Liebe TCGIS Gemeinschaft,
I am writing to you today with an update about how COVID-19 has impacted the international and travel programs that are fundamental to the TCGIS learning experience. Many other all-school events are impacted as well and we will share more about those in the coming weeks.
Three programs anchor our school in its efforts to realize our vision of
Andere hören, andere sehen, weltoffen denken und handeln
: the Intern Program, Waldsee Biohaus in 6th grade, and the Capstone Program in 8th grade. Through them we bring TCGIS to the world and the world to TCGIS.
These programs make a TCGIS education unique. They illustrate who we are and what we do. They inspire and motivate our students throughout their TCGIS school years, and provide them essential opportunities to use the German language to communicate and build relationships with native speakers. Biohaus and Capstone are so fundamental to the TCGIS experience that we, as a school, ensure all students are able to participate, regardless of ability to pay.
We want to reassure our community that these fundamental programs and experiences are not going away. We are putting them on hold for now, and thinking creatively about how we can plan for the future of these programs. Here is what we know now about these valuable programs:
6th grade Biohhaus
Even though the 6th grade Waldsee (BioHaus) trip is being postponed from its originally planned dates in late May, the trip will take place sometime in the next school year. The current 6th graders will still be able to experience the songs, dances, food, science experiments, German immersion, and camp culture that Waldsee has to offer next school year.
- 8th Grade: We were devastated when we had to cancel this year’s 8th grade Capstone exchange earlier in March. At this point we are not sure what adaptations we will be able to make to this year’s exchange - or what alternative experiences we may be able to provide - but we will continue to consider all possibilities. We are thankful that our 8th graders did have the opportunity to be paired with and host their exchange partners last fall.
- 7th Grade: In a typical year, we would be matching our 7th grade students with partners right now so they could begin to communicate before the Germans visit TCGIS in the fall. We will continue this process in the hopes that next year’s Capstone exchange takes place, even in an alternative format, if necessary. One adaptation we already know about: our Capstone partners will not be visiting us in the fall. We are exploring ways for next year’s 8th graders to connect consistently throughout the school year with their German partners, and are hopeful that both visits(s) - in MN and in Germany - can take place in 2021.
We had to make the heartbreaking decision to send our spring interns home after just 7 weeks at TCGIS. The uncertain timeline for when COVID is expected to peak, for when social distancing will end and international travel will return,
required us to cancel the Fall 2020 Intern Program
. Fortunately, some of the interns who were scheduled to come this fall are now planning to come in Spring 2021 and will join those Interns who were already scheduled for next spring. We are looking forward to a really robust Intern program with approx. 15-20 Interns a year from now, including at least two of this year’s Spring interns who are planning to return next spring to conclude their internship.
We are thankful for the support and understanding of our TCGIS community - especially in these unpredictable times. Together we will weather this era of uncertainty.
With hope and gratitude,
8th & 9th grade parent