Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 434 / NOVEMBER 12, 2020
More COVID Testing Sites Open
TCGIS Community: We thank you for your continued support by working to keep our school community and state safe! We are thankful for your efforts in symptom checking your students before any in-person learning. Please continue to uphold our school's Community Pledge and read the following important update.

New Community Testing Sites Open in the Metro Area
Source: MDH webpage, November 12, 2020
COVID-19 testing is available at no cost at all Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) community testing sites. [Sites now include Minneapolis, St. Paul, Brooklyn Park, and the MSP Airport. Click here for a complete list of sites.]
These saliva tests are more comfortable than nasal swabs and just as accurate, but they may not be a good option for those with low saliva production, such as very young children or people who have suffered a stroke. Results are emailed to you 24-48 hours after taking the test.

Through the COVID-19 Test at Home program, any person in Minnesota can order a saliva test to be delivered at their home with expedited shipping. The test is then sent to the new lab in Oakdale, Minnesota, for processing.
Health Office COVID-19 Update: Holiday celebrations, Executive Order re: Gatherings
As expected for fall, COVID case numbers are rising. Please keep your family safe at home and follow the Minnesota Department of Health guidance for celebrations, and the executive order of Governor Walz concerning restrictions on gatherings: keep gatherings small and outdoors for good airflow, wear a mask, keep 6 feet of distance and stay home if you feel sick.
K-8 Entering Distance Learning
through January 22, 2021
Starting Monday, Nov. 16th, TCGIS will enter distance learning for grades K-8. This will last through at least January 22nd due to two quarantine weeks after winter break and the end of our semester. The Incidence Response Team (IRT) will continue to monitor our statewide infection rates and will officially determine the end of January's learning model at a later date.

Please remember: the week of Thanksgiving is a no-school week due to conferences and professional development days, according to our school calendar adopted on October 8th, 2020.

Our Incident Response Team reviews Covid-19 numbers every Thursday and our plan could change as necessary. We know flexibility can be difficult for our families and staff. Still, your TCGIS IRT will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. Thank you for your continued support and work to keep our community safe!
School News & Updates
New virtual Zeit für Dich (Time for Yourself) space
Feeling worried? Feeling overwhelmed? Need a movement break? Check out our virtual “Zeit für Dich” space! Here you can find virtual rooms for getting wiggles out, sensory regulation, anger and frustration management, and dealing with anxiety. It’s geared toward students, but parents can use it too! You can find it linked at the bottom of our homepage.
PTO News: Join us tonight for a great conversation!
Tonight: Thu., Nov. 12 at 6:30 P.M.
School Psychologist Carol Mecklenburg and Psychologist Intern Tara Kulkarni will talk about "Fighting Family Burnout: Steps Back to the Zone of Emotional Health" and answer questions. We're excited to have them join us!
Click here to join the Zoom Meeting (Meeting ID: 839 7748 7351, Passcode: 029484)
Technology assistance available to all families
Did you know about the TCGIS Technical Assistance Form? It's in every student's TCGIS Bookmarks folder in Chrome, and also on our homepage under Fall Learning Plan, and can be used to get help with any technical issues you might be experiencing with anything from websites to devices. Don't hesitate to reach out!
Fall Conferences: Final Sign-up Reminder!
Reminder: Submit Application for Educational Benefits for 21/22 School Year by 12/01/20
There is still time to apply! Please complete this Application for Educational Benefits and return it before December 1 (but applications can be filled out anytime throughout the school year). For additional information (Q&A, income limits, instructions) please refer to our info letter or contact with any questions.
Your application matters! Not only does it help us identify families in need and we can provide them with free or reduced price school meals and Take Home Meal kits, your application also helps the school generate state aid. Students in households that meet the free or reduced price meal income guidelines will generate compensatory revenue for their school.
Please email your completed Application for Educational Benefits to or return to the office: TCGIS, Attn: Alex Weeding, Food Service Coordinator, 1031 Como Ave, St. Paul, MN 55103
Give to the Max starts this weekend!
TCGIS kicks off our fall Annual Fund campaign this Saturday in conjunction with Give to the Max Day next Thursday. Watch your email for daily doses of inspiration and examples of what an incredible community we have here at TCGIS.

When you give to the TCGIS Annual Fund, you fund things that make our school special: library books and other learning resources from Germany, intructional technology, teacher training, and in a typical year, our Intern Program. This year, your gifts help off-set substantial unforseen costs due to COVID-19. Every gift matters, every gift helps. Herzlichen Dank for considering TCGIS in your Give to the Max giving plans!
TCGIS Ambassadors and Linguists: Can you help?
In our efforts to broaden TCGIS student recruitment, we are seeking community volunteer support in two areas:

  1. Is there a bulletin board in your world? Grocery store? Cultural group or organization? Community center? Place of worship? Volunteer to make sure TCGIS material lands there.
  2. Translation skills: Help TCGIS by translating a simple poster into another language! Specifically: we are eager to translate our recruitment materials into languages spoken within the Twin Cities immigrant communities.

Click here to let us know who you are and how you can help. Herzlichen Dank!
Will you have a new TCGIS student in 2021-2022?
Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year is now open! If your child will attend TCGIS in the 2021-2022 school year, please submit an application for admission online or by sending 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
Library Updates
Reserving Library Materials
Would you like new library books for next week? Throughout the school year you are now able to fill out this form to get new materials. Putting your "order" in by Wednesday night will ensure it's ready for the following week.

Current due dates for library books
HYBRID: books were due the week of Nov. 2-6. If you have not yet returned your books from September/October of this year, please do so ASAP!
DISTANCE: due Dec. 14-18 (unless they'd like to reserve new books before then)
Along with Friday materials pick-ups, you can now drop off books anytime during school hours at our book drop-off bin, located at the top of the stairs by the main entrance!

What's in our library?
Are you curious as to what's in our library? As we can't go inside the library this year, our librarian has created a Library Guide. Find out what's in our library including genres and popular series, how to search for books in our library, common FAQs, and more!

Book Review Online Newsletter
Would your child like to review a book that they just read? Each month we will have a new online book review newsletter that is posted on our library’s Facebook and German Enrichment website.  To submit a review, simply fill out this Google Form. Reviews may be written in German or English (though German is encouraged!), or can be dictated to you if they are not yet old enough to spell/type. Please note that this newsletter is for books that have been read/read to in German. Each month a student who submitted their review will be drawn at random for a free book!

LIVE story time: Monday, November 16 at 2:45 pm. Follow this link to tune in! (Zoom passcode: E1m1L0)
Parent Council Update: November Meeting
The Parent Council met on Monday, November 9, via Zoom. We heard updates from Board, Administration and staff members about student retention; fundraising; middle school student support, math scores and health curriculum; and TCGIS' response to rapid changes caused by COVID-19. You can read a full summary of our meeting here.

We hope you and your families are staying healthy and your PC will continue to support the TCGIS community in any way we can. As always, if you have anything you’d like the Parent Council to address, please email your class representative or the PC at
Order a 2020/21 Yearbook!
2020-21 Student Photos
We've all been wondering what Student Photos will look like this year! Since we are unable to have in-person photo sessions, but want to be sure we have your students' photos for the yearbook, Jostens has provided us with a way to submit photos for the yearbook. Click here for instructions (pdf) and then use this link to upload a photo of your child that will be added to the TCGIS 2020-21 Yearbook! 

  • Choose an outfit that your child feels comfortable wearing
  • No filters, please!
  • Solid backgrounds other than black or white are best
  • Long sleeves usually look better than short sleeves
  • Have your child wear their glasses if they prefer
  • Avoid hats & excessive accessories
Printed Materials Pickup: Fridays from 2:00-3:00pm
If your child's teacher has indicated there are materials to pick up this week, you can pick up printed materials and other resources for distance learners from 2:00-3:00 PM on Friday afternoons at the Westeingang (west entrance) near the new parking lot. Weather permitting, pickup will take place outside; otherwise inside the large entrance space at the Westeingang.

NEW: If you are unable to pickup materials on Fridays between 2:00-3:00, materials will be available for pick-up at a table located in the main foyer near the doors to the playground. Parents must email the teacher when they plan to pick up materials so that the teacher(s) can leave the materials on the table for that day. There is also a library book drop-off bin at this table. Since our library book selection is running low, we appreciate any library books that can be dropped off each Friday at materials pick-up. Vielen Dank!
You are Invited: Learn more about the IEP Process
Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) 
Date/Time: Monday, November 30th, 6:30pm to 7:30 pm
Virtual meeting: Join Zoom Meeting (ID: 5360645941/+1 929-205-6099)
Meeting Topic: The IEP Process
Objective: This presentation will help parents understand the full range of supports available to struggling learners at Twin Cities German Immersion School and understand the process for qualification for special education services
Winter Track-and-Field: Last Chance to Register!
Registration for the TCGIS Winter Track-and-Field Team (info sheet) on Popsicle CLOSES on November 15 at 11:59 PM, and the season is currently planned to begin on Monday, November 30.
Due to COVID-19, our practices will take place outdoors with masks and distancing of 6+ feet, and families can choose 2 of 4 practices each week (Mondays through Thursdays). See our team website for more details. With questions, please contact Herr Tabisz.

Important: If the COVID-19 numbers remain at this level without decreasing, please be aware that practices may need to be held virtually or may be cancelled. If we can't hold any in-person practices during a season due to COVID-19, we will offer a complete refund for the season fee at the end of the season.
TCGIS XC & Track Mask Sale
Purchase your mask for $10 on Boonli! As soon as the masks arrive, we will get them out to you. We will have youth and adult sizes available.

Delaney Jacobson, a TCGIS 2nd grade teacher, created the new mascot design, based on two winning submissions from our track athletes last spring.
School Board Announcements
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!

Governance & Leadership Development Cmte: Mon. Nov. 16, 3:45 PM;
Diversity & Belonging Cmte: Tues. Nov. 17, 3:45 PM;
Finance Cmte: Tues. Nov. 17, 6:30 PM;
November Board Meeting: Wed. Nov. 18, 6:30 PM; Zoom link on the calendar
Student Enrichment
Winter Music Lessons
Winter session with Vienna Community Arts studio begins December 1, 2020. We have slots open for piano, violin, guitar, and ukulele. Lessons are offered at school, home, or online. Sign up with Herbert or Nancy at 651-340-6205 or email:
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!
Parent Engagement Opportunities
TCGIS is still enrolling for 20/21
A huge driver for new families who join our school after Kindergarten is our strong community. When you share what you love about TCGIS with your friends, you help strengthen and grow our community. Did you know that we offer language support to students who don't speak German yet? We do! And we are still enrolling in grades 1-3, 5-8. Vielen Dank for sharing what you love about TCGIS with others!
More information to help answer the question:
Yard Sign Front
New Yard Signs are Here!
We've updated our yard signs for 2020 with the message: Gemeinsam sind wir stark! on the back.
When you purchase a yard sign or car magnet, you support the Annual Fund at TCGIS and share your school spirit with the community.
Order your item(s) online in our Square shop and/or pick them up Friday afternoons at Materials Pick-up (2:00-3:00pm).
Vielen Dank for your support!
Nov. 3-17: Conferences Sign-up
Nov. 18: November Board Meeting
Nov. 19: Give to the Max Day 2020
Nov. 19: Fall Conferences (evening)
Nov. 23: Fall Conferences (daytime)
Nov. 23-27: No School + Thanksgiving
Nov. 30: Fall Plant & Strudel Pick-up