Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 433 / NOVEMBER 5, 2020
An Important COVID Update from MDH
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.

An Update from Minnesota Department of Health (Nov. 4, 2020)
"Today, we reported the highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota to date. COVID-19 is spreading in every community at an all-time high. It is not just big events that cause this incredibly high level of community spread. These types of scenarios are also driving the spread: happy hours with a few friends, brunch with family members who live in other households, gatherings in your backyard, weddings and other ceremonies, etc.
People get exposed to COVID-19 when they are out and about from people who don't know they have it. This silent spread gets into our schools, long-term care facilities, and hospitals. If our health professionals and other critical workers can't avoid the virus outside of work, then they can't be at work taking care of people or providing essential services.
The good news is that we can do something about this. We all need to be asking ourselves what we are going to do to change our behavior today to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do your part to keep hospital beds available, keep doctors and nurses on the job, and keep schools open: wear a mask, wash your hands often, stay 6 feet from others, avoid large gatherings, get tested, and always stay home if you are sick.
November Learning Model for K-4 &
December Quarantine Weeks
On Monday, Nov. 2, TCGIS emailed families to announce that, due to rising COVID numers, we will shift our learning model for elementary school to Distance Learning with Connection.
Our November Plan
In November ES students will start with TWO weeks of hybrid learning and the rest of the month in distance learning.  

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.

Quarantine Weeks in early December
According to TCGIS's transition plan, quarantine weeks will remain after any week-long break, including after the week of November 23-27th. 

Elementary School Hybrid families: please read and reply to this survey, concerning one week of hybrid learning in December.

Please note, 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
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!
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!
Fall Conferences: Sign up now!
Library Updates
Reserving Library Materials
Would you like new library books by next week? Throughout the school year you are now able to fill out this form, which will ensure your "order" for the following week! All requests must be put in by Wednesday nights to ensure they are ready for the next week.

Current due dates for library books
HYBRID: due week of Nov. 2-6
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!

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: Thursday, Nov. 12 at 2:45 pm
Join us Thursday.  Follow this link to tune in! (Zoom passcode: E1m1L0)
We are thankful for YOU
Priscilla du Preez Unsplash
We wish to express our deep gratitude for all of you who make our community strong and resilient: our staff; our students and families; the TCGIS PTO and the many volunteers who enrich and strengthen our community with their time, talents and treasure.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Parent Council: German Language Support Survey
The Parent Council Parent Support Committee has designed a short survey to better understand our TCGIS community's needs for German language support and the ability of German speaking families to assist others. This survey is quite short (5-10 minutes) and will help us coordinate German language support for all TCGIS families. To access the survey please click the following link: German language support survey This survey will be open for one week so please respond by Friday, November 6 at 5 PM. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and if you have any questions please reach out to your Parent Council representative or the full Parent Council at
Order a 2020/21 Yearbook!
A New Way to Give to the TCGIS Annual Fund
We are excited to share with you our new online giving form that enters your donation directly into our fundraising software, strengthening security and creating efficiencies that allow us to focus our efforts on what matters most--educating our kids. With this new form you can select to make a one-time or recurring donation.

Give to the Max Day is November 19, but early giving is already underway. Your support this year is more important than ever as we strive to raise $40,000 for the TCGIS Annual Fund. Gifts to the TCGIS Annual Fund take on added significance during the 2020-21 school year, as they will provide our community with critical funds that will help reduce the burden of unforeseen financial pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vielen Dank for keeping TCGIS in mind as you plan your November giving!
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
Kinderclub during Winter Break
Kinderclub is currently deciding whether to be open on December 21, 22, 23 . If you need care during those three days and would like to be added to the survey email, please email 
Winter Track-and-Field: 75% Full!
Registration for the TCGIS Winter Track-and-Field Team (info sheet) is OPEN on Popsicle until November 15 at 11:59 PM, and the season is currently planned to begin on Monday, November 30. Please, register early! Our program fills up quickly.
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.
PTO News: Join us for a great conversation Nov. 12!
Next Week: Thu., Nov. 12 at 6:30 P.M.
Put our next meeting on your calendar! 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 so excited to have them join us! Click here to join the Zoom Meeting (Meeting ID: 839 7748 7351, Passcode: 029484)
Vielen Dank!
Thank you to all the families who hosted a table for the Halloween walk through event and all the families that came to "Trick or Treat." You made this a fun and fantastic event! (More photos to follow in our newsletter.)
PTO Halloween
PTO Halloween
Frau Albers and Frau Kulhanek
PTO Halloween
Parent and PTO volunteer Erin Meyers
A Milestone Reached in Curriculum Work at TCGIS
We are excited to share four new pages on our website that illustrate foundational aspects of a TCGIS education:

Dean of German Immersion Beate Simon presented this information at the Oct. 28 board meeting; view her presentation on the Board Meeting video, starting at 01:14:12.
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
Health Office Reminders: Enjoying Holidays Safely
Halloween and the holidays are coming up and there is new guidance from the CDC and the MDH how to celebrate in a safe way. Please consider lower risk activities during distance learning and the holidays to keep our school, community and state safe. Thank you for your continued support in reducing transmission of Covid-19. Mask up, TCGIS!
School Board Announcements
Reminder of the TCGIS Pledge
We created this TCGIS magnet to remind our community of the pledge and steps to keep our school safer. These went home with students this week. Check backpacks if you haven’t seen yours!

TCGIS-Como Garden in the Press
The community paper, The Bugle, published an article about the TCGIS Como community garden project, written by board member and chair of the board’s communications committee, Rich Iwen. Read TCGIS Yields a Big Win with the Como Community Garden here. If you like writing and have interest in volunteering at TCGIS, consider joining the communication committee!
Oct. 28 Board Meeting Summary
The Board met virtually last Wednesday. They recognized and thanked the Board of the Affiliated Building Company, PTO leadership and auction organizers, the graphic designer for the school’s pledge magnets, and Deb Rathman, the architect for the building project. The Incident Response Team presented changes to the school’s transition plan, which the Board approved. Middle School Dean Zehnpfennig presented on the MS Support Weeks, and German Immersion Dean Simon presented on the new Pädagogisches Konzept pages on the school website. The administration presented an updated budget proposal to the Board. Finally, the Board approved a collaborative agreement with the PTO.

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. 9, 3:45 PM;
Communication & Outreach Cmte: Tues. Nov. 10, 8:15 AM;
Cmte. of the Whole: Wed. Nov. 11, 6:30 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
Community Events
Visit our Glühwein Markt on the GAI grounds
Sunday, December 6 | 11–3 PM
You'll find good cheer, warm hearts, and the best Glühwein in town as we practice a safe way to continue our Holiday Open Haus tradition! Reservations are required—sign up for a time slot—and pick up GAI holiday items including Glühwein to-go, Helga's soups, GAI Damenklub Lebkuchen cookies, and more! And while supplies last, Paulaner beer/mug sets and our famous German-themed Mund- und Nasenschutz Masken (masks)—all great stocking stuffers! 
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.
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 sign online in our Square shop and/or pick one 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