Weekly Newsletter for TCGIS Families

February 7th, 2013

In this Issue
:: Upcoming Events
:: Letter from the Director
:: Facilities Update
:: Carnival of Cultures
:: Maskenball
:: Kinderclub Registration
:: Yearbook
:: Kaffeeklatsch
:: MCA Testing Updates
:: Mathcounts Club
:: Read to Feed
Upcoming Events


Tonight- Carnival of Cultures 6:00-8:00 pm
08- Kaffeeklatsch 8:00am
14- Kindergarten Applications Due
15- Teacher Workday, No School for Students
15- Kindergarten Lottery 9:00 am
18- President's Day, No School

Dear TCGIS community-


I made it out last weekend to ski through the night lanterns on Lake of the Isles for the Loppet event. It was magical! I hope you are all embracing true Minne-snow-ta living!


Things are getting very busy this time of year with the application deadline for new students to TCGIS nearing and the continued excitement around our new Como site! Please read the Como site update in this edition of the Elternbrief by facilities member Mark Ireland.


Carnival of Cultures, Thursday, Feb. 7th, 6:00-8:00pm

The St. Paul Pioneer Press will be writing a piece on TCGIS covering tonight's event and the planned move to our new Como location.  Look for the article this coming Monday in the education section.  Please also remember to have K-3 students at St. Thomas by 5:45pm for the performance beginning at 6pm.  There will be a 15-minute intermission from 6:45-7:00.  Students in grades 4-8 should gather at the stage at this time for their performance from 7:00-7:45.  NEW LOCATION!!!-O'Shaughnessy Education Center at St. Thomas University. 


Visit from German Dignitary, February 11, 2013

Harald Leibrecht, the Coordinator for Transatlantic Relations at the German Foreign Office is visiting TCGIS this Monday, February 11th from 9am-10am.  Christa Tiefenbacher-Hudson from the Honorary Consul of Germany will be accompanying Herr Leibrecht.


Immersion Day at the Capitol, February 19, 2013

Winners of the "Deutsche Heute!" competition in December will be presenting to legislative representatives at the State Capitol as part of MAIN's Immersion Day.  Legislators will see presentations in German (and English) on German culture, song and religion.


PowerSchool Parent Portal for Elementary Students

The PowerSchool parent portal is now open for all grades.  Elementary parents should have received their logins last week.  Please remember this is in pilot phase.  Teachers are still in the learning process for this technology and are trying to put in a couple of assignments each week.  Please be supportive and patient as we work to develop this communication tool on student progress. Please forward any questions you may have about signing on to Parent Portal to [email protected].



The school has changed the test dates of the MCA reading exams.  Exams are now scheduled from Monday, March. 18 to Thursday, March 21. Please mark this change on your school calendars.



Friday, February 15-NO SCHOOL! (Teacher Professional Development Day)

Monday, February 18-NO SCHOOL! (President's Day)

Wednesday, February 20-EARLY RELEASE! (Pick up at 12:45)***


***Please remember, late pick up results in a $50 late fee.


Take care,

Ann Jurewicz



Facilities Committee Update 
I want to thank all the members of the Facilities Committee who have worked on finding a site, evaluating sites, and balancing all of the trade-offs that are inherent in any big decision like this. They've spent hundreds of hours, missed family dinners, and managed quite a bit of stress.

As you know, at the December board meeting, the Board authorized entering into a long-term lease agreement with Ten Square Development to move to the Como/Van Slyke property. In the meantime, we've door-knocked and held a Como neighborhood meeting with our future neighbors (the people who live in the houses near our new school). The reception from the neighborhood has been positive, and we're working with them to mitigate parking, traffic, and construction issues. There will be a Como neighborhood liaison to help facilitate communication.  Future Como neighborhood meetings will be held in the coming months so that Como neighborhood residents can meet the general contractor and provide feedback related to design.

There will also be a second TCGIS community meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm to see proposed plans and offer feedback to the architect, Deb Rathman and the Design Committee.  The Design Committee is comprised of TCGIS staff and parents, and they will help incorporate and evaluate the feedback that is received from various community stakeholders. Thank you to all the TCGIS parents who came to the first meeting a few weeks ago.

Here are some other answers to some of the questions that I've received:

I have comments related to the design, how do I get those to the Design Committee?
All comments should be sent to [email protected].  The committee is meeting at least weekly with the architect and they will evaluate the comments and determine how to appropriately respond.

I have questions about pick-up/drop-off, biking, carpooling, and security, who do I talk to?
There is a working group led by Burkhard Tiessen. You can contact him via the Design Committee email ([email protected]) to help the school develop workable policies and priorities as we grow from 320 students to nearly 500 students in the coming years. This group is just getting started, and I'm excited about the possibilities for more walking and biking.

I want to be involved in designing the landscaping and playspaces at the new school, how do I do that?
Send your name and contact information to the Design Committee at [email protected]. They will contact you related to how you can volunteer in developing the outdoor spaces at the school.
Carnival of Cultures 2013 
Cafe International

When: Feb. 7 (THU) at 6:00 pm
Where: The
O'Shaughnessy Education Center Auditorium (University of St. Thomas) 

6:00-6:45pm Part I K-3 with following themes and in following order:
  • Kindergarten - Germany
  • 1st grade - Asia
  • 2nd grade - Africa
  • 3rd grade  - Native Americans
6:45-7:00pm Intermission and Art Work Show

7:00-7:45pm Part II 4-8 with following themes and in following order:
  • 7th/8th grades - Austria  
  • 5th grade - Europe
  • 4th grade - America & African-Americans
  • 6th grade - German Cabaret
The Carnival is a colorful celebration of life. Therefore a nice costume will be appropriate.
Please discuss with your children what they would like to wear.There are no formal requirements to the costumes, just consider the following: If you and your children have a connection/affection/affinity to a specific culture - ethnic costumes will be perfect and very welcome! Other sources of inspiration could be flowers, birds, clowns etc. A nice evening dress will work as well.

Two limitations: 

PLEASE, do not mix up this event with Halloween - no Halloween attire.
PLEASE, no winter shoes on stage.

You can find some information about the Carnival of Cultures online at http://sites.google.com/a/germanschool-mn.org/music/fundus/carnival-of-cultures

Valentin Solakhau
Performing Arts Teacher 
Maskenball Update
Hello TCGIS community!
Sixteen days until Maskenball! Have you figured out your 80s persona yet? Tickets are on sale now - thanks to everybody who has already purchased theirs! Be another early bird and buy your ticket now here. We will also be selling tickets in the school lobby tomorrow morning and next Tuesday and Thursday. 
We also would still very much appreciate your wine donation for our wine pull at the party. In a wine pull, everyone is a winner. It is very easy to play. $10 gets you a bottle randomly selected from the pile. The fun is that you never know if you will get a more elegant wine or a wonderful table wine. 
And now, let's talk about staff, baby! Like at previous Maskenball events, we will have our staff raffle again. For $2, buy a raffle ticket for your favorite teacher or staff member, at school (tomorrow morning!) or at the event. The lucky winner will get 2 tickets to the Park Square Theatre (a total value of $80) and a $100 gift certificate for the Great Waters Brewery in Downtown St Paul!
Read about Herr Stephenson's staff raffle experience, one of the previous winners:

"I was thrilled to be the first winner of the TCGIS PTO Maskenball raffle. My wife and I spent a wonderful weekend in New Ulm at a lovely bed and breakfast. We had dinner at a few nice restaurants, enjoyed the shopping, and went bowling. It was such a nice treat, and we would never have splurged for something like that just for ourselves. It was great to feel lucky as a winner, but even better to think of all the people who bought raffle tickets for me and increased my chances.Thanks TCGIS PTO, and thanks parents who participated. It was great!"

The winner will be announced the night of Maskenball, Feb 23 2013.

Kinderclub Registration
Friday, Feb. 15th

Please use the following link to sign up your child for care on the school release day Friday, February 15th. We will operate from 8am - 6pm. Rate $37/per child.
Early sign up is always encouraged! No sign up after Wednesday February 6th will be able to be accommodated this time.
Thank you for your cooperation!

Please note: Kinderclub as well as the TCGIS is closed on Monday, February 18th in observance of President's Day.

Yearbook Updates
Now accepting photos!

The Yearbook class is in full swing working on the 2nd annual yearbook. However, we need more photos to fill it up! If you have any photos from class field trips, school performances, special occasions or candid classroom pics, please share them with us. If you have pictures to submit, please send them to Molly Kalda at [email protected].
The Yearbook class is holding a contest for the book cover art. All grades are encouraged to submit their artwork to Molly Kalda by March 1st. The yearbook team will be voting on which pictures should be on which cover. First place gets the front cover, and second place gets the back cover. The first place winner will receive a free yearbook! We are also collecting additional pictures for the inside of the book.
Our next Kaffeeklatsch is tomorrow, Feb. 8th! We usually start serving coffee by 8:05am in the Front Lobby entrance.  A suggested donation for 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! Now also selling Coffee Cards for your convenience: $8 (with cup), $10 (w/o cup)!! No more searching for dollar bills necessary!
MCA Testing Updates

MCA reading test dates have been slightly changed.  We have moved the Friday, March 22nd reading testing session to Monday, March 18th.    This will avoid testing the Friday before Spring Break. 

As noted on the school calendar, science testing will be offered April 9th through the 11th and math testing will be offered April 30th through May 3rd.  

Thank you for notifying us with planned absenses during testing times.  We will make schedule accommodations.  Please email [email protected] if you know that your student will be absent during any of the testing dates. 

Look for furture articles on how to support your student during MCA testing.  
MATHCOUNTS Club Kick-Off February 14th
During Recess and Lunch

The MATHCOUNTS Club Program is designed to increase enthusiasm for math.  The Club will use resources provided by the National Program that are a great supplement to our middle school program.  The activities foster a positive social atmosphere, with a focus on students working together as a club to earn recognition and rewards from the program.  The club is open to all 6-8 grade students.  It is free to join and will take place every other Friday during recess.  Students should sign up in the Room 211 (Math/Spanish).  If you have any questions feel free to contact Missy Morrissey.
Fourth Graders Read to Feed
Help them raise money for Heifer International

The Fourth Grade English class is participating in the second annual Read to Feed program and we'd like to invite you to help us!  Read to Feed is a program of Heifer International that encourages children to be a part of Heifer's mission to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.  Last year our fourth graders raised over $2500!!

Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income.  Heifer is currently working in 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities, become more self-reliant.  

The Read to Feed program encourages reading skills while teaching students how they can empower families around the world with the gift of livestock.  Children are recruiting sponsors for their reading goals from January 7th to March 2nd.  At the end of the program, the fourth graders will pool, calculate, and donate the funds to Heifer International to assist families around the world. 

If you wish to help us in our efforts, please visit our "Team" page to donate with a credit card or leave a check with Molly at the front desk!  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students and the lives of countless others!!

Organizer: Michelle Wallace, 3/4 English Teacher

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.