Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 436 / DECEMBER 3, 2020
MDH's Updated COVID-19 Decision Tree
TCGIS Community: We thank you for your continued support by working to keep our school community and state safe! Please continue to uphold our school's Community Pledge and read the following important update.

Minnesota Department of Health released an updated Decision Tree on Dec. 1, 2020Please review the updates particularly focused on isolating from house members when testing positive for Covid-19 (whenever possible) and length of isolation. 

Stay Safe MN: at-home COVID-19 test available
Additionally to the testing sites, Minnesota and Vault Medical Services offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for everyone, with or without symptoms, at no cost. After ordering you receive the test delivered to your house and when you are ready to take the test, you will log in to access the Vault virtual waiting room and do a video visit with a Vault test supervisor. After sending the test back to the lab you receive the result in 24-48 hours.

If you have any questions or concerns concerning Covid-19 policies and procedures at TCGIS, please contact Monika Avery ( and Ashley Weston Miller (
Note: If you don't see the calendar at the end of your Elternbrief, the message has been clipped and you may need to click "View entire message" to see the entire Elternbrief. Danke!
Family Support Night Meet-Up: TONIGHT at 7:30
**All parents, caregivers, etc., are welcome to attend**
Topic: How do we manage transitions, for our kids and ourselves?

Parent Council invites you to join us for another Family Support Night on Zoom this evening, 12/3, from 7:30-8:30 PM. Drop in and out whenever you’d like or stay for the whole conversation. Katrin Erdmann will present a brief introduction to the German tradition of celebrating Nikolaustag at the beginning of our meeting. Then we will open it up for discussion on challenges, successes, tips and tricks on managing the various transitions we all face during distance learning.  

Click here for Zoom Link, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

We plan to hold these Family Support Nights regularly and are interested in hearing from you about topics you’d like to discuss at future meetings. Please email any of us with your suggestions for future discussion topics. 

Bis bald! See you soon!
Family Support Subcommittee of the Parent Council
DL Calendar Dec-Jan
December & January
Grades K-8 will continue in distance learning through at least January 22nd. The Incidence Response Team (IRT) will continue to monitor our statewide infection rates and will officially determine the end of January's learning model at a later date.
Herzlichen Dank! Thank you so much!
Together, we surpassed our Give to the Max goals!
Thanks to the generosity of more than 160 donors, TCGIS has received $52,195 for the Annual Fund so far!

Thank you for taking advantage of our new online donation form, for harnessing employer-match programs, and for sharing our fundraiser with relatives and friends. Together, we surpassed all of our Give to the Max Day milestone goals, and unlocked the $10,040 Board match! Each week until Winter Break students and staff will celebrate, starting tomorrow with Crazy-Hair day.

End-of-year Donations
December is an excellent time to make those last tax-deductible donations of the year, and to amplify your donation through employer giving programs. Recurring donations are now an option when you donate through the TCGIS online giving form. Thank you for thinking of TCGIS in your giving plans!
December Cultural Traditions
In December TCGIS students learn about holiday traditions in the German-speaking countries. Since we aren't able to share these traditions in person this year, we want to share their background with you here in case your family would like to learn about them together this year.
Sunday, Dec. 6 is Nikolaustag (St. Nicholas Day)
Children throughout Germany, Austria and the German-speaking part of Switzerland eagerly await and celebrate Nikolaustag on December 6th. 

Like Martinstag, celebrated in November, this holiday is not widely known or celebrated in the U.S. Why do we fill shoes with treats? Is St. Nick the same as Santa? Learn these answers and more about the history and sweet rituals around this cultural tradition when you click here. Frohen Nikolaus!
K is for Krampus: Make your own Krampus!
In years past TCGIS students have learned about the tradition of Krampus, and even been able to meet a Krampus. This year, Frau Kulhanek has made a delightful video introducing the history and tradition of Krampus, and sharing some fun Bastelaktivitäten (craft-activities) to make your own Krampus!
Watch Frau Kulhanek's video here: Krampus 2020
View Frau Kulhanek's presentation slides here.
School News & Updates
New Virtual School Tour & Enrollment for 2021/22 
Do you know any families looking at Kindergarten or a new school for their child(ren) next year? We have a new enrollment page for prospective parents, and created a virtual school tour and additional video resources. We will be hosting virtual Open Houses this year, including one this evening. Sharing what you love about TCGIS with your friends is the most effective way to spread the word about our great school. Vielen Dank!

We are also still accepting applications for this school year in grades 1-3, and 5-8.

If you will have a Kindergartner or a NEW student joining us next year, click here to fill out the 21/22 application for them or mail a paper application. The enrollment window is open now until the deadline on February 22, 2021. Siblings of currently-attending TCGIS students receive sibling preference for enrollment; for more information about TCGIS' enrollment process, please visit our enrollment webpage. Please direct any questions to Clarissa Herman at
2020-21 Student Photos & Yearbook Orders
We want to be sure we have your students' photos for the yearbook! Please submit your child's photo by Dec. 18.
Click here for instructions (pdf) and then use this link to upload a photo of your child, labeled with his/her/their name as part of the file name, that will be added to the TCGIS 2020-21 Yearbook! 

While you're on the Jostens website uploading your child's photo, you can also order a yearbook!

  • Choose an outfit that your child feels comfortable wearing
  • No filters, please!
  • Solid backgrounds other than black or white are best
  • Long sleeves usually look better than short sleeves
  • Have your child wear their glasses if they prefer
  • Avoid hats & excessive accessories
TCGIS in the News
The Park Bugle recently ran two articles about TCGIS: TCGIS harriers adapt to COVID protocols about the cross-country team coached by Herr Tabisz, and a school news roundup summarizing fall goings-on.
We're planning for summer camp already!
TCGIS will offer summer camps in 2021 in collaboration with the GAI. In order to help us plan better, please fill out this short survey . Thank you!
Library Updates
Reserving Library Materials
Would you like new library books? Throughout the school year you are now able to fill out this form to get new materials. Putting your "order" in by Wednesday night will ensure it's ready for the following week.

Current due dates for library books
HYBRID: All books that were checked out in Sept/Oct should now be returned.
DISTANCE: due Dec. 14-18 (unless they'd like to reserve new books before then)
Along with Friday materials pick-ups, you can now drop off books anytime during school hours at our book drop-off bin, located at the top of the stairs by the main entrance!

What's in our library?
Are you curious as to what's in our library? As we can't go inside the library this year, our librarian has created a Library Guide. Find out what's in our library including genres and popular series, how to search for books in our library, common FAQs, and more!

LIVE story time:  Our next story time will be Monday, December 7 at 2:45 pm. Follow this link to tune in! (Zoom passcode: E1m1L0)
A new PTO Fundraiser!
Simpls is a Minneapolis restaurant that makes amazing scratch-made soup using local, organic and sustainable ingredients. They’ve made it super easy for everyone, and the soup will be delivered right to your door, 100% contact-free. These delicious soups make a great gift too!

Simply visit and place an order of two quarts of soup or more, enter in our promo code at checkout: TCGIS. For every quart of soup that you purchase between Monday, Nov. 23rd - Sunday, Dec. 20th, we earn a portion of the sales! Make sure to add in our promo code every time you order during these three weeks. You can use our promo code as many times as you like during the fundraising period! Once you order, you’ll get it delivered frozen directly to your door on their next available delivery day.
Now you can schedule delivery closer to the holidays!
Now that many friends and family have tried our soups, they may be ready to place a second order! Also, gift packages are 25% off this week and the soups in the gift packages also count towards our fundraiser! A little tip - if you want your gift delivered closer to the holidays, schedule their delivery date at checkout!
Winter Music Lessons
Winter session with Vienna Community Arts studio begins December 1, 2020. We have slots open for piano, violin, guitar, and ukulele. Lessons are offered at school, home, or online. Sign up with Herbert or Nancy at 651-340-6205 or email:
Technology assistance available to all families
Did you know about the TCGIS Technical Assistance Form? It's in every student's TCGIS Bookmarks folder in Chrome, and also on our homepage under Fall Learning Plan, and can be used to get help with any technical issues you might be experiencing with anything from websites to devices. Don't hesitate to reach out!
Printed Materials Pickup: Fridays from 2:00-3:00pm
If your child's teacher has indicated there are materials to pick up this week, you can pick up printed materials and other resources for distance learners from 2:00-3:00 PM on Friday afternoons at the Westeingang (west entrance) near the new parking lot. Weather permitting, pickup will take place outside; otherwise inside the large entrance space at the Westeingang.
NEW: If you are unable to pickup materials on Fridays between 2:00-3:00, materials will be available for pick-up at a table located in the main foyer near the doors to the playground. Parents must email the teacher when they plan to pick up materials so that the teacher(s) can leave the materials on the table for that day. There is also a library book drop-off bin at this table. We appreciate any library books that can be dropped off each Friday at materials pick-up. Vielen Dank!
School Board Announcements
November 18 Board Meeting Summary
The School Board met at 6:30 PM on November 18; the recording can be found here. The board recognized this year’s Parent Council & Staff Council representatives and heard a presentation about the Parent Council’s 2020-2021 operations. Open Forum included a thank-you to Kinderclub staff for their efforts and positivity. The board approved the charter for the Curriculum Advisory Committee and heard a report from Executive Director Anderson on the student recruitment and retention plan. TCGIS’s auditor presented the results of the 2019-2020 annual audit. Director Alkatout shared an update on the development of the Vision 2025 strategic plan.

Upcoming Meetings
Please email the committee email addresses listed below for each meeting’s login details. You can find links to the new committee charters here. All are welcome to join committee meetings!

Governance & Leadership Development Cmte: Mon. Dec. 7, 4:30 PM;
Communication & Outreach Cmte: Tues. Dec. 8, 8:30 AM;
Diversity & Belonging Cmte: Tues. Dec. 15, 3:45 PM;
Finance Cmte: Tues. Dec. 15, 6:30 PM;
There is no Board meeting in December.
News from the GAI
Winter Session German Classes
Registration is now open—all classes will be online.
Get 10% off Winter Session classes through December 31!
From beginners to advanced students, the GAI offers high quality German instruction for all ages. You’ll get personal attention from live instructors in real time. Winter session adult classes begin January 11. Samstagsschule begins February 6. Register at
Kinderstube German Immersion Preschool is hiring!
Interested in working with the Twin Cities' youngest German immersion learners AND working in an environment that values community and work-life balance? Kinderstube is hiring for a full-time position beginning in January 2021. 

If you or someone you know are interested, please apply soon! Interviews will be scheduled for mid-December. To learn more about the preschool and the application process, click here. Job description here.
Student Enrichment
Be a beta-tester for a new German game app!
Want to help make a great German word game app? Julia Neidert, a local software engineer, has been developing an app designed to help you build German vocabulary with a fun word game. She is looking for people to help test the app before it is released, so she can make it as fun and helpful as possible. If you're interested in getting an early look and giving one-time feedback, find out more at
German Tutors for TCGIS Students
TCGIS has built a list of local university/college students interested in virtual private tutoring in German for TCGIS students. We update this Google spreadsheet of tutors regularly. Learn more here.
Enrich your family life with more German at home
Check out the updated German Enrichment Page for excellent resources for kids of all ages. There really is something for everyone, so please take some time to visit the enrichment site with your kids!
Dec. 3: Family Support Night (Zoom) 
Dec. 4: All-school Crazy Hair Day
Dec. 6: Nikolaustag
Dec. 11: All-school Inside-Out Day
Week of Dec. 14: Grade-level Tanzpartys
Dec. 21 - Jan. 1: Winter Break