Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 445 / FEBRUARY 18, 2021
Incident Response Team (IRT) Updates
IRT Updates Now on www.tcgis.org
Please see the new IRT webpage for the COVID symptom decision tree and other important reminders and announcements covered in previous Elternbrief: www.tcgis.org/irt-updates-covid.

You can find this page at the top of the Family Resources drop-down menu on the homepage, and listed at the top of the All Resources page.
Kaffeeklatsch with the IRT: tomorrow (Friday) 4:00pm
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The IRT will host a virtual Kaffeeklatsch on Friday, Feb. 19 at 4:00 PM for families. This is an opportunity to ask questions, and may be especially helpful for Middle School families with questions concerning the recent IRT announcement and/or returning to school. Join the Kaffeeklatsch via Zoom (Meeting ID: 297 392 5895, Passcode: TCGIS).
IRT announces 4 days/week of In-Person Learning for Middle School starting March 1
In reaching this decision, your IRT reviewed COVID case rates and trends in TCGIS counties and researched the plans of other local districts and charter schools. In addition, we met with local Public Health experts where we evaluated their recommendations and evaluated TCGIS’s mitigations. You can read the full announcement in this email from the IRT sent yestereday (Wednesday, Feb. 17).
Regular COVID-19 tests for returning students is recommended by MDH
To help prevent COVID-19 transmission, 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 every two weeks after that, even when symptom-free. The MDH web page is a great resource for testing options
NO distance learning week/quarantine week following Spring Break; MDH and CDC strongly recommend against traveling
Given the high level of COVID-19 spread in many parts of our nation, any unnecessary travel is highly discouraged by MDH and the CDC. 

If you choose to travel, your family will be expected to follow the CDC recommendations of testing and quarantining for 7 days if your test is negative. The CDC recommends testing 3-5 days after travel to limit the chance of a false negative. If a family member’s test comes back positive, you will be expected to follow the isolation guidelines in the decision tree. Please also note, our teachers will not be expected to provide additional work or asynchronous work during your recommended quarantine period. Your students absence will be considered excused.

For more tips and things to consider when traveling, see CDC: Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As always, please keep your student home when they are sick. If any member of your family tests positive for Covid-19, please contact Monika Avery and/or Ashley Weston Miller to review the MDH Decision Tree and support in contact tracing if necessary.
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!
February 22 is the deadline for new students to apply for 2021/22
Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Feb. 22. 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.)
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 / enter the car within the loading zone directly in front of our building. 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, 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; today we are sending home new green cards 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.
Current Busing Families: Reminders
If your student(s) rides the bus to school, please arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes before the scheduled departure. Bus drivers are not expected to wait past the scheduled pick-up time. Vielen Dank!

TCGIS still pays for full school buses even though Covid distancing requirements, coupled with many families in Distance Learning, has reduced buses to running 4 days a week with fewer students. Please consider donating to offset these costs if your child(ren) use the bus, or if they would in a normal year. 

Click here to sign up for a recurring bus donation. Even if you don’t use busing services, you can make a donation to help offset these busing costs in Boonli. Thank you for your ongoing support of TCGIS!
Busing Registration Re-opened for New Bus Riders
With the return of in-person instruction, we are updating our busing registration to reflect all families who would like to use busing for the remainder of the school year.
  • Busing for 3-5 will begin Feb 15.
  • Busing for 6-8 will begin Mar 1.

If your student is already registered for busing in 20/21, you do not need to regsiter again or re-submit the forms listed below if you have done so already.

New Busing Families ONLY
To determine which community bus stop will work best for your family, please view the Busing Handbook.

To register your student(s) to ride the bus for the remainder of the 20-21 school year, please:
  1. complete the online Busing Registration before Friday, Feb 19, and
  2. submit the following forms to nsveen@tcgis.org if you have not already done so for this school year.
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.
March Order Window for Lunches/Milk and Take-Home Meal Kits Closes on Sunday, February 21
Remember to place your order for March 2021 (including Take Home Meal kits for Distance Learning days, asynchronous Wednesdays)! Please log on to our online store website  Boonli  to place your child's School Lunch and Milk order. Please make sure to check out your cart to successfully place an order.  All orders must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, 02/21/2021. Orders received after 2/21 will have a delayed start date of 3/8/2021.

Questions? Please contact us at ordering@tcgis.org
Pandemic Educational Benefits (P-EBT) - Part 2
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in conjunction with the Department of Human Services (DHS) is gearing up for Part 2 of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. P-EBT is a federal temporary emergency nutrition benefit that is loaded on electronic cards for qualifying families to purchase food.

P-EBT benefit amounts for each child will be calculated based on the school’s learning model each month and free/reduced price meal data submitted to MDE by their school. All students approved for free/reduced lunches will receive P-EBT benefits retroactive to September 2020 for the months they meet the learning model requirements (majority of school days spent in hybrid, distance learning each month). The first round of benefits will be issued in late March 2021.

Please fill out the attached application for Educational Benefits 20/21 as quickly as possible so we can determine your eligibility. It is not too late to apply and we will upload eligible students' data monthly with MDE.

If you have any questions, please contact Alex Weeding at aweeding@tcgis.org.
Meet our ADSIS Interventionists!
ADSIS interventions are part of our multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) at TCGIS to help students who may need some additional support stay on-track to meet grade-level goals. The school ADSIS team will reach out to students who qualify for this support. Our next cycle of ADSIS interventions will start in March. If you haven’t met our ADSIS team yet, you can learn more about them here.
Library Updates
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Would you like to check out library materials? Fill out this form to get new materials for next week!

You can 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 Time 
Story Time is every Wednesday at 2:45pm. Follow this link to tune in on February 24! (Zoom passcode: 040736). See our full story time schedule here.

Black History Month Online Read-In
To celebrate Black History Month the TCGIS Library is hosting an online Read-In for 4th-8th grade students on Wednesday, February 24 from 1:45-2:30pm. The goal of our Read-In is to celebrate the works of African-American and African-German authors while spotlighting the importance of reading from racially-diverse authors.

4th-8th grade students are invited to read and/or listen to works from African American or African-German authors. This includes essays, poetry, books, etc in German OR English. ***This is not only those who would like to read. In fact, it is just as essential to listen as it is to present!****

This is not a book report but rather sharing a short text from a book, poem, essay, etc. that has somehow impacted you. Please send me an email to sign-up, letting me know your book, author, and the page numbers you’d like to read.  We do have some books in German in our library, so please contact me if you'd like to check one out!  

Meeting ID: 820 3249 0839
Passcode: 237521
Materials Pickup for Distance Learning
Scheduled materials pick-up on Friday will no longer take place. If your student(s) is/are in distance learning and have materials to pick up, your teacher(s) will let you know and place them on the materials pick-up table, located outside of the main office. You're welcome to pick up materials there during school hours.
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 mavery@tcgis.org.  
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.
Now Hiring: Part-time After-school Kinderclub Staff
Kinderclub is currently looking to add another cohort for after school care and needs more staff for the 3:00pm-6:00pm shift. Please view the job description for more info. If you are looking for a part time position or know of someone who is, please share the job description and/or email Michaela Bromenschenkel.
Now Hiring: 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 (employment@tcgis.org). 
TCGIS Community Updates
TCGIS PTO Presents: A Virtual Variety Night Show!
Where can you find a magic show, concert and puppet party all in one? The Twin Cities German Immersion School Variety Show!

Register today and join us at 6:30 pm on Friday March 19th for an epic, family-friendly, one-time live-streamed event for the TCGIS community. Tell your family and friends because they won't want to miss it!

This event is free and open to family and friends of the TCGIS community, but you must register in advance. Once you've signed up, we'll send you a special link to view the show. Click here to learn more: https://one.bidpal.net/varietyshow2021
Family Affinity Groups Kickoff!
Our Parent Council and Diversity & Belonging Committee are working together to launch Family Affinity Groups to expand our school’s capacity to build a community of belonging. These groups will provide a resource to families in groups that are currently underrepresented in our TCGIS community, as well as support our TCGIS Statement of Equity, Diversity & Belonging

Why affinity groups?
  • Affinity groups foster meaningful relationships while affirming and celebrating identity
  • They uplift and empower the narratives and voices of its members.
  • Affinity groups equip families with the tools of courage, perseverance, and resilience in the face of microaggressions, stereotypes, racial bias, and the burden of representation endured by non-majority students.
  • These groups provide forums throughout the year for families to discuss experiences unique to their families, address issues, brainstorm ideas and initiatives related to diversity and belonging at TCGIS and in our wider community. 

The two groups being established are: 
  • Parents of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Children Affinity Group
  • LGBTQ+ Family Affinity Group

If you are interested in starting another affinity group, please let us know. Each affinity group can set their own schedule, meeting monthly or quarterly, as desired by the group.

We are eager to have you there! If you’d like to join or establish a group, please contact Megan Dayton (mdayton@tcgis.org) and we will set up the first meeting at a time that works best for those interested.
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.
Order the 20/21 Yearbook!
Call for Nominations & Applications for TCGIS School Board
Board Election
Consider running for the TCGIS school board! Applications continue to be open until Friday, April 12th. 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.

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!
2021
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!

Finance Cmte: Tues. Feb. 23, 6:30 PM; finance-committee@tcgis.org
February Board Meeting: Thurs. Feb. 25, 6:30 PM; board@tcgis.org
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 preschool@gai-mn.org for more information!
Reminders
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 enrollment@tcgis.org
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.
CALENDAR
Feb. 18 & 19: Grades 6-8 No Instruction (Tea. Prep)
Feb. 18: 8th grade Capstone Info-Abend
Feb. 25: February School Board Meeting
Mar. 1: Grades 6-8 return to in-person learning
Mar. 7: 7th grade Capstone Info-Abend
Mar. 9: Conferences 4:30-7:00 pm
Mar. 12: Conferences 8:10am-3:30pm