Issue: 120 
September 5th, 2013 
In This Issue
Give with Target
Kaffestube Manager
Letter from the Director
After School Activities
Transportation Update
PTO Update
Playtime at Como Park
MCA Scores
Supply Contribution
Apply for Educational Benefits

Now in September the 13th Annual Saint Paul Oktoberfest will begin its family-friendly festivities on Friday, September 20, 2013, from 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm, and continue on Saturday, September 21, 2013, from noon - 11:00 pm. This two-day event celebrates the Germanic heritage and everyone is welcome!


Your Vote Makes a Difference to our School


This year, Target will give money to schools all over the country for one simple act: a vote. Our school needs just 25 votes to earn a $25 donation from Target. But that's only the beginning. For each additional vote, our school will get $1 more. So please remember that, although the gesture is small, the rewards are potentially huge. Go to  this site to vote for Twin Cities German Immersion Charter School once a week through September 21 or until Target has given away all $5 million. 
Kaffeestube Manager
The Germanic-American Institute is hiring a Kaffeestube Manager for the Saturday morning, European breakfast buffet. Candidates should have experience with food prep and light kitchen management, and be able to commit to app. 12 shifts in the fall, starting September 21.  Shifts are  Saturday 7:30am-12:00pm, with additional hours during the week for shopping/ordering.  $12-$15/DOE. Visit gai-mn.org for full job description. 
Quick Links

Dear TCGIS parents and community, 


We have nearly made it through our first week of school and we have so much to celebrate! I want to give a week in review of everything that was amazing for our new school start up!

  • Students and teachers love their new classrooms! They are bright and sunny and both have commented about how calm and enjoyable the learning environment is.
  • We have a beautiful new Aula building with a large cafeteria and performance space for the future!
  • Teachers are experimenting with Smartboards and voice enhancement systems to increase student engagement and increase native language acquisition. 
  • The weather has been amazing making it possible to enjoy our wonderful new Como community. Coach Rosenthal has even had Sport outside!
  • The School Board gave flowers to staff and director for all their hard work!
  • We had a record lunch order with Lancer.  Students especially enjoyed the pancakes and cheesy potatoes on Thursday.
  • Staff enjoyed a pizza lunch social on Wednesday and we celebrated Herr Stephenson's birthday at the staff meeting after school.


I know we still have some areas for growth settling into our new school, especially in the drop off and pick up routine. We appreciate you patience as we work out the kinks for our new life here at TCGIS Como Park!


Finally, if you have time, please consider offering a compliment to your child's teacher or support staff-they have all been pulling double duty to make the launch of our new school year the best possible experience for TCGIS children.


Danke Schön Alles!


Ann Jurewicz

Executive Director



Sign up for Band!

Contact Krista Johnson at monk2miles@comcast.net if your current 5th-8th grader is interested in playing in the band.  Students who participated last year need to just confirm that they are planning to participate again this year.
Instructors Needed!karate-class-kids.jpg
Teach an After School Activity

It's that time of year again! If you would like to offer a class please fill out the attached form and hand it in to the office. After School Activities will be starting the week of September 30th. If you have any questions about teaching a class, please email Molly at mkalda@tcgis.org. Thanks! 


New procedures in transportation, safety and security


Dear TCGIS Parents,


Thank you for your ongoing patience and flexibility while we improve our pick-up and drop off procedure.  We are putting all of our staff resources into creating a workable traffic plan for all.  With this many people involved, the traffic plan will take time and practice; we appreciate your efforts!


In this email you will find some important changes to the procedure as well as feedback from our Como neighbors and reminders about traffic laws.



  • Kindergarten and 1st grade will be picked up and dropped off on the north (Van Slyke) side of the building. Students with KG/1st grade siblings or carpools will be picked up and dropped off on this side as well.

  • Grades 2 through 8 will be picked up and dropped off on the south (Como) side of the building.

  • Staff have been made aware of these changes and will communicate this with students during the school day tomorrow. Please help by telling your student where you will pick them up.

  • In all cases, pull all the way forward to make room for cars lined up behind you.

In addition, we have received feedback that our new neighbors feel strained during this transition. We offer several reminders of local traffic laws and considerations.

  • No Parking signs are installed on both sides of the buildings. Parking here is illegal.

  • Observe the fire hydrants & city bus stops - these are no parking zones.

  • Our neighbors request that we avoid using the alley directly to the west of our building.

  • When stopping curbside, avoid blocking driveways and alleyways.

  • "Double parking" is illegal and unsafe, even with blinkers. Please plan to wait in line or park your car west of Lexington Parkway.

TCGIS requires everyone's careful observation of the process and consideration for our fellow Como neighbors.  Again, we are grateful for your patience and good nature as we continue to settle into our new home.  
TCGIS Parent Teacher Organization
PTO Logo Color


The PTO Community Committee invites you to the following:


Join Us for the PTO Kickoff Meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 6:30-8:00 pm, in the TCGIS Aula!


The TCGIS PTO has been hard at work over the summer, planning and getting ready to kick off a great year! Come hear about exciting new events and opportunities to get involved!


In order to help us plan for setup, please RSVP your attendance. If you would like free, PTO-sponsored childcare, then you must RSVP. Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to help settle your child(ren) in before the meeting begins. 


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact PTO President Kami Blackwell Kinney at tcgispto@gmail.com.


September 10 Meeting Documents:


*    September Agenda

*    August Meeting Minutes (Draft)

*    2013-14 PTO Organizational Structure 

*    2013-14 PTO Approved Budget 


Coffee Cup
Get a Cup of Coffee and Chat with Other Parents
On Friday morning (September 6) after morning drop off at Black Bear Crossings (http://blackbearcrossings.com) located in the Como Lakeside Pavilion (1360 North Lexington Parkway, St. Paul).


PTO Meet-up
Meet-up with us at Como Playground for play time after school


Meet-Up with Us at Como Playground for some playtime following afternoon pick up on the following dates this month:

  • Thursday, September 5
  • Wednesday, September 11
  • Monday, September 16
  • Friday, September 27


The park is across Midway Parkway from Como Town.

  • West on Van Slyke toward Horton Ave
  • Left on Horton Ave
  • Right on Midway Pkwy
  • Playground will be on the left


MCA Scores
TCGIS outperforms other local charter schools!

You may have seen in the news that students across Minnesota had a significant drop (18%) in both reading and math test scores. 


This is because a new reading test was introduced, much harder than last year's test. In math, students could only take the test once instead of three times per last year keeping the highest score. These factors have been attributed to the lower test scores this year. However, compared to the overall lower scores across the state, TCGIS only dropped 12% (not the 18% state average) in reading from 91% to 79%.  We were ranked 5th among metro charter schools. In math, we had a dip from 84% to 80%. We were ranked 7th in metro charter schools. For more information about TCGIS in comparison with other Metro Area Charter Schools, click here.

Scissors and Markers and Crayons, Oh My! 
Just some of the things you did not have to buy!


This summer the TCGIS Sustainability Council conducted its 4th annual School Supply Recovery Project.  Volunteers refilled glue bottles, tested glue sticks, sorted crayons, cleaned scissors and sharpened pencils. The reuse project is an effort toward Consumption and Waste Reduction, one of the pathways we are addressing as an WWF Eco-School.  Not only does this project address our sustainability goals, but it also saves all of us money.  For instance, our community saved over $500 by refilling 130 glue bottles and over $1,000 by sticking with gently used crayons!


Thanks to the teachers, office staff, parents and students who collaborated on the project. Student helpers included 6th graders Annabelle Hendrickson and Maya Amel, 4th graders Fiona Schmid, Lydia Spencer, and Natalie Weimholt, and 1st grader Joe Weimholt. A special shout out goes to 4th grader Tess Amel whose enthusiasm and recruiting kept the momentum going.  Way to go!

Supply Contribution for 2013-2014

Each year, TCGIS asks for a supply contribution from its families. This contribution helps defray the additional costs we have as a school for the German consumables we use such as workbooks and notebooks. This year we are asking for $75 per student. We raised the suggested contribution by five dollars so that families would not be asked to provide copy paper, as in years past. Contributions can be dropped off at the Open House on August 29th. We appreciate any contribution your family can make.
Application for Educational Benefits
A single form for need based scholarships could help
reduce numerous school expenses

The Minnesota Department of Education provides schools and parents with a form to help determine whether a student is eligible for educational benefits. This form is most often used to determine whether a family is eligible for free or reduced pricing on school lunches. TCGIS also uses this form to determine if a student is eligible for scholarships for Extended Kindergarten, field trips, after school activities, as well as school supply fee waivers or assistance, and more. If you would like to be considered for these scholarships, please fill out and return the 2013-2014 Application for Educational Benefits. This form must be filled out every year if you wish to be considered for these programs. Benefits do not roll over to the next school year, so if you received benefits last year, please apply again this year in order to receive benefits from these programs.