Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

September 20, 2012

In this Issue
:: Upcoming Events
:: Last Chance Book Sale
:: Special Education Parent Advisory Meeting
:: Blumenkranz at the Renaissance Festival
:: Davanni's PTO Fundraiser
:: Performing Arts News
:: Elternkontakts Needed
:: GAI Household Memberships 40% Off
:: Typewriters Needed
:: ZfA Immersion Conference
:: Chinook Books
:: Temporary Food Server Needed
:: Cookout and Community Dinner
:: Maskenball 2013
:: Kaffeeklatsch
:: Boxes Needed

A Letter from Dr. Greener


Dear TCGIS Community,



We are closing in on the second full week of classes and even though there still are minor issues with schedule, classes etc, the overall mood is positive and the students are getting more and more accustomed to the daily routine.

Tonight is the first of two Curriculum Nights - this one for the Middle School, or grades 5-8,
from 6:30-8 pm. A second Curriculum Night will be one week from tonight and will focus on grades K-4. These Curriculum Nights are designed primarily for parents to learn about the academic program and not for one-on-one conferences about students. That will be done later in the year during Parent/Teacher Conferences. Tonight there also are two special meetings, one for parents of 5th graders as they begin Middle School (6:30 pm) and the other for the parents of 8th Graders dealing with the planned Capstone trip to Germany in the spring.

A wonderful example of the tremendous parent support here is the work done by Dale Bloom, parent of Max and Reuben, when he totally rebuilt a section of the fence along Wheeler Street. A faculty member, Scott Stephenson had put a temporary fix on the fence and Mr. Bloom finished it off. The parent volunteers here make the job of all faculty and staff much easier. Thank you.

The national Immersion School Conference will be taking place this weekend, beginning on Friday night at the Germanic American Institute and moving to TCGIS for workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Several faculty members from TCGIS will be presenting to the conference along with representatives from the German government and other German Immersion Schools.

My time as the Interim Director will begin to come to an end next week as a transition process takes place and the new Director, Ann Jurewicz, begins easing into her new role.
Her official starting date is October first. She is very excited about joining the TCGIS community and brings a wealth of talent and educational experience with her.

It is not too late to take part in the book fair. There will be special extended hours for parents to buy books down near the cafeteria tonight from 5:15 until 6:15 and Friday after school from 3:10-4:10. Proceeds from the sale of the books will help TCGIS in purchasing additional equipment and items for this year and next.

As the weather turns cooler, children are wearing more layers so the Lost and Found in the main office is beginning to outgrow the container for it. Parents are urged to check for items regularly. 

Parents should look for TCGIS ads in the City Pages starting next week. There will be a small summary paragraph in the printed paper but more importantly, there will be an online summary with the same information and a graphic which will be appearing on the City Pages website. Asearches online for information on TCGIS will be sent to this information - an excellent exposure for the school. The online article will run for a year.

Enjoy the fall!

Dr. Ken Greener
Interim Director


Upcoming Events
TONIGHT!-Middle School Curriculum Night 6:30-8 pm
21-23- ZFA Immersion Conference at TCGIS
22-23- Blumenkranz at Minnesota Ren. Fest. Special Events Field
24- After School Activities Begin
24- Davanni's Pizza Party Fundraiser 4-8pm
26- Orders forms due for Hot Lunch
27- Elementary School Curriculum Night 6:30-8:00pm
28- Kaffeeklatsch 8:00am 
30- Maskenball Volunteer Meeting 1:30-3:00

2- School Picture Day
2- PTO meeting 6:30-8:00 pm
Announcing: Last chance at great books!  
Come to the book fair or shop online!

Thursday night the book fair will be open from 5:10 pm - 6:10 p.m. immediately preceding the Middle School Curriculum Night.
And since the fair won't be picked up until Monday...we'll be open Friday after school only 3:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Special Education Parent Advisory Meeting 

The Special Education Department will be holding a Parent Advisory Committee Meeting on September 27
th in the TCGIS conference room.  The meeting will be held from 6:00-6:30, prior to the elementary school curriculum night.  The purpose of the meeting is to have a forum to address the general needs and delivery of special education services at TCGIS.  (This committee is not a forum for concerns regarding specific special education students nor for complaints regarding specific special education staff.)  
All parents are welcome!
at the Renaissance Festival this weekend

German Dancers
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. 
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. 
(41 Cleveland Ave. S.) 
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]
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].
Elternkontakts Needed for Classrooms

The Classroom Support Committee is setting up Elternkontakts for all classes. Elternkontakts 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].

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

Typewriters Needed
Old Machines find New Purpose

Do you have old word processing machines or typewriters gathering dust in your attic or basement? Frau Kocher will take them off your hands! Students enjoy the novelty of typing on these machines, and the added pressure needed to manipulate the keys helps students build their typing skills. Frau Kocher is accepting donations and loans of machines through the school year. 
Contact Susan Kocher at [email protected] for more info.
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. 
Tour Guides Needed      Get to know new TCGIS families

TCGIS needs your help in providing tours to prospective new families interested in enrolling their children in TCGIS. Tour guides are needed on Thursday mornings starting at 8:00am. Tours start at 8:15. For more info, please contact 

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].

Food Server Needed
Starting ASAP
TCGIS is in need of a part-time food server for the lunch program. Training will be provided. Duties include helping to receive and inventory catered lunch items, preparing and serving lunch trays and cleaning of the kitchen area after lunch service. This is a minimum-wage paying position. The workday is from 10:30 am-1:30 pm Monday-Friday, on days that school is in session. The end date for the position is June 6th. If anyone is interested, please contact Sarah Bailey at [email protected] or (651) 492-7106. 

TCGIS Auflauf Cook-off and Community Dinner!  
Friday, October 12, 6pm-8pm


Tater Tots

Get out the casserole dishes! It's time to compete in the 4th Annual Auflauf Cook-Off. The dish to beat is Kordula Coleman's Gedeckte Koenigsberger Klopse, which won top honors by both our judges and attendees last year. 


Our celebrity judges will choose winners in three categories: German Traditional, American Traditional, and the Rest of the World. Once the judging gets going, we will all join in a community dinner. Don't forget to take notes and vote for your favorite in the People's Choice. 


There will also be a "Non-Judgmental" Dessert Buffet - for those who enjoy cooking but not the competition. 


Cook-off participants receive a reduced ticket price. Watch the Elternbrief for more details and competitor information, as well as for tickets to go on sale. 


Space is limited! The Cook-off will be at the Salvation Army Community Center at 2727 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis.


We have many volunteer opportunities, so please check-out VolunteerSpot to sign-up!


Maskenball 2013
Volunteers Needed!
The 2013 Maskenball theme is, like, totally awesome, because it will take you back to the '80s! Let's show those current young hipsters donning '80s garb what we're made of, because we've so been there!  Dig out the scrunchies and the shoulder pads, and live out your yuppie fantasies, rock the Kasbah, do the Safety Dance, or just hang out with your school friends, with or without costumes. Enjoy high school party snacks, drinks, and live music from the real-deal Ol'Yeller, all night long! 
And yes, thanks for asking, Maskenball 2013 needs your help! Maskenball is our biggest community gathering and fundraiser of the year. The Maskenball Committee needs your help to make this year's event as fun and successful as it can be. There are many different tasks, big and small, before or at the event - we've got something for everybody! So come join us for our first volunteer meeting:
Maskenball Volunteer Meeting
Sunday, September 30, 1:30-3:00,
at Heidi Zimmermann's house,
1048 26th Ave. SE, Minneapolis
Hope to see you there! (legwarmers optional)
The Maskenball Team
Questions? Call or email:
Kordula Coleman (612) 781-2302
Heidi Zimmermann (612) 623-4508
Kami Blackwell-Kinney (651) 494-2086
Friday Sept. 28th 
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!
Boxes Needed 
Art Project Supplies
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.

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.