Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 432 / OCTOBER 29, 2020
No Connection Week in Middle School Nov. 2-6
Today the Incidence Response Team (IRT) met to evaluate our current learning model based on MDH’s Data for K-12 Schools: 14-day COVID-19 Case Rate by County and our criteria in TCGIS's Learning Model Transition Plan. According to TCGIS’s transition plan, our Middle School will remain in distance learning next week (Nov. 2nd-6th). Our Elementary School will continue with the planned Hybrid learning. Information concerning support weeks in Middle School will be communicated to families shortly.
An Important Community Message
Liebe TCGIS-Gemeinschaft,
With heavy hearts we share with you that yesterday TCGIS staff were informed about budget-driven staffing changes that that will go into effect next week. While most students will not be affected, it’s important for the whole community to be aware of what measures were taken and to know that Wednesday was a very hard day for a few of our colleagues. 

Please take a moment to read our Community Message and to watch Director Anderson's presentation to the Board about this topic (starting at 1:32:05). Let us do everything we can to support our TCGIS colleagues during this time, showing kindness and empathy throughout our community. 

Ted Anderson, Executive Director & Julie Alkatout, Board Chair
Additional Presentations at the Oct. 28 Board Meeting
Members of TCGIS' administration team presented to the board other topics in addition to the budget and staffing updates. Click here to watch Dean Zehnpfennig's presentation on the "Support Weeks" plan at 1:01:03; Dean Simon's presentation on the Pädagogisches Konzept and other website updates at 1:14:12; and Director Anderson's presentation on budget and staffing updates at 1:32:05.
A Happy (and Safe) Halloween
Halloween Message from Lt. Governor Flanagan
As we approach Halloween, we know many families are deciding how to safely enjoy the occasion. Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan has created a video to share some tips for a safe and fun Halloween.
Sign up for the PTO's Halloween Event!
The PTO is hosting a safe and physically distanced Halloween event this Saturday. The event will be held outside on the TCGIS playground. Masking and physical distancing will be required. We hope you can join us! Learn more and sign up here!
Celebrate Halloween Safely: A Message from MDH
Let’s keep Halloween safe this year! Keep in mind that anytime you gather with people you do not live with, the risk of infection increases for everyone. Plan on doing a lower risk activity this year: carve or decorate pumpkins, watch Halloween movies, or organize a virtual costume contest!
Remember: a Halloween costume mask isn’t a substitute for a cloth face mask. The best face masks have two layers of fabric and cover your nose and mouth. We don’t recommend wearing a cloth face mask under a costume mask because it might be difficult to breathe. For more ideas and information, visit Safe Holiday Celebrations during COVID-19.
School News & Updates
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:

Sharing this information represents an important milestone in our curriculum work, which our dedicated teachers undertake in order to develop and innovate their teaching. We continue working on other big-picture concepts and plans that enable our students to get the most of their German Immersion experience at TCGIS.

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.
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.

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 opens Tuesday, Nov. 3
School-wide Fall Screening Now Complete
We have just finished our fall school-wide screening. Students worked diligently to complete assessments that tell our team about their skills in reading and math. Please stay tuned for an email later this week that includes a summary of your child's fall screening assessment scores. Any inquiries can be sent to Jessie Kember (, Assessment & Intervention Screening Coordinator.
A Huge Dankeschön to our PTO!
This week the PTO wraps up its annual auction and strudel sale. This comes on the heels of their fall plant sale. We are so grateful to the PTO for all that they do for TCGIS, because these activities take a lot of time, energy and dedication from our parents who are already busy with their families and their jobs. 
Did you know? The funds raised by the PTO go directly back to our school in the form of grants for classroom enrichment, professional development and free coffee for teachers and staff. Herzlichen Dank, TCGIS PTO!
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
Busing Donations
TCGIS still pays for full school buses even though Covid distancing requirements, coupled with many families in Distance Learning, has reduced buses to running 4 days a week with fewer students.

Please consider donating to offset these costs if your child(ren) use the bus, or if they would in a normal year. Click here to sign up for a recurring bus donation. Even if you don’t use busing services, you can make a donation to help offset these busing costs in Boonli. Thank you for your ongoing support of TCGIS!

Standard Bus Donations:
3+ Rides per week: $60/month per child
2-3 Rides per week: $30/month per child
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
Library Updates
Current due dates for library books
HYBRID students: due week of Nov. 2-6
DISTANCE students: due Dec. 14-18 (unless they would like to reserve new books before then)
Our book selection is running low. We appreciate any library books that can be dropped off at each Friday materials pick-up!

Reserving library books moving forward
All students (including kindergarten) will need to fill out this form. The materials will automatically be scheduled for pick-up/delivery for the FOLLOWING WEEK as long as your "order" is placed by Wednesday night. All items will be checked out for four weeks. If you'd like to learn more about what's in our library, stay tuned for our TCGIS Library Guide, which will be posted soon on our Facebook page!

Our next LIVE storytime will take place on Monday, Nov. 2 at 2:45 pm. Follow this link to tune in! (Zoom passcode: E1m1L0)

Keep an eye on our Facebook page tomorrow to see who is our OCTOBER SURPRISE GUEST! Each month a surprise guest from our school will read a book; clues as to who our surprise guest could be were posted on our page earlier this week.
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 
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
Register for Winter Track-and-Field!
Registration for the TCGIS Winter Track-and-Field Team (info sheet) will be open on Popsicle from November 1 at 8:00 AM 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). 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: Auction & Strudel Sale Ends TONIGHT!
The Auction and Strudel sale ends tonight at 9pm! You don't want to miss an amazing Mythic Mug, Art Kit, gift cards and so much more! And don't forget the strudel! They're a great meal or treat to have in the freezer for those upcoming cold winter nights. And they're a great gift too! Click here to bid and buy your Strudel!
Save the Date: 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! Meeting link will be in the next Elternbrief.
PSA: In-Person Voting Open in Minnesota
Election day is November 3, just 4 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
  • Find your election-day polling place here
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!
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:
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
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
Oct. 24 Board & Admin Retreat Summary
The Board met with members of the TCGIS administration on Saturday. They continued the process of developing a vision for the school through 2025 in line with TCGIS’s Mission, Vision, and Values, including specific goals and objectives. The retreat also included a discussion of TCGIS’s Diversity & Belonging initiative, facilitated by Rebecca Slaby of AMAZEworks. The Board and administration reviewed and discussed recommendations following the recent listening sessions and planned future steps toward building an anti-racist community.

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 & Development Cmte: Wed. Nov. 4, 8:30 AM;
Mission & School Culture Cmte: Wed. Nov. 4, 3:45 PM;
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
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!
Oct. 29: Auction & Strudel Sale close at 9:00pm
Oct. 30: Materials Pick-up 2:00-3:00pm
Oct. 31: PTO Halloween Walk-through at TCGIS
Nov. 2-6: Hybrid Learning & Connection Week
Nov. 3: Election Day
Nov. 3-17: Conferences Sign-up
Nov. 18: November Board Meeting
Nov. 19: Fall Conferences (evening)
Nov. 23: Fall Conferences (daytime)