Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 446 / FEBRUARY 25, 2021
Incident Response Team (IRT) Updates
What is the Incident Reponse Team (IRT)? This team meets regularly to review data and makes decisions about changes to the learning model. IRT Members are: Ted Anderson, Executive Director; Julie Alkatout, TCGIS Board Chair; Ashley Weston Miller, Dir. of HR and Operations; Monika Avery, Health Services Associate.
In-Person Learning for grades 6-8 starting this Monday, March 1
We are welcoming back our Middle School students in 6th - 8th grade in cohorts A and B this coming Monday. A few reminder for 6th-8th grade students and families:
  • Wednesdays will continue as asynchronous learning days and teacher preparation time until the state of emergency is lifted.
  • Students remain in cohorts, eat lunch within their cohorts, and minimize mingling whenever feasible.
  • Please remember to send your student with multiple masks.

Look for more information in an email from Coordinator Kevin Eberhard and in tomorrow’s MS Newsblatt from Dean Zehnpfennig.
Vaccine Roll out to TCGIS Staff
After February 28th 75% of TCGIS staff will have received at least the first vaccine dose. 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.
COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families
Teachers, school staff, and coaches are already getting tested regularly. The new MDH recommendation is for all school-age youth returning to school, youth sports, or extra-curricular activities, and their families, to get tested every two weeks through the end of the school year. Regular testing complements other safety measures already in place, such as masking and social distancing.

By getting tested every two weeks from now until the end of the school year, we can help keep schools open, and ensure we are limiting the spread of COVID-19. Anyone could have COVID-19 and not know it. Getting tested regularly is the best way to know you and your child(ren) are still healthy.

It has never been easier to get tested. Testing is provided at no cost to you.
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 Elternbriefe: 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.
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!
Staff Honored for Years of Service Milestones Tonight
Tonight, the Board of Directors will publicly recognize and celebrate TCGIS staff reaching milestone service awards. Amy Lenburg will be recognized for 15 years of dedication to TCGIS! Many others will be recognized for 5 and 3 years of service. Families and staff are invited to write notes of congratulations to the honorees and all are invited to attend the board meeting to help us honor the staff. Thank you for helping us celebrate these incredible milestones! The meeting agenda can be viewed here. The zoom link for the 6:30 pm meeting tonight is here.
2021
Drinking fountains still closed, but bottles can be filled
Since our drinking fountains are still closed as part of our Covid-19 mitigations, please send a refillable water bottle with your student(s). The students are able to fill them at the water fountain stations; it's just the fountain part that has been disabled.
Extra TCGIS Chromebook at home?
If you have a TCGIS Chromebook and/or charger at home that is no longer needed, please return it or have your child return it to the Front Office. We have a limited amount of Chromebooks and appreciate the opportunity to reallocate their use. Simply put a post-it on the returned materials with your child's name. All returned materials should be wiped off before returning. Vielen Dank!
Winter Screening Data
Universal screening is an important part of our multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework at TCGIS. We use screeners to identify those students who are on-track to meet grade-level standards in reading and math and those students who may need some additional support to keep them on-track to meet grade-level goals by the end of the school year. Please keep an eye on your email for your child's winter screening results. You may notice that these letters look different from letters that you have received in the past. We are exploring a new platform for creating and sending these letters. (If your child is in 7th or 8th grade, please stay tuned. We are still working on finalizing this data, and our data review meetings with teaching staff and our intervention team are underway.)

As you review your child's screening results, please be sure to check out this newly developed resource that summarizes some Frequently Asked Questions from TCGIS families about the screening process. To view this resource, please click here.

If your child is identified as a child that may benefit from some additional support, you will be contacted by an interventionist from our team to discuss what this support might look like. This support is not provided without your consent.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Jessie Kember (jkember@tcgis.org) with any questions or concerns.
Meet our ADSIS Interventionists!
First, what is ADSIS? Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services.
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.
More Afterschool Care Spots Available March 8
Kinderclub has more space available for Afterschool Care, starting March 8th. Please contact Michaela Bromenschenkel for registration information.
Arrival & Dismissal by CAR
Alternatives to the Car Drop-off/Pick-up Wait
If you are frustrated by the average 40-min wait time in the car pick-up line on Van Slyke, we strongly encourage your family to consider changing your pick-up mode to one of these options instead of curbside drop-off/pick-up:
  1. Busing: Buses have the capacity for more students and students have assigned seating; learn more in the Busing Handbook.
  2. Walking Drop-off/Pick-up: Parking on the neighborhood side streets (avoiding Como and Van Slyke) and leaving/meeting your child(ren) on the playground is an easy way to avoid the car line and depart as close to 3:15 p.m. as possible.
  3. Independent Walkers: for students who are old enough to walk from/to your car parked on a side street; we have staff crossing guards on Van Slyke and Como Ave. so this is a safe and great way for students to exercise some independence.
Click here for a diagram of all drop-off/pick-up locations and procedures.

SAFETY REMINDERS for Van Slyke Car Line
Car drop-off and pick-up is available to families whose children can get into/out of the car independently.
  • 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
  • Do not jump ahead in the line
  • As you wait, please avoid blocking streets, driveways or alleys along Van Slyke
IMPORTANT: Please do not block the city bus stop on Van Slyke, prior to arriving at TCGIS. There should be no waiting cars along the Van Slyke Triangle that splits Churchill Street.

Display Green Cards for Car Pick-up (Grades K-4)
If you do car pick-up on Van Slyke, please always display in your passenger window the green card with your child(ren)'s class section(s) and name(s).
 
Students Enter the Building at VanSlyke and Main Office Only 
The east playground entrance is no longer open for student entry from 7:50-8:15. All students should enter at the main office entrance or the Van Slyke entrance.
Elementary & ALL Busing Students: Update PikMyKid
Please remember to update your PikMyKid dismissal app. 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.
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!
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! There is now the option for in-school students to have their books delivered to their classrooms on Fridays.

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 March 3! (Zoom passcode: 040736). See our full story time schedule here.

February Surprise Guest
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and library website tomorrow to see who is our February Surprise Guest! A recording of them reading a book will be posted. Clues as to who our surprise guest could be were posted on our Facebook page on Monday.
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 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
Family Support Night Meet-Up: Next Thursday, Zoom
Family Support Night Meet-Up, Thursday, 3/4, 7:30-8:30pm, Zoom
**All parents, caregivers, etc., are welcome to attend**
Topic: Social and Emotional Family-care and Self-care

Parent Council invites you to join us for another Family Support Night on Zoom next Thursday, 3/4, from 7:30-8:30 PM. How are we trying and hoping to meet our kids’ social and emotional needs during this Covid year? How are we trying and hoping to meet our own? Let’s share our challenges, successes, tips, and strategies. Drop in and out whenever you’d like or stay for the whole conversation.

**All parents, caregivers, etc., are welcome to attend**

Mark your calendars for future Family Support Nights, the first Thursday of the month:
4/1: Diversity and Belonging at TCGIS
5/6: Family Support Affinity Groups 
6/3: Supporting German Throughout the Summer
TCGIS PTO Presents: A Virtual Variety Night Show!
Family movie night just got epic.

The TCGIS PTO is proud to present the first-ever Twin Cities German Immersion School Variety Show! 

This event is FREE and open to all members of the TCGIS community, but you must register in advance. Once you’ve signed up, we’ll send you a special link to view this one-of-a-kind entertainment event.

Click here to learn more, and watch the exciting trailer here: https://youtu.be/vDI3WuArJ6g.
TCGIS PTO Plant & Strudel Sale: Coming soon!
Spring Plant and Strudel sale is coming up next week!
Open from March 3rd to March 19th.
Link will be here next week.
Family Fun This Weekend: Livestream an exciting German Theater Performance with Draw-Along Event
Here's a great German theater experience for the whole family, including a draw-along! Ages 5 and up; livestream available this weekend until Sunday, 5pm CST.

From Park Aue Junges Staatstheater Berlin:
Belgian director Gregory Caers and his team transform the stage into a traffic hub of a society in motion - with a large ensemble, lots of humor and almost no language. What happens when with each person coming in a whole world enters the room? Theatre magic at its best for the whole family: full of love for crackling mysteries, bold assertions and surreal imagery.

Click here to learn more about this piece and here to learn more about drawing during - and right after - the show. Viel Spaß!
Support your Cookie Habit and TCGIS' Girl Scout Troop!
It's Girl Scout Cookie Time! This year Troop 57317 will not be having a Cookie Booth at the school, instead we have a link to the Troop's Online Ordering system. Please utilize this link to order cookies from the Troop if you do not have a specific Girl Scout you wish to support. Credit for cookies ordered through the link will be distributed equitably between the Girl Scouts of Troop 57317 that have chosen to sell this year. Please feel free to share this link with family and friends who are looking for a way to order. Shipping costs are shown here. Please note the reduced shipping costs for the half to full case orders.
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.
Order the 20/21 Yearbook!
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.
School Board Announcements
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.
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.
Executive Director Hiring Committee
Click here to read more about the search.
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!

February Board Meeting: Thursday Feb. 25, 6:30 PM; board@tcgis.org
Governance & Leadership Development Cmte: Mon. Mar. 1, 4:30 PM; governance@tcgis.org
Fundraising Cmte: Tuesday Mar. 2, 8:30 AM; fundraising-committee@tcgis.org
Mission & School Culture Cmte: Wednesday Mar. 3, 3:45 PM; mission@tcgis.org
Communication & Outreach Cmte: Tue. Mar. 9, 8:30 AM; communication@tcgis.org
Diversity & Belonging Cmte: Tuesday Mar. 16, 3:45 PM; diversity@tcgis.org
Committee of the Whole: Wednesday Mar. 17, 6:30 PM; board@tcgis.org
Finance Cmte: Tuesday Mar. 23, 6:30 PM; finance-committee@tcgis.org
March Board Meeting: Thursday Mar. 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!
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. 25: February School Board Meeting
Mar. 1: Grades 6-8 return to in-person learning
Mar. 4: 7th grade Capstone Info-Abend
Mar. 9: Conferences 4:30-7:00 pm
Mar. 12: Conferences 8:10am-3:30pm
Mar. 19: PTO's Virtual Variety Night Show