Issue: 404             
March 5, 2020 
In This Issue

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Message from the Director
Schöne Grüße von Herrn Anderson

Hear about an important school visit this past week, the great response to our carpool initiative, and lobbying for charter schools at the Capitol!

Videogruß vom Direktor 5. März 2020
Videogruß vom Direktor 5. März 2020
Community Events: Join us! 
Maskenball 2020:  Tickets Now Available! 

Who are you wearing? 
Prepare to face the paparazzi and walk the red carpet - it's a Hollywood gala!

Get Your Tickets HERE

The event you've been waiting for is back! Join us at the TCGIS PTO Maskenball, an adults-only formal dance hosted this year at the gorgeous Saint Paul Athletic Club. 
  • Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 7:00pm 
  • Tickets now available here
  • Dress: Formal/Black Tie. A themed costume is also encouraged, but not required. 
  • There will be dancing, beats provided by DJ Lubbert, appetizers, a full cash bar, and wonderful ambiance at the Saint Paul Athletic Club.
  • Included again this year: Silent and art auction! Come ready to bid on your child(ren)'s art auction class project along with many amazing donated experiences and packages!
Visit  tcgismaskenball.org/ to learn more!
German School is Cool  Book Event this Saturday

TCGIS grandparent and author, Diane Madison Pitman, will be reading from her book German School is Cool, together with her granddaughter and TCGIS 2nd grader, Vivienne, at Winding Trail Books in St. Paul this Saturday. Come have your book signed and learn how to illustrate a book! 
Check Out these Great Events at the GAI

Kaffee & Kuchen  
Traditional German afternoon coffee & cake 
Sunday, March 15 starting at 2:00pm 

Dual Citizenship Q & A with German Honorary Consul Barbara Müller 
Saturday, March 28 at 11am
Are you eligible to be a citizen of the U.S. and Germany? German Honorary Consul Barbara Müller will answer your questions about dual citizenship and other related issues

Climate Kids - climate workshop for teens
An interactive climate and culture workshop for teens leading to a Klimagipfel (Climate Summit) at Deutsche Tage on June 13 & 14, 2020
The 8-week workshop is designed for young people, ages 13 - 16, with basic knowledge of German (Level 2 / A2 or higher). Sessions will take place at the GAI, but some weeks will include off-site visits to local museums or labs. 

In addition to the scientific concept of climate change, we will look at how a changing climate affects other aspects of communities, such as the economy, wildlife, and society. The primary objective of the course is to enhance students' ability to discuss the issues most relevant to them and their peers. More info here.
Watch FC Augsburg play MN United on May 27
Get your tickets to watch FC Augsburg play Minnesota United at Allianz Stadium this May! 

Click this link to purchase the discounted tickets that MNUFC have created for TCGIS, the GAI and the German-American Chamber of Commerce. It is the most affordable ticketing option they have, and you'll be able to sit with others from TCGIS.

Stay tuned for news about a school visit with the FC Augsburg team!
School Board Announcements
TCGIS Celebrated Long-serving Teachers on Feb. 27

At the school  board meeting on Thursday, Feb 27, TCGIS' board of directors honored teachers and staff who have worked at the school for 3, 5, and 10 years, and one teacher who has worked at the school since its founding 15 years ago.

Scot Stephenson started teaching at the school when it opened its doors in 2005. "I've been able to have a real impact on the school, even down to writing the curriculum. I've done a stint on the board, served with the union, and throughout that the teachers have had a level of autonomy. The students and the families that choose to come here, they have to choose to come here, and that makes a big different," he said.  

In all, nearly half of the staff has been at the school for 5 or more years. "They know my kid's schedule better than I do. I really feel like the school is an extension of our home," said Tarek Alkatout, a TCGIS parent.

Parents were encouraged to write notes online to teachers and staff, sharing thanks and memories. Teachers and staff were given small awards recognizing their years of service, special lanyards color-coded to years of service, and printed copies of all the submitted notes.  

"One of the strategic goals of the school board is to make TCGIS an attractive and rewarding place to work.  The school has thrived thanks to our exceptional staff and we wanted to acknowledge their work and dedication," said Rich Iwen, a TCGIS school board member. "This will be an annual event going forward."
T op left: recognizing 15 years at TCGIS; bottom left: 10+ years at TCGIS; 
Top right: 5+ years at TCGIS; bottom right: 3+ years at TCGIS.
February 27 School Board Meeting Highlights 

The TCGIS school board met on Thursday Feb 27.  Meeting highlights included: 
  • Thanking parent volunteers Kelly Huxmann, Manuela Thames, and Linde Althaus for their contributions to the school, Katharina Schirg for organizing the Achtung Baby event, and Kim Kulhanek for her presentation to the PTO 
  • Honoring 15 employees for 3+ years of service; 23 employees for 5+ years of service; 4 employees for 10+ years of service; and Scot Stephenson for 15 years of service at TCGIS.  Thank you!
  • The board discussed and approved the proposed school schedule for the 2020-21 school calendar.  School will begin on Monday Aug 31 for grades 1-8 and Wednesday Sept 2 for kindergarten. The last day of school will be Wednesday June 16, 2021. (More info and calendar links below.)
  • After much debate, the board approved a request by administration to move the last day of this school year up one day, to Tuesday June 9, 2020, to remain in compliance with the union contract. The finance committee is investigating whether Kinderclub can be open on Wednesday June 10.
  • Approved to continue the existing relationship with St Paul Central's German language program.
  • Approved changes to policies 506/507- Discipline and Code of Conduct.  Language regarding implementation was moved to non-policy documents.
Charter School Day at the Capital

Director Ted Anderson and board members, Lisa Linnell and Rich Iwen, lobbied for increased charter school funding at the Minnesota State Capitol Charter School Day organized by the MN Association of Charter Schools. 

They met with Senator John Marty and  Representative Alice Hausman. They discussed the innovative education TCGIS provides, our partnership with St Paul Central, and urged the legislators to support increased funding for education, including funding for mental health professionals in all Minnesota public schools, which is being debated this legislative session.
Upcoming Committee Meetings

Anyone can volunteer on a board committee. Help us build a school together!

Workplace Culture & Innovative Education Committee: Fri, March 6, 3:45pm - 4:45pm, Room 99
Governance & Leadership Development Committee: Mon, March 9, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, Room 99
Communication & Diversity Outreach Committee: Tue, March 10, 8:15am - 9:15am, Room TBD (99 or OPC 1)
Executive Committee: Thu, March 19, 6:30pm - 7:30pm, Room 100
Finance & Facilities Committee:  Tue, March 24, 6pm - 7pm, Room 99 
Board Meeting : Thu, March 26, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Room 100
School Information
School Calendar Updates for 2019/20 and 2020/21  

I n yesterday's email from Director Ted Anderson, we shared the following two important calendar updates: 
  • The calendar for the 2020-2021 school year was approved by the board at their meeting Thursday. 
  • The Board also approved a revised calendar for the current school year with two changes
The two changes to the 2019/20 calendar reflect: 
1. November 27, 2019 was a snow day, and 
2. Moving up the last day of instruction from Wed., June 10 to Tue., June 9. 

Moving up the last day of school by one day was necessary to keep the school in compliance with our  collective bargaining agreement  (Article VII, Subd. 1) with our teachers and ensures our teachers receive the comp day for the extra worktime for conferences that is in their contract.  While TCGIS regrets having to change the instructional calendar at any point after approval, it is essential that the school honor its contractual obligation to our teachers. 

Both calendars are available on the TCGIS homepage and below: 

MCA Assessment Season Begins

The MCAs (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments) are state-wide mandated assessments we administer each year in March, April and May as per Minnesota Legislative Statute. We assess in grades 3-8.

Here  is an overview of these assessments. This link from the Minnesota Department of Education provides a very detailed treatment about the what, why, and where most frequently asked questions. 

Additionally, families may 'opt out' their children. Please return  this opt-out form in hard-copy to Mike Mullins no later than 72 hours BEFORE your child(ren) is/are set to assess. 

Here is our MCA Assessment Calender posted to the TCGIS website. 

Testing begins on the following dates: 
  • Grades 5th-8th: Wednesday, March 18th in Reading MCAs
  • Grades 3rd-4th: Monday-Friday, March 23rd-26th in Reading MCAs
For more information about MCAs at TCGIS, please click  here  
School Preparedness: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The coronavirus is on everyone's radar right now. While it is impossible to predict the likelihood of a disruption to school operations, TCGIS recognizes the necessity of being prepared. With this in mind, TCGIS staff will be meeting on Friday morning to discuss plans. 

TCGIS is following the recommendations from the CDC, the MN Department of Health, and the Department of Education to inform the school's preparation for any eventualities related to the spread of the coronavirus. 

The same precautions that are recommended for preventing influenza are also  recommended for preventing coronavirus: stay home when sick; cover your cough; wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.   In this evolving situation, the  MDH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website  offers up-to-date and accurate information. And check out this video to learn about germs and handwashing auf Deutsch.

The health and well-being of our students, staff and school community are at the forefront of our planning as we continue to monitor this situation. 
Construction Updates 

Most of the steel components have been installed. We're waiting for the roof trusses to be delivered on March 11. They are continuing to work on caulking and enclosing windows with plastic to eventually make the structure water-tight. 

They are also constructing an enclosure to separate the front entry from the foyer, where they'll be demo'ing and reconstructing the connection between the new and current buildings. 

Since temperatures are warmer than expected, we're also looking at options for improving the muddy walkway from Como Ave to the playground. 

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding! 

Andy Nesset   
TCGIS Facilities and Grounds   
Conference Sign-up Closes Tue., March 10 at 8:00 pm

Conference Dates
Thursday, March 12 4:00-7:30pm 
Friday, March 13 8:10am-3:30pm

If you did not receive a Constant Contact email with sign-up information please email  info@tcgis.org

Elementary School Conferences
Prior to conference scheduling, be sure to make a list of all of the teachers you would like to meet with (the scheduler does not provide this) as well as a list of times that you would like to attend. 

Middle School Conferences 
Conferences for Middle School  families will be Open Conferences  for all Academic Teachers.  If your student is making progress (and you are comfortable with it), please don't feel obliged to attend conferences. 

If you would like to meet with a Specialist (Art, Drama, Sport, Tech), you will need to sign up for a 10-minute slot.

If you would like to view your student(s) grades prior to conferences, please login to PowerSchool here. If you are having trouble with your PowerSchool login, please email info@tcgis.org.
Playground Access during Conferences
Kinderclub will be using the playground during parent teacher conferences. To ensure proper supervision for all Kinderclub children, who will be rotating locations between the playground, the school building, and OPC all day, only those children signed in to Kinderclub will be allowed on the playground from 3:15 - 6:00 pm on Thursday and 8:00 am - 6:00 pm on Friday. 
Should your children accompany you to conferences, they must stay with you at all times. They may also wait in front of the classroom during conference time. Please do not leave them unsupervised in the school building or on the playground at any time. Thank you in advance!
Carpooling Initiative Underway

Exciting news! Forty-five families opted in to share their info and be part of the interactive carpooling map. Parents who opted in by March 1 will receive an email tomorrow with an interactive Google map of other interested families and instructions for next steps.

Missed the deadline? Opt in to the map and contact list with this form. We will  send out an updated map and contact list to parents who have opted-in on the first of each month.

ZuVon is a parent-school collaboration that offers eco-friendly ways to get to ( zu ) and from ( von ) TCGIS. The goal of this project is to reduce environmental impact, address traffic flow and safety, and improve communications in our community.  

This new website 
( www.tcgis-zuvon.org ), includes information on a new carpooling initiative, drop off and pick-up procedures, busing routes and schedules, and local transit options. 
Introduction to Meditation in 3rd and 4th Grade

Hello my name is Ariam Hadish and I'm an intern for the spring semester.  I'm studying transnational Social Work at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt/Main. 

I would like to practice mindfulness with the 3rd and 4th grade starting next week (March 10, 2020). I will be attending and teaching the morning circles (Morgenkreise) and a certain time to practice meditation after the lunch times in a weekly changing routine starting with Herr Koch's Class.

Meditation is a tool that is more and more spread especially through grown ups and is also supposed to help children massively. Meditation is a way of relaxation that helps the balance in between concentration and natural breathing. Learning this ability at an early age can improve the physical and mental abilities of your child drastically. Schools that use meditation as a tool are trying to improve the ability to efficiently work and the relationship in between the children.  It helps children to learn in a relaxed state of mind without any force. 

Read more about Ariam's project here
Seeking Spring Enrichment Activity Leaders

The spring session for enrichment activities starts the week after break (April 6th) and we are looking for staff and interns who are interested in leading an activity!

Enrichment activities meet once a week for an hour (3:30-4:30). Activities can be anything from crafting, playing a sport, dancing, academic clubs, hobbies, etc. The possibilities are endless! This is a great way to make some extra money and is a relatively low time commitment. If you are interested in leading an activity, print out this form or come grab one in the office and submit it by March 10th. 
Special Ed Advisory Committee Meeting & Presentation

March 16, 6:30-8:00 at TCGIS 
Please RSVP here.

This next meeting includes a presentation that is free and open to the entire school community. Our guest speaker, Jennifer Begtold, will define and briefly explain sensory integration and sensory diets and then give some home programming ideas. The presentation should last 30 minutes and then we will have time for questions and discussion. This promises to be an engaging and fruitful discussion. Invite your friends!  
German Education Officials visit TCGIS

On Monday, our school hosted visitors from the Zentralstelle für Auslands-schulwesen (central agency for schools abroad) and the Kultusministerkonferenz (Germany's national department for education). The ZfA ["tsett-eff-ahh"] is the organization that is not only in charge of our German language exams (A1, A2 and DSD I), but also sponsors various contests and provides financial and other support to our school for German language materials. 

The goal of this visit was for our guests - representatives of the German government - to get a closer look at our school and our German program. We are very proud that our school has been considered for this visit as one of two schools in North America and we had a lot of fun showing off the way we teach German at TCGIS!  

The Yearbook Committee says ...  
Mausmünzen Gewinner:  March 3

The selected students have shown exemplary behavior at TCGIS during the school day and are representing their class and grade level. 

Meistermäuse have demonstrated to staff one or more of the following praised traits: Sicherheit (safety), Verantwortung (responsibility), Respekt (respect), and Freundlichkeit (kindness).

May they continue to make our school a better place!

KA - Ella;  1B - Wynne;  2C - Olivia;  3C - Ben;  4B - Evan; 
5C - Ishaan;  7A - Ciaran;  Staff - Herr Brown
Support TCGIS: Volunteer Opportunities
March Potluck Sign-ups
Here are three opportunities to show our appreciation for TCGIS teachers and interns with delicious food this month:

6th Grade: Intern Breakfast on Monday, March 9
Sign-up here

All Grades: Conference Pizza Night, Thu. March 1 2
Sign-up to bring beverages, desserts and papergoods here.

1st Grade:  Early-release Day Staff Luncheon,  Wed. March 18
Sign-up  here
Come learn about hosting an Intern next year! 

Intern Host Family Info-Meeting
Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 PM, room 100

Join us for a brief meeting to learn about what hosting an intern really entails and what the experience is like for families. 

We are seeking 10 more host families for next fall. 

If you ready to sign up, please fill out  this short interest survey  as soon as possible . Vielen Dank!  

Not sure what it would be like hosting an intern? Board member Dianne Bell and her family hosted a few years ago and shared their story with us last fall.  

Summer Camps & Activities
Vienna Community Arts Summer Studio
Vienna is at TCGIS and in Maplewood this Summer!

We offer music lessons for new and continuing students in piano, classical guitar, ukulele (new) and violin/viola.  Extended Lessons, Buddy Lessons, Creative Projects, Parent-Child Duets. 

Have some musical fun this summer with Vienna!
Call or e-mail for details: 612-505-2892 or  vcaherbert@gmail.com
Summer Camp at the GAI: Registration Now Open!
The 2020 GAI German Summer Camp program for children (ages 5-13) will take  p lace June 22 - August 28 at the GAI. 

Each camp will last one week (M-F) and is centered around a fun, highly-interactive theme . TCGIS families can register at 'member'  rates.

German beginners to bilingual campers are welcome, as different activities will be offered according to the children's language skills. Teachers and children will speak, hear, sing, and create in German while exploring subjects including arts & crafts, geography, cooking, science, photography and more. Half-day, Full-Day, and Extended Care Options available.  Click here for details and to register.
Summer Running, Jumping, Throwing at TCGIS

Register here for  summer track-and-field (open to current 4th-8th graders)! We are currently more than 1/2 full. Here are all the  details.

With questions, please contact Herr Tabisz.
Parent Resources 
Health Office Update: 11 yr-old Student Vaccination Records Needed 

If your child is 11 years old and/or entering 7th grade next school year, Minnesota State Statute 121A.15 requires your student to have a dose of the Tdap and Meningococcal vaccine to return to school. If you choose to opt out you may file a medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a non-medical exemption signed by a parent/guardian, and notarized (vaccine needs to be specified).  Please return completed immunization documentation to TCGIS once available, but not later than August 15th, 2020 via: 
  • email to info@tcgis.org
  • mail to school (1031 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103) ATTN : Monika Avery
  • to Front Office staff
Do you have a late bus?

If you have transportation concerns about a late bus before or after the front office is open (7:30am-4pm on school days), please  contact  Collaborative Transportation directly at 612-808-8868. If you call the office before or after hours you will reach KinderClub who will not have any updates on busing. 
Vielen Dank!
Field Trip Chaperones and Background Check Forms

If you (or a grandparent/relative) may chaperone a field trip with your child(ren)'s class this spring, and have not turned in a Background Check form within the last two years, please do the following: 
  1. Fill out this Background Check Disclosure Form and read the
  2. Turn in the Disclosure Form to the Front Office with payment ($20/adult)
The cost for background checks if $20 / adult and can be paid with cash, check or in Boonli. 

Parents for whom the $20 fee would present an obstacle to chaperoning: please email the Front Office (info@tcgis.org). We also welcome donations towards the $20 fee for parents who may otherwise not be able to afford it. 

Background checks will be considered valid for 3 years. If you're not sure if a background check you submitted in the past is still valid, please email the Front Office (info@tcgis.org). 
PTO Updates                                           
Think Spring: Plant Sale is Now Live! 
The PTO's Spring Plant Sale is now live - be sure to order your plants by March 9.

View the beautiful options and place your order  here!

Pickup is on May 1 (3-6pm) at TCGIS.  
Maskenball 2020 - Seeking Sponsors & Volunteers

We need your help in organizing and identifying sponsors for the biggest party of the year! 
  • Have experience or enjoy organizing events? 
  • Do you know community supporters in the Twin Cities area? 
  • Interested in being part of community of parents who are passionate about our school? 
  • Desire to volunteer with a large or small impact? All time commitments are welcomed!
Email our M askenball chair Ashley Clayton at  maskenballtcgis@gmail.com for any questions!   
Box Tops

Thank you to everyone who sent in their Box Tops for Education, we submitted over $250 worth of clipable Box Tops, plus we have earned additional money from families scanning their receipts for the scannable Box Tops. 

As a reminder, please only send the clipable box tops to school, we cannot send in the scannable Box Tops, you must scan your receipt with the Box Tops mobile app to earn with the scannable Box Tops credit. Here is a video showing the process
We prefer to receive the clipable Box Tops in bundles of 50, but please send in what you have before they expire.