Issue: 421            
August 13, 2020 
In This Issue

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TCGIS Online Calendar

Upcoming Events:

August 13: Special Board Meeting
August 16: Learning Model Survey Due
August 17: Special Ed Parent Meeting
August 27: Board Meeting
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Summer Greetings from TCGIS
The Fall 2020 School Reopening Plan 

Last evening the TCGIS Admin Team presented the School Reopening Plan for 2020. If you were unable to stream the presentation in real time, here are a few ways you can review the information: 
Both the recorded presentation and the slides are also on our homepage

Answers to the questions from families that were answered in the presentation can be found on this Fall Planning 2020 FAQs document. We will add to this document as we continue working on the plan with staff and teachers and are able to answer more questions. Please continue to email your immediate questions, concerns, and feedback about the new school year to fallplanning2020@tcigs.org

Special Board Meeting this evening 
Thursday, August 13, 6:30 pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 898 7127 8802
Passcode: 1vp8Z8

Here is the agenda for the evening as well as the two proposed items pending board approval this evening: 
  1. TCGIS School Year Planning Summary 2020-21 
  2. Revised School Calendar 2020-21
Selecting a Learning Model for your Child(ren)
In order to sustainably staff 3 sections per grade level in a conbination of 100% Distance Learning and Distance Learning + Connection Weeks, we are asking parents to commit to one learning model for one semester. Please make your selection for your child(ren) using this survey by midnight on Sunday, August 16:

Special Education Parent Meeting: Monday, Aug. 17, 6:30 pm
We will host a virtual follow-up SPED Parent Meeting to answer any questions you have regarding Special Education Services for the upcoming School Year. If your child is receiving Special Ed, or you think they may receive services this year, and you did not receive the invitation today, please email Stephanie Betley (sbetley@tcgis.org).
All-school Emails from TCGIS
The Elternbrief is our main mode of communicating important information to our families on a weekly basis. We also send community messages to all families and staff. Both of these emails are sent using contact lists in Constant Contact.  

Last week we began using a fresh contact list for the new school year, and we have been adding emails to the list as we hear from people who have not received the emails. If you know someone did not receive the Elternbrief or the community messages we sent this week, please ask them to email info@tcgis.org and we will add them to the current list before next week's Elternbrief. 

The Elternbrief will always be available to read here: tcgis.org/elternbrief. Select Community Message emails can be found here: tcgis.org/community-messages
School Information
Front Office Hours

The Front Office will be open from 8:00am - 4:00 pm weekdays starting next week. 
To protect the health of staff and other visitors, please wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines, including maintaining a distance of 6 feet, when visiting the school. Thank you! 
Busing Registration 

We are pleased to offer school bus transportation to TCGIS students for the 2020-21 school year. 

If you are interested in having your student(s) ride the bus, please complete this Busing Registration Form by Sunday, August 23, at midnight.

CSTMN will use the registration to plan the bus routes. We are not looking to add any additional stops for now given the limited amount of students we are planning to have in the building per day.

All registered busing families will receive the updated forms for permission to ride, the behavior agreement, and donation options by August 31.

Kinderclub Update

Thank you to parents who completed the interest survey last week. We are currently working on staffing and will have more information about registration once parents have made learning-model selections and class compostions are done. Thank you for your patience! 
School Supplies Lists + Practice Wearing Masks 

School supply lists have been updated to reflect guidance that students not share any supplies. Supply lists for each grade can be found here.

If you plan to select the "Distance Learning with Connection Weeks" learning model for your child(ren), it's time to start helping them practice wearing a mask for longer periods of time. This
recent article from the Washington Post includes a list of tips to help students prepare for the new school year with social distancing and mask requirements. 
Application for Free and Reduced Lunch Program

Please find the information and instruction letter and the application form for the Free and Reduced Lunch program for the 2020-2021 school year. Applications can be submitted at any time during the school year, however in order to receive free/reduced school lunches for the first day of school, please submit your application form no later than August 14, 2020. Forms may be emailed to Alex Weeding aweeding@tcgis.org or dropped off at the front office. 

If you have any questions or need help, please don't hesitate to email Alex Weeding at  aweeding@tcgis.org or call the front office: 651- 492-7106.
TCGIS Seeking Part-time Food Service Associate 

We are seeking a part-time (20 hours per week) Food Service Associate for the 2020-21 school year. All Food Service team members are Tier 1 Essential Workers and eligible for free Kinderclub Care. 

A full job description for this position is available here.

Anyone interested in applying for this position should send a letter of interest and a current resume to Ashley Weston-Miller (awestonmiller@tcgis.org). 
Take-home Meal Kits: Parent Interest Survey

In preparation of the new school year we would like to gauge the interest of our families to order and purchase Take-Home Meal kits (which include frozen lunches, breakfasts and milk) during distance learning days (under any hybrid- or full distance-learning models).

By filling out this survey, you are NOT commiting to take-home meal kit service, but your input helps guide our planning with the caterer, for storage, and for staffing.

Families who qualify for Free/Reduced lunches will be able to order these take-home meal kits free of charge. All ordering will take place through our Boonli online ordering system. All meal kits are provided by our caterer Lancer Dining Services.

Please fill out this survey by Sunday, August 16. Vielen Dank! 
Health Office Updates 
Authorization to Provide Medication to Students
If your child will need medication during the school day in the 2020-21 school year, please be sure to:
  • In order to administer medication to a student during the school day, we require the Medical Authorization Form, signed by both the health care provider and the parent/guardian.
  • All medication must be in its original package with a valid expiration date and labeled with the student's name.
  • Medication drop off: Our Health Office Associate, Monika Avery, will be available to receive your child(ren)'s medication together with the completed authorization form:

    Monday, August 31st from 8 - 10 am
    Thursday, September 3rd from 5 - 7 pm.
  • Please come to the Van Slyke Entrance of the school
  • If there is a line, please keep a safe distance of 6 feet. We would appreciate if you would let us know which date would work for you (mavery@tcgis.org)
  • If at all possible, please leave your children at home.
  • If you have questions or need to make alternate arrangements to drop off completed Forms and/or medication, please contact our Health Service Associate, Monika Avery at mavery@tcgis.org.
Vaccination Records for 11 year-olds are Due
If your child is 11 years old and/or entering 7th grade next school year, Minnesota State Statute 121A.15 requires your student to have a dose of the Tdap and Meningococcal vaccine to return to school. If you choose to opt out you may file a medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a non-medical exemption signed by a parent/guardian, and notarized (vaccine needs to be specified). Please return completed immunization documentation to TCGIS once available, but not later than August 15th, 2020 via: 
  • email to info@tcgis.org
  • mail to the school:
    • 1031 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103; ATTN: Monika Avery
Annual Registration for Returning Students

If you haven't already done so, please log in to your children's PowerSchool accounts and fill out annual student registration forms by August 20th. We have revised several of the forms so even if there is no new information, we need you to review the form and, most importantly, even if you change nothing, you must hit the submit button on each form for the information to update in their account. Please review and update the following forms:

B - Student Demographics - review & submit
C - Student Health Information - review & submit
D - Media/Directory Release - update & submit
E - Neighborhood Walk Permission - update & submit
F - Emergency Treatment Authorization - fill out & submit
T - Student Contacts - update & submit

Please also use this opportunity to fill out any forms your child is missing except the S - Change of Address form. Only fill out this form if you have moved. 

Thank you so much!  
Construction Updates

As summer draws to a close so does our construction project. The inside has largely cleaned and there are only a few items to complete. Landscaping and the play space have been installed. We are now waiting on some items that are on order for the outdoor sports area and the repair of the rubber play surface. 

At this point we are days from our final inspection for the certificate of occupancy. 

Andy Nesset
Director of Facilities

New Building
New cafeteria from the main foyer
New Building
3rd floor Middle School Hallway
New Building
Neue Sporthalle - New Gymnasium
New building
Neue Sporthalle - New Gymnasium
Parent Council Update 

The Parent Council (PC) kept our summer momentum going and met on Monday, 8/10/2020 via Zoom. During the meeting we met the new Elementary School Dean, Michael White and the new Middle School, Dean Elizabeth Zehnpfennig. They will handle discipline for their perspective grades and pick up where Mike Mullins left off. We enjoyed hearing their perspective on TCGIS, look forward to working with them, and were happy to welcome them.  

We heard a little more about the school plan for fall but most of the information will come from the Zoom meeting that took place Wednesday (Aug. 12). Administration is awaiting more teacher input (the first teacher work day is Aug 24th) and weighing many options in our current, changeable circumstances.  

We talked a great deal about the plans for the fall and realize that a lack of certainty is ubiquitous through many school districts and ours is no exception. The nature of a pandemic is uncertainty and the PC realizes that we are all doing our best: families, staff, and administration. We encourage parents to keep asking questions, stretch their patience as far as they can, and keep the positive conversations going as we all get through this difficult time.  

With the help of TCGIS staff, the Parent Council will hold new elections for the 2020-21 school year after school starts, seat new members in October, and make sure there is continuity from this PC to the next.  Some of our goals as PC moves forward are to increase transparency, work with the Student Council on school lunch improvement, continue discussions on the middle school health curriculum, and finalize a PC procedural manual to help increase PC continuity from year to year. We encourage all parents to think about running for PC this year!      

As we await this new school year, if you have anything you'd like the Parent Council to address, please email your class representative or the PC at parent-council@tcgis.org. Please note, a summer email update changed the permissions for the PC email address and messages from parents were not arriving to us.  TCGIS staff have fixed this so if you have not received a response to a recent PC email - please resend!  
Useful links and a few website updates

Here are links to useful pages you may wish to bookmark for easy reference: 

New Pages and Updates
All of the Community Messages & Updates we have emailed since March can now be found here: www.tcgis.org/community-messages 

We have archived the 2019-20 Elternbriefe and they can be found by clicking the button for 2019-20 on this page: www.tcgis.org/elternbrief
TCGIS Band Program Information

To all 4th grade families: are you interested in participating in the TCGIS Middle School band program? Click here to find more information about signing up for band and participating in summer lessons online!

Krista Johnson
Band teacher
Resources for Conversations with Kids on Race, Racism, & Discrimination

AMAZEWorks, which provided guidance and anti-bias training for TCGIS staff earlier this year, is currently offering free resources on their website for parents to have conversations with their kids on race, racism, and discrimination.

School Board Announcements
Special Board Meeting: Thu., August 13, 6:30 pm

The agenda of this meeting is to hear the proposed 20-21 school reopening plan and take action on a resolution proposed by administration for Board approval. The Board will also take action on the proposed school calendar changes for 20-21. One request is to change the start date to Sept. 8th. The public is welcome to monitor the meeting by Zoom.
Meeting ID: 898 7127 8802
Passcode: 1vp8Z8

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Here are the scheduled upcoming committee meetings. Please email the committee chair listed below for meeting login details.

Diversity & Belonging Committee: Tue., Aug.18, 3:45pm, contact
Finance & Facilities Committee: Tues August 18, 6:30pm, rheid@tcgis.org
Executive Committee: Wed August 19, 6:30pm, contact jalkatout@tcgis.org
August School Board Meeting: Thurs August 27, 6:30pm, details above
Fundraising & Development Committee: Tue, Sept 1, 8:30am, dbell@tcgis.org
Schoolwide Culture & Innovative Education Committee: Wed, Sept 2, 3:45pm, contact llinnell@tcgis.org
Communication & Outreach Committee: Tue, Sept 8, 8:15am, riwen@tcgis.org
Governance & Leadership Development Committee: Mon, Sept 14, 3:45pm, contact ealbers@tcgis.org
Diversity & Belonging Committee: Tue, Sept 15, 3:45pm, kkulhanek@tcgis.org
Executive Committee: Wed, Sept 16, 6:30pm, contact jalkatout@tcgis.org
Community Events 
Opportunities at the Germanic-American Institute (GAI) 


Samstagsschule (Saturday School) for kids and teens
Saturday School classes for ages four through high school return for fall!
The program is built around natural acquisition of language in an interactive, fun environment. Beginning to advance levels offered for all age groups. Samstagsschule begins Saturday, September 26. Register at gai-mn.org/children


Climate Workshop for Teens - ATTENTION TCCIS Alumni Parents!
Saturdays, September 19-December 5 | 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Conceived in collaboration with TCGIS, this is an interactive climate and culture workshop leading to a Klimagipfel (Climate Summit) in December. The course is designed for young people, ages 12-16, with basic knowledge of German (Level 2/A2 or higher). 
Register at gai-mn.org/German-and-Science-Workshops


Adult-learners Fall classes at the GAI Haus or Online
Our German language fall classes for adults include START 1-2-3 for beginners and a range of options for intermediate and advanced students. These classes will follow social distancing protocols while offering invaluable in-person interactions with your instructor and classmates. Classes begin the week of September 14.
Register at gai-mn.org/Fall-2020 
German-American Chambers of Commerce (GACC)

TCGIS families are invited to participate in the Minnesota Chapter of the GACC's annual golf tournamnent on September 14! Click here for sponsorship opportunities and the registration form