saturday. If you can help at any of these times, please contact Sarah Bailey at [email protected]
After School Activities Registration Open!
Forms Due September 19th

Registration is now open for Fall After School Activities! Classes will begin the week of September 24th and will run through December 14th. Stop by the office and pick up forms or find them attached here. All forms are due by September 19th! 

Seeking Volunteers for Book Fair

Volunteers are needed to help put on the Book Fair of Sept 17th -19th. If you are able to share your time to help conduct the Book Fair, please contact Michelle Wallace.

News in Performing Arts
By Valentin Solakhau
We successfully started the new school year. Students are working on some routines from basic rules to theatrical exercises. Depending on the grade level students acquire knowledge and a set of skills in different areas of performing arts. 
Kindergarteners have learned a couple of German folk and children songs and rhymes. 
First grade is working on music and dances from Asia. We started our imaginative travel in Israel, will go then to Turkey and farther East to China. Second grade started the St. Martin project. Children will learn traditional St. Martin's songs and rehearse a scene about St. Martin. They will also be able to perform at St. Martin's Fest at the Landmark Center. Please mark the date in your calendars and join us on Sunday, November 4, from 4 to 6pm.
hird graders are learning about the
performing arts of Native Americans. We started with Dakota traditions and will continue with other nations' dances, songs and storytelling.  
Fourth grade is working on the US & temporary music. We started in 1900 in New Orleans and will discover the Mississippi delta as a musical landscape including jazz, blues, rock'n'roll, cajun music etc.  
Fifth grade will make an excursion through the history of European music. We started in the Middle Ages with Gregorian chants, Minnesang (troubadour music) and will continue with medieval city music.  
Sixth grade students started with basic theater elements. In the first months we will discover the art form of the cabaret.
Seventh and Eighth grades learned basic theater elements as well. While looking for ideas for bigger projects, I asked children to explore some world famous characters and their stories such as Maria Stuart, Faust and Orpheus. Please check with your children how far they've gone. Students should be looking for books, CDs, DVDs as well as internet materials.  
Contact Valentin for more information at [email protected].
Friday Sept. 14th 
At Kaffeeklatsch, the PTO sells coffee to the community with proceeds going back to support our teachers in the classroom in form of supplies, special project requests etc. This event is also a good occasion to get to know other parents of the school community. If you don't have time to stay for a while, you can be on your way to work with a freshly brewed cup of coffee!  We usually 
start serving coffee by 8:05am in the Front Lobby entrance. A cup of coffee is $1.00 if you bring your own cup, or $1.25 if we provide you with a cup. We are also serving tea (you can choose between three kinds of teas. Hope to see you there!

German Dancers
The Blumenkranz will be a part of the German weekend celebration at the MN Renaissance Festival. The weekend of September 22 and 23.
TCGIS will offer the Blumenkranz class (BK) again this year. The BK is not only an after-school activity, but also an active dance troupe that offers children an opportunity to perform at the Carnival of Cultures, the Festival of Nations at the Xcel Center, Deutsche Tage at the GAI and new this year at the MN Renaissance Festival and at the St Martin's Fest at the Landmark Center. The BK has 2 sections divided by age: senior group (grades 5-8) and junior group (grades 2-4). 
For more information check our website.
or contact Valentin Solakhau. 
Check Out the New Books for Teens at the GAI Library
Eleven New Titles!

With the help of a grant from the German-American Chamber of Commerce, 11 new titles for teens have been added to our collection, including Die Tribute von Panem 1-3 (The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins and Cornelia Funke's popular Tintenwelt books. If you have a young adult ready to tackle some novels auf Deutsch or would like to put your own reading skills to the test, stop by the library during your next visit and peruse the shelves!  Note: GAI membership is required for check out of library materials.
GAI Household Memberships 40% off!
Through the end of September

Germanic-American Institute household memberships are 40% off through September thirtieth. Enjoy our selection of contemporary German films, books for children and teens, and language learning material. Get discounts on a variety of classes, like German cooking, early childhood arts enrichment in German, and adult German language classes. Members also get discounts of many GAI events, and enjoy discounts at German restaurants, business, and magazines. Join today at

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.