Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 429 / OCTOBER 1, 2020
School News & Updates
Learning Model Transitions Plan for 2020-21
At the September 24 meeting of the TCGIS board, the School's Incident Response Team (IRT), consisting of Director Ted Anderson, Board Chair Julie Alkatout, Director of HR & Operations, Ashley Weston Miller, and Health Services Aide, Monika Avery, presented this Learning Model Transitions Plan for 2020/21 in response to the developments in the spread of COVID. The board accepted the plan and empowered the IRT with the authority to determine the learning model for the School from November 2 onward. 

Critical to sound decision making is the collection of stakeholder feedback, something which will happen through the Parent, Student, and Staff Councils, respectively. This weekend's Parent Survey is limited to the decisions around school models and in-person instruction. A second survey with specific questions regarding instruction since school started on September 8 will follow soon.

By completing this brief Parent Survey by Monday, 9:00am, you will provide your School with invaluable input. Responses will be reviewed by the Parent Council, who will make recommendations to the Incident Reponse Team next week before Fall Break. An announcement about the Learning Models for November onward will be made the week of October 19.
Special Board Meeting: October 8, 6:30 p.m.
The School Board will convene remotely for a special meeting next Thursday, Oct. 8 at 6:30 PM. The Board will discuss and vote on calendar changes proposed by the administration; view the agenda here. Public attendance and comment is welcome! Please submit any comments to and join via Zoom:
Click to join the Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 859 5965 5087, Passcode: 61cFc5)
Celebrate "Woche der TCGIS Einheit" Next Week
In conjunction with the Day of German Unity on Oct. 3 and National Teach German Day on Oct. 4, we will celebrate a Week of TCGIS Unity (Woche der TCGIS Einheit) October 5-9!

Watch for brief daily emails with Top-10 lists of staff language/culture favorites we hope you'll enjoy, too. All students (and staff!) are invited to participate in two dress up days:
Tuesday, Oct. 6: Costume Day (any kind of costume!)
Friday, Oct. 9: Pajama Day
Health Office Update: Temperature checks at the door, COVID-19 and Halloween/Holidays
Thank you so much for all you do to keep our students and staff safe in these extraordinary times. Please support us with temperature checks and symptom checks for your students in the morning. Currently we meet our students at the door and take their temperature after hearing from a majority of students that temperatures were not being taken at home. We will be sending out magnet reminders in the near future. We ask our families to keep our communities safe by keeping students home when sick and doing a symptom and temperature check every morning. Thank you for your continued support

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 to keep our school, community and state safe. 

Thank you for your continued support in reducing transmission of Covid-19! Mask up, TCGIS!
New Yard Signs are Here!
We've updated our yard signs for 2020 with the message: Gemeinsam sind wir stark!

Order your sign online in our Square shop and/or pick one up Friday afternoons at Materials Pick-up (2:00-3:00pm).

When you purchase a yard sign, car magnet or German School is Cool Book, you are supporting the Annual Fund at TCGIS and sharing your school spirit with the community. Vielen Dank for your support!
Library Updates: Live Storytimes!
TheTCGIS library has a new Facebook page! Give us a "like" and follow along for library and enrichment updates, storytimes, and some surprise guests! 

Click here to join us LIVE on Zoom at our next story time, October 5, 2:45 pm. Frau Silke will be reading a PIXI book each week!  (Zoom passcode: E1m1L0) Storytimes will rotate each week between Thursdays and Mondays. If you can't make it live, a recording will be posted on our Facebook and YouTube pages.

Due dates for current library books
Grades K-4: books are due tomorrow (10/02) if your child would like new books before fall break.
Grades 5-8: books will be due the first week of November. 
All distance students: Books are due back the week before winter break.  

If your child finishes their books before the due date and would like another book to read, please email to return their books and get new ones.

Reminders for overdue books from last school year were emailed this past week this week. There are bins outside the library and a drop-off bin every Friday at materials pick-up. 
How COVID Impacts TCGIS Finances: Technology
Did you know that TCGIS is incurring unusual expenses this year? Another example is having to significantly increase the supply of Chromebooks for all students who need them.  Typically TCGIS only provides Chromebooks to middle school students (5th - 8th grades); however, this year TCGIS has had to provide elementary school students with Chromebooks as well.  Replacing defective Chromebooks and buying new ones to enable all students to have access to these devices has cost TCGIS an additional $47,400 beyond the planned budget.  Please consider making a donation to offset these expenses. Thank you for your ongoing support of TCGIS!
2020-21 Parent Council Election Results
The 2020-21 Parent Council election results are in! Click here to see the list of class representatives. We are still missing a representative for 8B; please email if you are interested in representing 8B. The first 2020-21 Parent Council meeting is Monday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
TCGIS Community Garden Update
The TCGIS Community Garden was a great success this year, with over 20 families planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting 186 pounds of fresh produce, all of which was donated to Keystone Midway Food Shelf. Thank you to everyone who participated! 
TCGIS Community Garden
Printed Materials Pickup: Fridays from 2:00-3:00pm
Parents 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 in the large entrance space there. (Note: the end-time has changed to 3:00 p.m.)
COVID-19: Prevention and Screening
Thank you for preparing your child(ren) to wear masks and keep physical distance here at school. Students have been doing a fantastic job following these measures. Here are a few more resources for families:
PSA: In-Person Voting Now Open in Minnesota
Election day is November 3, just 33 days from now. In Minnesota we can vote in 3 ways: early by mail; early in-person at county election offices; and in-person on Election Day.
Election resources from the MN Secretary of State:
  • Click here to register to vote
  • Click here for in-person early voting locations
  • Request an absentee ballot online here
  • Find your election-day polling place here
TCGIS is still enrolling for 2020/21
Do you have friends who are curious about TCGIS? We have space for new students in most grades right now. This is a unique opportunity to apply to TCGIS without having to go through the lottery.
Did you know that we offer language support to students who don't speak German yet? We do! Please spread the word!
More information to help answer the question:
Yard Sign Front
Parent Engagement Opportunities
PTO Updates: Fall Plant Sale & Fall Auction
Fall Plant Sale - place your order by October 9!
Fall Plant sale is up and running! Click here for all the beautiful holiday greens Gerten's has to offer. All orders must be in by Friday Oct. 9!

Fall Auction & Strudel Sale
Last call for Fall auction donations/submissions! Anything that you would like to provide for the fall auction is due on Sunday, Oct. 4!! Please click on the links below to submit either a Virtual Gathering or Great Stuff! Questions? Please email

Virtual Gatherings
Support the TCGIS Community auction by hosting a Virtual Gathering this year! Invite your favorite artist/author to share their passion, host a virtual book club, organize a distant scavenger hunt, or whatever your creativity comes up with. Fill out this form to register your own Virtual Gathering.

Support TCGIS with your amazing (or sorta cool) things. Share your quarantine crafts, your creative baskets, your home baked treats, or surprise us with something new. Fill out this form to register your Great Stuff Donation.

Strudel Sale
It is happening this year. We will share more info as soon as it's available!
PTO Updates: Halloween!
Think that Halloween is canceled this year? We can't let that happen! We're working on a safe celebration but we need your help! The plan is for parents and families to host a table to decorate and provide treats, and then families will sign up for a spot to come through and pick up treats. We think it will be a great way to safely have a little bit of community right now, and hopefully provide some happiness to our kids who are missing out on so much right now. Please check it out HERE if you are interested in hosting a table. Stay tuned - information for the kids sign up coming soon!
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!
School Board Announcements
School Board Meeting Summary
The TCGIS school board met last Thursday Sept 24. Meeting highlights included:
  • Thanked volunteers who worked in the TCGIS community garden this summer, and Kate Mercer for her work with SEAC
  • Appointed TCGIS parent, Megan Dayton, to fill the open seat on the board and special guest Nicole Frethem, Ramsey County D1 Commissioner, administered the oath of office.
  • Heard from Emily Cooley, SPED Director, on delivery of special education for this school year.
  • Renewed the board resolution authorizing the IRT (namely, Director Ted Anderson, Board Chair Julie Alkatout, Director of HR & Operations, Ashley Weston Miller, and Health Services Aide Monika Avery) to plan for any potential learning model changes as required by changes in Covid cases.
  • Presented board committee charters and goals for the 2020-21 school year
  • Approved the TCGIS Statement of Equity, Diversity & Belonging

Upcoming Meetings
Please contact the committee chair listed for meeting login details.

Governance & Leadership Dvlpt. Committee: Mon, Oct 5, 3:45pm, contact 
Fundraising & Development Committee: Tue, Oct 6, 8:30am, 
Mission & School Culture Committee: Wed, Oct 7, 3:45pm,
Special Board Meeting, Thu. Oct. 8, 6:30 pm, Zoom Link on Google Calendar
Communication & Outreach Committee: Tue, Oct 20, 8:15am,
Diversity & Belonging Committee: Tue, Oct 20, 3:45pm, 
Finance & Facilities Committee: Tues, Oct 20, 6:30pm, contact
Committee of the Whole: Wed, Oct 21, 6:30pm, Zoom Link on Google Calendar
October School Board Meeting: CHANGED to Wed, Oct 28, 6:30pm. Zoom Link on Google Calendar
Community Events
Now online: Samstagsschule Fun with German for ages 4 to 6
Looking for a fun and safe weekend activity this fall for your young ones? This is a great way to introduce our youngest learners to German. Now online via Zoom, the focus of the class is on games, playtime, and music.
Oct. 1: 4th Grade Curriculumn Night (Zoom)
Oct. 2: K-4 library books due
Oct. 3: Day of German Unity
Oct. 4: Deadline to register for PTO Auction
Oct. 4: National Teach German Day
Oct. 5: Parent Council Meeting
Oct. 6: Costume/Dress-up Day!
Oct. 9: Pajama Day!
Oct. 12-16: Fall Break (no school; Kinderclub open)