Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 447 / MARCH 4, 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 K-8 Continues
As always, this can change if situations change including school cases rising sharply, county data spikes quickly, and or public health experts recommend we change learning models.
Wednesdays Asynchronous for All Students
Wednesday will remain asynchronous for all students in order to maintain equity between distance learning and in person learning. Our teachers use Wednesdays to work in teams to ensure that content is consistent and equitable between distance and in person learning. We plan to continue this until the requirement to provide distance learning is lifted by the Governor.
Vaccine Roll out to TCGIS Staff
We anticipate 100% of staff who want to be vaccinated to have received at least their first appointment after this week. We are thankful to Govenor Walz for supporting the education of our students by prioritizing our teachers and staff in receiving their vaccines.
COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families
Teachers, school staff, and coaches are already getting tested regularly. We owe it to them to do the same. The new MDH recommendation is for all school-age youth returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities, and their families, to get tested every two weeks through the end of the school year. While it is not a requirement, 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 Accessible on New Webpage
Visit the TCIGS' IRT webpage for the COVID symptom decision tree and other important reminders and announcements covered in previous Elternbriefe: www.tcgis.org/irt-updates-covid. Find this page at the top of the Family Resources drop-down menu on the homepage, and 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!
2021-22 School Calendar Approved by School Board
On Thursday, February 25 the TCGIS Board approved the school calendar for the 2021-22 school year. The calendar is available on our homepage and here.
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!
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.
Safety Reminders for Dismissal
Due to unsafe traffic congestion on Como Avenue along the south side of TCGIS, we kindly ask all Van Slyke pick-up families to please drive east towards the park at Chatsworth, and then south (the blue arrows in the image below). The stoplight at Como / Lexington is very short and doesn't have a left-turn arrow, thus the car line backs up all the way to the school where there are buses loading and independent walking and walking pickup students and families crossing Como Ave.

If you turn south on Lexington, the left-turn arrow at Front / Lexington is a much faster alternative. If you turn north, you can still drive south to Hatch Ave. and turn right on to Lexington. Click here or on the image below to view a larger version.
Please Be Mindful of Street Signs
To respect those living in the Como neighborhood, please be mindful of street signs when parking near the school and when queuing for arrival and dismissal, particularly around the mouths of alleys where there is limited visibility. 

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.
Alternatives to Van Slyke Curbside Pick-up
If you are frustrated by the average 40-min wait time in the car pick-up line, 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 to see all the available street parking near school.
TCGIS PTO Presents: A Virtual Variety Night Show!
Your PTO loves you, and so we made you:

THE VARIETY SHOW
March 19 at 6:30 pm

Sign up now for your link to stream this one-time event on March 19 at 6:30pm

See comedienne Shannan Paul, magician Steven Paul Carlson, opera singer Corissa Bussian, and the Minnesota Synchronettes synchronized swimming team performing for us! 

Our own University of Minnesota Raptor Center dishes out some awesome raptor education, singer Amanda Yang will stun you with her voice, and our own TCGIS band will be performing too. For bonus fun, you'll see over twenty faces from our own school in the show. 

Peel off your socks, order some pizza, kick back and dial up some guilt free screen time! Order a treat swag bag when you sign up to support our teachers and to enjoy some locally sourced goodies. Spread the word and we'll see you there!

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.
TCGIS PTO Plant & Strudel Sale!
The Spring Plant and Strudel sale is on! It's all in one easy space now, yay! Ordering open through March 19th.
Shop here! 
Open from March 3rd to March 19th.
Library Updates
kids_reading_book.jpg
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 10! (Zoom passcode: 040736). See our full story time schedule here.
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.
TCGIS Community Updates
Family Support Night Meet-Up: Tonight on 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
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 three groups being established are: 
  • Parents of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Children Affinity Group
  • LGBTQ+ Family Affinity Group
  • Step 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!
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.
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.
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!

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: Thursday Mar. 18, 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
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
Mar. 4: Parent Council Family Support Night
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
Mar. 25: March School Board Meeting