Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 444 / FEBRUARY 11, 2021
Incident Response Team (IRT) Updates
Vaccine Roll Out to TCGIS Staff
Minnesota implemented a new process to contact educators and school staff directly when more vaccines become available. Based on self-reporting, approximately 41% of TCGIS staff have received the first vaccine dose to date. Please continue advocating for educators and school staff to quickly receive vaccines by participating in the TCGIS Board’s letter writing campaign to Governor Walz.
Upcoming Kaffeeklatsche with the IRT
The IRT will host a virtual Kaffeeklatsch on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 9 AM for families. This is an opportunity to ask questions, and may be especially helpful for families with students in grades 3-5 returning to onsite learning on Feb. 18. Join the Kaffeeklatsch via Zoom (Meeting ID: 297 392 5895, Passcode: TCGIS).

Another virtual Kaffeeklatsch will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 9 am as an opportunity for families with students in grades 6-8 to ask questions regarding the March learning model.
IRT meets tomorrow regarding March learning model
The IRT meets tomorrow (Friday 2/12) to finalize the school’s learning model for March. The IRT will meet with staff council and the teacher and EA union leaders to discuss the decision and rationale before it is finalized and announced to the community. We will communicate the plan as soon as possible after these discussions.
COVID tests for returning students recommended by MDH
To help prevent classroom quarantines, we offer optional on-site COVID testing for TCGIS staff every 2 weeks. We strongly encourage families to proactively test children for COVID before learning onsite, and periodically after that, even when symptom-free. The MDH webpage is a great resource for testing options
Symptom Checking Before School
If your student is learning onsite, please remember to check them for Covid-19 symptoms before sending them to school. Please keep your student home if they are sick. You can refer to the decision tree from MDH for details of how the school will respond to close contacts or individuals with symptoms.

Check for the following symptoms every morning:
  • More common symptoms are one or more of these: fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; new cough or a cough that gets worse; difficulty/hard time breathing; and new loss of taste or smell. 
  • Less common symptoms are two or more of these: sore throat; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; chills; muscle pain; extreme fatigue/feeling very tired; new severe/very bad headache; and new nasal congestion/stuffy or runny nose.
MDH Strongly Recommends Against Traveling
Given the high level of COVID-19 spread in our communities, any unnecessary travel is highly discouraged. If you must travel outside the state or country for work, study, medical care, or personal safety and security, do what you can to protect yourself and your family.
Before you travel, think about:
  • How much COVID-19 is spreading where you are going and how much it is spreading in your local community.
  • Whether you or someone you are traveling with could get very sick from COVID-19.
  • How easy or difficult it will be to keep 6 feet between people.
  • Whether you would be able to miss work, school, or other activities if you get sick.
If you do travel, the CDC advises:
  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
For more tips and things to consider when traveling, see CDC: Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Last week we shared relevant information from the MDH and CDC, and this week we share information from the ECDC. The infographic to the right is based on the ECDC technical report on COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in COVID-19 transmission (click on the image to view a larger version).

A takeaway from the report was that school outbreaks have not been a prominent feature in the COVID-19 pandemic. 
TCGIS teachers and staff are preparing to welcome students back to in-person learning in February and March. In today's Elternbrief you will find information about arrival and dismissal, updates to PikMyKid, and medications for the health office. If your student(s) will return in person in February, please read these items carefully.
February 22 is the deadline to apply for the 2021/22 school year!
The lottery will be held on March 3, 2021. Please spread the word and encourage your friends and neighbors with children in grades K-8 to join our community. You can share this flyer or this link to our pre-recorded Virtual Tour. Vielen Dank!
If you have a Kindergartner joining an older sibling at TCGIS next year, click here to submit their application. (Current students do not need to apply each year.)
School News & Updates
Note: If you don't see the calendar at the end of your Elternbrief, the message has been clipped and you must click "View entire message" to see the full Elternbrief. Danke!
Reminder: No School Days Monday and Tuesday
Feb. 15: NO SCHOOL President's Day
Feb. 16: NO SCHOOL Mid-Winter Break
Feb. 17: Asynchronous instruction K-8
Feb. 18 & 19: Grades 6-8: No Instruction (required teacher prep for next transition)
Feb. 18 & 19: Grades K-5: in-person and distance learning reconvene
Arrival & Dismissal 
Curbside Drop-off & Pick-up
Car drop-off and pick-up is available to families whose children can get into/out of the car independently. (If your child(ren) need assistance or more time, please use walking drop-off / pick-up.) Students may only exit or enter the car within the loading zone directly in front of our building; please be patient and wait until you're able to pull into that area. Please resist pulling in ahead of someone in the loading zone, even if you see an opening ahead; the entire line will move up once the cars in the zone have finished (un-)loading. As you wait to pull into the loading zone, please avoid blocking streets, driveways or alleys along Van Slyke.  Click here for a diagram of drop-off/pick-up locations and procedures.

SAFETY REMINDERS for Car Drop-off/Pick-up
  • Students only exit or enter the car on the curb side within the loading zone
  • No U-Turns on Van Slyke - continue straight east (see map here)
  • Drivers/Parents remain in the cars
  • Don't jump ahead in the line

Display Green Cards for Car Pick-up
If you select Van Slyke car pick-up as your dismissal mode in PikMyKid, please be sure to display in your passenger window two vitally important pieces of information: 
  • Your child(ren)’s class-section (ie. KD, 1A, 2B) and 
  • name(s) of each child you are picking up.
Students in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd received new green cards with this info this week; next Thursday we will send new green cards home with 3rd and 4th graders who have Van Slyke car pick-up as their dismissal mode in PikMyKid.
Students Enter the Buidling at VanSlyke and Main Office Only 
The east playground entrance will no longer be open for student entry from 7:50-8:15. Instead, all students should enter at the main entrance or the Van Slyke entrance.
Dismissal for ALL Elementary and ALL Busing Students
Please remember to update your PikMyKid dismissal app in advance of in-person learning resuming. If you need to change your default mode, set pickup mode changes, assign Kinderclub, etc, please make sure this is completed before your child returns to in-person school so we have a smooth dismissal. Thank you!

If your child is in middle school and does NOT ride the bus, you do NOT need to use PikMyKid. If your child is in middle school and DOES ride the bus, please delegate them accordingly in PikMyKid. Contact the Front Office with any questions.
Health Office: Medications for In-Person Students
If your child(ren) will be attending in-person learning, and will need medication during the school day, please be sure to:
  • Review the Medication information on page 22 of the 2020-21 Family Handbook and Policy 516 - Student.
  • 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. Forms dropped off at the beginning of the school year are valid till the end of this school year.,
  • 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 during school hour
  • Please wear a mouth and nose covering and in case of a line please keep a safe distance of 6 feet.
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  
TCGIS Snow Art Contest 2021
All TCGIS students, parents, staff and neighbors are invited to participate in our TCGIS Snow Art Contest 2021! Here are the details for participation and submission.
Seeking Volunteers for Board Subcommittees!
Looking for a way to volunteer and have an impact supporting TCGIS? School board committees and their subcommittees support the strategic plans of the board and have focused and achievable goals. We are seeking volunteers to join these committees and subcommittees to launch and support initiatives throughout the school. 
These subcommittees currently need volunteers: Curriculum advisory, Wellness, Zero-waste, TCGIS Alumni, Community building, Eastside Gallery Mural planning, Playground improvement planning, School interior design (German immersion areas), Recruiting, Parents of BIPOC children affinity group, and LGBTQ+ family affinity group.  
Volunteers make initiatives happen and build sustainable projects and processes for the long-term benefit of our school. If you are interested in joining a committee or subcommittee or have questions, please contact the chair of the committee. Find who to contact and more details in this summary of board committees.
Outdoor & Summer Track Registration Closes Feb. 15
Registration for our spring and summer seasons closes February 15. Outdoor track is nearly full! Check out our website for details. Questions? Contact Coach Tabisz.
Order the 20/21 Yearbook!
Parent Council Update: February Meeting
The Parent Council (PC) met on Monday, 2/8/2021 via Zoom. We heard an update on a potential gift policy for TCGIS from Frau Albers. Next, we heard a report from Ted Anderson; primary topics were vaccines for educators and how the return of students is going. Board Chair, Julie Alkatout, gave a presentation about links between the PC and board subcommittees. Click here to read more about these discussions.

Lastly, we encourage all parents to consider being a part of the Diversity and Belonging Community Parent Affinity Groups, in particular the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ family groups. If you are interested, please contact the Diversity and Belonging Committee at   

We hope you all are staying warm during this cold snap! As always, if you have anything you’d like the Parent Council to address, please email your class representative or the PC at
Library Updates
Would you like to check out library materials? Fill out this form to get new materials for next week!

Along with Friday materials pick-ups, you can now pick up/drop off books anytime during school hours at our materials pick-up table and book drop-off bin, located at the top of the stairs by the playground entrance!

Live Story Times on Wednesdays: To accommodate our new in-person school schedule, story times will now be on Wednesdays at 2:45pm. Follow this link to tune in on February 17! (Zoom passcode: 040736). See our full story time schedule here.

Friday Materials Pick-Up:
Friday Materials Pick-Ups will no longer be taking place. If you are not yet back for in-person instruction and have materials to pick up, your teacher will let you know and place them on the materials pick-up table for you, located outside of the main office.
Part-time Food Service Associate
We are seeking a part-time (15 hours per week) Food Service Associate for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. This position will help prepare getting the meals ready to be delivered to the classrooms where students eat their meals. 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 ( 
TCGIS Sommercamp 2021: Registration now open
Summer Camp Registration is now open. All families must use a Popsicle account to book Summer Camps; if you don't have one yet, you can sign up here.

Booking options are available for Before Care, Camp and Aftercare each week, if you only need 1 or 2 options. If you plan to utilize all 3 options (all day care), please book your Camp and add the full week before and aftercare for a $50 discount. Interested families who qualify for free and reduced lunch: please email Michaela Bromenschenkel for a discount.

For more information and how to sign up please read our TCGIS Sommercamp Family Handbook. For additional questions, please email Michaela Bromenschenkel.
Call for Nominations & Applications for the TCGIS School Board
Board Election
By serving on the School Board, YOU can help our school, strengthen connections within our community, and make important decisions that affect the future. The work of the Board ensures that TCGIS provides a meaningful education and experience for all students. The Board represents the entire TCGIS community, and individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups such as BIPOC, LGBTQ, and families with neurodiversity are especially encouraged to apply.

This year, the community will elect FOUR board members to each serve a three year term. We seek any interested persons (parents, teachers, and community members), especially those with experience in financial compliance, education, board governance, legal matters, management and leadership, and marketing and development. 

Click here to learn more about the timeline, the nominating and application process, how to connect with a current board member, and to access the forms.
School Board Announcements
Annual Service Awards
The School Board is publicly recognizing and celebrating TCGIS colleagues with multiple years of service at the February 25 board meeting. To celebrate the contributions and dedication of TCGIS educators and staff, the Board will present awards to commemorate milestones of 3, 5, and 15 years of service!

All honorees, all staff, parents and students are invited to attend the beginning of the Board meeting for this recognition of TCGIS colleagues.

We also invite you to congratulate the honorees with a personal written message on this form by February 19. All well wishes from colleagues and families will be shared with honorees at the February 25 Board meeting. Please feel free to sign one, several, or all! And please sign your name at the end of your comments. Thank you for helping us celebrate these incredible milestones!
Help Diversify the TCGIS Community!
We want to increase the number of new student applications from currently underrepresented groups at TCGIS. Help us spread the word to families of ALL backgrounds by posting this flyer at cultural centers, community centers, ethnic grocery stores, places of worship, and anywhere you think someone NEW might learn about our great school! School applications for all grades for SY21-22 are due Feb. 22nd. The front office can provide printed flyers; please contact to arrange pickup. For background information about this initiative, please read the TCGIS statement on equity, diversity, and belonging.
Executive Director Search
TCGIS is searching for a new executive director. Read more information about the search process, and provide your confidential input into the search process here.
Accepting Applications and Nominations for TCGIS School Board
Click here to learn more and access nomination and application form
Important Dates
April 12: All nominations and applications due by 4:45 pm.
TBD: Meet the Candidates Forum
May 10-14: Board elections, drop off all ballots by 4:45 pm on Friday, May 14. 
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!

Diversity & Belonging Cmte: Tues. Feb. 16, 3:45 PM;
Cmte of the Whole: Wed. Feb. 17, 6:30 PM;
Finance Cmte: Tues. Feb. 23, 6:30 PM;
February Board Meeting: Thurs. Feb. 25, 6:30 PM;
News from the GAI
Openings at Kinderstube German Immersion Preschool
Kinderstube in Minneapolis has morning and full-day openings, and St. Paul has limited part-time openings for the remainder of the current school year. Please email for more information!
Fun and language learning for kids and teens
Online Samstagsschule—Saturday School begins February 6, 2021
GAI's creative and experienced language instructors make Samstagsschule a fun and interactive way to learn German. Online classes for ages 4 through 18 will return in February. Beginning to advanced levels are offered for all ages.
More information and registration at
Is your Kindergartner joining us next year?
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
Student Enrichment
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!
Feb. 15: NO SCHOOL President's Day
Feb. 16: NO SCHOOL Mid-Winter Break
Feb. 17: Asynchronous instruction for all grades
Feb. 17: Spring Conference Sign-up Opens
Feb. 18 & 19: Grades K-5 in-person & distance
Feb. 18 & 19: Grades 6-8 No Instruction (Tea. Prep)
Feb. 18: 8th grade Capstone Info-Abend
Feb. 25: February School Board Meeting
Mar. 7: 7th grade Capstone Info-Abend
Mar. 9: Conferences 4:30-7:00 pm
Mar. 12: Conferences 8:10am-3:30pm