Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 435 / NOVEMBER 19, 2020
At-home COVID Testing Now Available
TCGIS Community: We thank you for your continued support by working to keep our school community and state safe! Please continue to uphold our school's Community Pledge and read the following important update.

Stay Safe MN: at-home COVID-19 test available
Additionally to the testing sites, Minnesota and Vault Medical Services offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for everyone, with or without symptoms, at no cost. After ordering you receive the test delivered to your house and when you are ready to take the test, you will log in to access the Vault virtual waiting room and do a video visit with a Vault test supervisor. After sending the test back to the lab you receive the result in 24-48 hours.

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.
COVID-19 Update: Executive Order re: Gatherings
Due to the significant rise in COVID-19 cases Governor Walz implemented more restrictions going into effect Friday, Nov. 20th and last till December 18. 
  • Residents should not gather with people from other households. Receptions, private parties and other celebrations are prohibited, and even outdoor gatherings with immediate household members only 
  • Any organized adult and youth sports are suspended, indoors fitness centers will be closed
  • Bowling alleys, theaters and bingo halls will be closed
  • Restaurants and bars are closed except for takeout and delivery
  • Retail stores will stay open
  • Places of worship, religious services, wedding, and funerals are open with guidance. Strong recommendation for virtual services only.
Click here to listen to an episode of Jo Hecker's Hexenküche.
Jo Hecker, a German scientist à la 'Bill Nye the Science Guy' led an event for our middle school students on Nov 9th, sponsored by the ZfA (Zentral für Auslandschulwesen).
Reminder: next week is a no-school week due to conferences, professional development days and Thanksgiving, according to our school calendar adopted on October 8th, 2020.

Grades K-8 will continue in distance learning through at least January 22nd. 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.
Today is Give to the Max
HERZLICHEN DANK! Thank you so much!
Thanks to your incredible generosity, TCGIS has received $26,392 for the Annual Fund so far!
If you missed our first celebration with six staff doing tongue-twisters, you can watch that fun here. We quickly shot past our second milestone and will share details after Thanksgiving about an all school crazy-hair day!
We're just $13,608 away from unlocking a $10,000 match from the TCGIS School Board. Can you contribute now and help us reach our goal? Vielen Dank!
Help us unlock the $10,000 Board Match!
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 and fall giving plans!
School News & Updates
Conferences Begin Tonight, Continue on Monday
Tonight, Nov 19: 4:00-7:00 pm
Monday, Nov 23: 8:10am -3:30pm

Conference ZOOM Links
Teacher's conference ZOOM links are listed next to their names in the scheduler or you can find them in the ZOOM Directory.
Use these links to join your child's conferences at the scheduled conference time. The teacher will admit you into the conference at your scheduled time.

ZOOM Conferencing TIPS for Parents
  • Make sure the device you are planning to use for conferences is plugged in and/or charged.
  • Change your Zoom Name: Label yourself "Parent of (insert student names)" so that teachers will know who you belong with when you join your conferences.
  • Minimize interference by keeping your phone or other computer devices away from the area where you are conferencing.
  • Find a quiet place so that background noise is not disruptive to your conference.
  • Teachers are on a tight schedule for conferences. Please do your best to join your conference on time and to stick to the scheduled time frame.
December Take-Home Meal Kits: Order by this Sunday
Remember to place your order for December take-home meal kits during distance learning by midnight this Sunday! Please log on to our online store website
Boonli to place your students' order. Make sure to check out your cart to successfully place an order.  All orders must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, 11/22/2020. Meal kit pick-up days are Monday, December 7th and 14th.
Correction: Kinderclub is open December 21-23, 2020. 
Questions? Please contact us at
Library Updates
Reserving Library Materials
Would you like new library books? 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.  Books will not be available for pick-up over Thanksgiving and winter break.  Any orders received will be for the week after.

Current due dates for library books
HYBRID: books from Sept/Oct were due the week of Nov. 2-6. If you have not yet returned your books from the beginning of this year, please do so ASAP!
DISTANCE: due Dec. 14-18 (unless they'd like to reserve new books before then)
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!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page tomorrow to see who is our NOVEMBER
SURPRISE GUEST! One clue: He is nicknamed "The Man with the Blue Hat". Two more clues are on our Facebook page!

LIVE story time: Our next story time will be Thursday, December 3 at 2:45 pm (no story time next week over break!). Follow this link to tune in! (passcode: E1m1L0)
We're planning for summer camp already!
TCGIS will offer summer camps in 2021 in collaboration with the GAI. In order to help us plan better, please fill out this short survey . Thank you!
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.
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!
Will you have a NEW TCGIS student in 2021-2022?
Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year is now open! If you have a NEW student who will attend TCGIS in the 2021-2022 school year, please submit an application for admission online 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
Reminder: Submit Application for Educational Benefits for 21/22 School Year by Dec. 1, 2020
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. These applications may also make teachers in your school eligible for the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program if they have outstanding college loans. 
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
PTO Plant sale and strudel pick up!
Plants and Strudel pick up will be this Monday, Nov. 30th, from 3-6pm in the cafeteria. Please enter the building by the door at the top of the stairs in the front of the building, Como side.

If you cannot pick up at that time, please email us asap to let us know.
We're trying something new!
Starting next week, we're doing a fundraiser through an awesome local company called Simpls which makes delicious soups that go straight from their kitchen to your freezer! They deliver right to your house. It will be great for those upcoming winter lunches! More information coming soon.
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, labeled with his/her/their name as part of the file name, 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
Student Enrichment
Be a beta-tester for a new German game app!
Want to help make a great German word game app? Julia Neidert, a local software engineer, has been developing an app designed to help you build German vocabulary with a fun word game. She is looking for people to help test the app before it is released, so she can make it as fun and helpful as possible. If you're interested in getting an early look and giving one-time feedback, find out more at
Casting Call: Second Gen Americans and their Parents for New TV Servies
‘HOW I GOT HERE’ is a brand new TV series, where Canadian or American born 14-30 year olds will embark on an adventure of a lifetime as they travel with their parent (or grandparent) back to their country of origin. 

  • Canadian or US born 14-30 year olds. 
  • Either one or both of your parents relocated to Canada or the US 
  • OR – if you were raised by or are very close to a grandparent who relocated to Canada or the US you can apply with them! 
  • You have not recently travelled to their country of origin/or you have never gone with them. 
  • Both you and your parent/grandparent must be interested/available to travel to their country of origin for up to one week in the Spring/Summer of 2021. 

Deadline to apply is December 1, 2020, 11:59pm, EST. 
Applications are reviewed immediately upon receipt. We recommend that those interested apply sooner rather than later! APPLY: 
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:
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 (Individualized Education Plan) 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
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!

Fundraising Cmte: Tues. Dec. 1, 8:30 AM;
Mission & School Culture Cmte: Wed. Dec. 2, 3:45 PM;
Communication & Outreach Cmte: Tues. Dec. 8, 8:30 AM;
Governance & Leadership Development Cmte: Mon. Dec. 14, 3:45 PM;
Diversity & Belonging Cmte: Tues. Dec. 15, 3:45 PM;
Finance Cmte: Tues. Dec. 15, 6:30 PM;
There is no Board meeting in December.
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. 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