Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 426 / SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
The School Board invites all community members- parents, students, staff- to commit to safe practices that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school. Please sign this Pledge to your TCGIS community and help keep each other safe while teaching and learning resumes this fall.
School News & Updates
MIDDLE SCHOOL: Distance Schedule Next Week
After this Connection Week, middle school students switch to the Distance Learning Schedule and block scheduling. This choice was made to give your child fewer transitions in a day, and a deeper, longer dive into subjects. This page of instructions (pictured) is included with your child's schedule. All middle school parents will recieve more detailed information tomorrow (Friday).
Starting next Friday, Sept. 18, parents can pick up printed materials and other resources for distance learners from 2:00-3:15 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.
Locations for the Various Dismissal Modes
Car-pickup for all grades is on Van Slyke Ave.
Buses park on Como Avenue.
Walking pickup is in our school courtyard. Please do not park on Como or Van Slyke, instead park on Lexington, Churchill, Oxford, Argyle, Jessamine or Chatsworth.
Kinderclub students in K-2 are picked up at their classrooms; 3-8 graders walk to the Torwart in the lobby. Parents sign in/out with the Torwart at the Westeingang.

Middle School Parents
We are not using Pikmykid for 5th-8th graders this year. Please confirm with your middle schooler(s) how they are getting home each day so they know where to go or meet you at dismissal. Middle school students are still listed in Pikmykid but they don't need to be updated.

Elementary School Parents
Please update your child(ren)'s dismissal mode - how they are going home each day - in Pikmykid. Instructions follow in the "Reminders" section below.
Important: if your child was in Kinderclub aftercare last year but is not this year, please remove the recurring dismissal mode for aftercare. Danke!
SCHOOL TOURS: This Saturday, 10:00-11:30 am
Over 340 parents and students toured the school building last Saturday! If you missed the opportunity, the TCGIS Board of Directors invites you to tour the newly constructed spaces on Saturday, September 12, 10:00-11:30 AM. In order to maintain safety, we are limiting the number of people in the building by metering tour groups. While it's possible you may pass by your child's new classroom, visits to classrooms are not part of this tour. Sign up for your tour here.
/-out at the Westeingang (west entrance)
Families using Kinderclub should only use the west entrance when dropping off and picking up students. Students must be signed in/ out with the Torwart at the Westeingang, even if the child is only in Kinderclub during school hours (8:15-3:15).

Using Devices from Home during Distance Learning
  • Please write down your child's schedule and zoom meeting time and tape the paper to their device. This helps us log them in faster. 
  • Please add their meeting to their calendar, so we only have to click on the Zoom meetings in their calendar
  • Please keep practicing logging in at home ( Grades 1 and up have practiced yesterday and they did really well!). This will save time, so everybody can be logged in on time.

Updating Dismissal Mode to Kinderclub in Pikmykid
If you're unable to select "Kinderclub" from the menu of dimissal modes in Pikmykid, please email the Front Office and they can add Kinderclub as a mode for you:
If your child(ren) attend school in-person, please review these new additions to the school-day routine with your child(ren).

Wearing Masks
Please help students understand what safe and hygenic mask-wearing looks like. Here is a video for kids about why and how to wear a mask. If your student is in need of masks, please reachout to info@tcgis.orgTCGIS has a limited number of masks to provide for families in need. If your student forgets a mask, TCGIS will have extras onsite to provide back-ups.

Temperature and Symptom Check
All TCGIS students must have their temperature taken at home every day before coming to school. If their temperature is 100.4 they should not come to school.
Similarly if your child has any COVID-19 symptoms, they should also stay home. This symptom guide from MDH may be helpful. 

Physical Distance 
Talk with your child about distancing and how it helps keep everyone more healthy adn safe. Please help them understand what 6 feet distance looks and feels like.
CLASS EMAIL LISTS: Do we have your email?
If you are not receiving emails for your child's class, please fill out this form to add your email to your child's class email list (e.g. KA, 3B, 5C)

Our class-level email lists use PowerSchool contact information. If you are not receiving class emails, please login to PowerSchool to update your contact information using the T - Student Contacts form and make sure you are listed in the top two contacts.

Our class email lists are different from the Elternbrief distribution list in Constant Contact. In this form, please specify if you are requesting to be added to the Elternbrief-list or to the class email list: Add-My-Email Form
PLEASE UDPATE YOUR Pikmykid TO HELP US RUN DISMISSAL Especially for bus riders!
This year we are using the PikMyKid dismissal app for elementary school students only: grades K-4.

Please set a recurring change for 'Distance Learning' on the days your child is not at school, especially if your child normally rides the bus. Here's a quick how-to:
  1. Click "Change Pickup Mode" to find the 'Distance Learning' option
  2. Then for "Recurring" click it to Yes (instead of No)
  3. Select "weekly" under the next choice labeled "Recur"
  4. And then indicate a specific date on the calendar until when the change should recur. For example, if you wish to set this change until winter break, you would select a date in the week before winter break in the calendar labeled "Recur Until."
  5. Do these steps for each weekday your child has distance learning.
Delegating these recurring changes is imperative for accurate dismissal procedures and we appreciate your help!

If you are a new parent and have not yet registered for PikMyKid, please find the instructions here. PikMyKid allows parents, teachers, and office staff to view a child's dismissal mode at the end of the day whether it's bus, car pickup, Kinderclub, etc. Please download the app for iOS or Android, register your account, and set up your child's dismissal mode.
Students attending school will eat snacks and lunch in their classrooms. In order to make our school a safe-space for our students with allergies, all food packed for your child(ren) must be peanut- and tree nut-free this year. This also makes it easier for teachers supervising lunch to clean afterwards and manage allergies. We also ask that students bringing lunch from home include silverware for items like yogurt. Only kids with lunch from school will be supplied with silverware. Thank you!
ZuVon is a parent-school collaboration that offers eco-friendly ways to get to (zu) and from (von ) TCGIS. This website ( includes information on a new carpooling initiative and local transit options. 

If you're interested in exploring carpooling to/from school, fill out this google form by Sept. 13. Your address and limited contact information will be used to populate a Google map similar to the one on this page. After Sept. 18 we will share the link to an unlisted Google map that will include limited contact information with those who have opted in (through the form) and are interested in setting up a carpool with nearby families. Once families have this info, it's up to them to contact possible matches and arrange the carpool. 
Parent Engagement Opportunities
There are many ways to be involved in building a strong TCGIS community.
The Parent Council, Elternkontakte (EKs), the School Board and its committees, and the PTO offer concrete ways to share your talents and build community and help shape our school's future.
2020-21 Parent Council Nominations Open until 9/14
The TCGIS Parent Council seeks class representatives for this school year. Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged! Each grade has a Google Doc for parents to self-nominate and write a short introduction. Nominations will be collected until Monday, Sept. 14. Click here to access the nominations forms.

The election will be held September 17-27 via a Google Form-Ballot. There will be one joint meeting in October with the 2019-20 representatives and the newly elected 2020-21 representatives.

Curious about what it's like to serve on the Parent Council? Watch their Welcome Video, visit their new webpage, or email and to be connected with your Parent Council representative. 
Elternkontakte (parent contacts) a.k.a. 'EKs' are volunteers who provide an additional communication channel between the teacher/school and the parents in their homeroom/class. This is a fun volunteer position that can be done remotely in small bits of time since it primarily consists of communicating via email. 

We are still seeking EK volunteers in these class sections:
1B, 2A, 3B, 5B, 5C, 6B, 6C, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8C.

If you're interested in volunteering as an EK for your child's homeroom this year, please sign up here and Katharina Schirg will be in touch with you. Herzlichen Dank!
Join us at our first meeting of the year!
Join the PTO for our first meeting of the year! It will be via Zoom, on Thursday September 17 at 6:30pm. Stop in to say hi, meet the new team, and hear about what we have planned in the year ahead of us. Watch this Welcome Video to learn more about who we are and what we have planned!

Fall Plant Sale
Keep an eye out for the Fall Plant Sale opening up soon!

Box Tops for Education
TCGIS will be participating in the Box Tops for Education program again this year. Last year we raised over $500! Please download the app at and click here for more information!
Student Enrichment
The Covid pandemic has thrust all schools into a difficult position as it pertains to distance learning. Distance and hybrid learning are hard enough in English, but as a language immersion school, TCGIS has an additional challenge because we teach our children in German.

Many parents have asked the school about private tutoring resources to provide supplemental German help to their children to ensure their German skills remain strong. TCGIS has reached out to the many colleges and universities we have contacts with to see if any of the German students would be interested in virtual private tutoring. There has been an outpouring of interest from German majors and minors to help TCGIS parents and students. We have compiled a Google spreadsheet with the names of those students interested in tutoring.

Please Note:
  • TCGIS is simply compiling this list of tutoring resources for the benefit of TCGIS families and is not involved in any of the negotiations between parents and tutors. 
  • Parents reach out directly to the tutor 
  • Parents negotiate the schedule and pay with the tutor, based on their interest and child's needs.
  • TCGIS will keep this list 'live' and add/remove names on an ongoing basis
  • The intent is for this to be virtual tutoring, using video platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime etc. However, parents are free to make other arrangements if mutually agreed upon.
Vienna Community Arts offers music instruction for continuing and new students at TCGIS in Piano, Violin, Classical Guitar, Ukulele and Voice.
There are three options:
  • In Person at Students' homes
  • On-Line Instruction
  • At School Building for Kinderclub Attendees.
All Grades and Skill Levels are welcome.
For more information please contact: Herbert & Nancy Engelmayer
651 340 6205 (Landline Office) | 612 505 2892 (Mobile Herbert)
School Board Announcements
Poster Project
The Diversity & Belonging Committee is working on a poster project representing our school's five values: 
  • Curiosity
  • Kindness
  • Challenge and Support
  • Community
  • Intercultural Engagement
These posters will eventually decorate our school's walls, and we are looking for pictures of our students that represent our values in order to provide them with mirrors and windows. The ideal pictures will be of small groups of students (whole class photos are discouraged) in higher resolution.  If you have any pictures to share, please send them to Committee Chair Kim Kulhanek at Vielen Dank!
Videographer needed
Do you have experience with videography?  The Communications Committee needs your help filming some short “Why TCGIS” interview videos.  Please email if you can volunteer.

Upcoming Meetings
Several board committee meeting dates in September have changed due to the first week of school. Please contact the committee chair listed for meeting login details.
Governance & Leadership Dvlpt. Committee: Mon, Sept 14, 3:45pm, contact 
Fundraising & Development Committee: Tue, Sept 15, 8:30am, 
Diversity & Belonging Committee: Tue, Sept 15, 3:45pm, 
Communication & Outreach Committee: Wed, Sept 16, 8:15am,
Executive Committee: Wed, Sept 16, 6:30pm, contact
Mission & School Culture Committee: Thurs, Sept 17, 3:45pm,
Finance & Facilities Committee: Tues Sept 22, 6:30pm, contact

The September School Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept 24, 6:30pm. Details will be communicated at a later date.
Community Events
Support the GAI & celebrate Oktoberfest Lite: a safer celebration
Oktoberfest Lite will take place at the GAI the weekend of September 19 and 20. Pick up an Oktoberfest kit on Saturday for a party at home, or reserve a kit and a spot at a table on the GAI lawn for one of two seatings on Sunday.
More information and tickets:
Preschool Openings
The GAI's Kinderstube German Immersion preschool still has a few full- and part-time openings for the 2020/2021 school year. No prior experience in German from the child or family is needed! Through daily play, music education, art, and science exploration, as well as outdoor play time, we expose our students to all concepts of early childhood education. Offered at two convenient locations, Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Click here for registration information.
Classes at the German-American Institute (GAI)
Samstagsschule (Saturday School) for kids and teens
Saturday School classes for ages four through high school return for fall!
The program is built around natural acquisition of language in an interactive, fun environment. Beginning to advance levels offered for all age groups. Samstagsschule begins Saturday, September 26. Register at
Adult-learners Fall classes at the GAI Haus or Online
Our German language fall classes for adults include START 1-2-3 for beginners and a range of options for intermediate and advanced students. These classes will follow social distancing protocols while offering invaluable in-person interactions with your instructor and classmates. Classes begin the week of September 14.
Register at 
Sept. 12: School tours hosted by the Board
Sept. 14: Parent Council nominations due
Sept. 17: First PTO Meeting of the year
Sept. 24: Board Meeting