Der Elternbrief
ISSUE 428 / SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
School Board Meeting Tonight
Join the Board Meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Zoom
The board will hear a presentation from Emily Cooley, SPED Director, on delivery of special education during this unique school year. Executive Director Anderson will give updates on the planned milestones that would prompt a change in education delivery modes this year in response to several factors. The board will evaluate the resolution passed in September for school reopening and vote to renew or change the resolution. Board committee chairs will present the 20-21 charter of each committee, and invite anyone interested to join the volunteer work. The board will vote to appoint Megan Dayton, TCGIS parent, State Demographer and President of the MN Association of Professional Employees Union, to fulfill the term of the open board position. The board packet is available here. Join via Zoom at 6:30 pm.
School News & Updates
Attendance Procedures
Elementary students are considered present for the day if they (A) attend class in-person (hybrid days) or (B) complete school work remotely AND have teacher interaction. Teacher interaction can be via Seesaw or other teacher approved option.

Middle School students are considered present for the period if they (A) attend in-person (hybrid days) or (B) complete school work remotely AND have teacher interaction. Teacher interaction can be via Google Classroom. 

What if my child(ren) misses synchronous instruction?
  • If your elementary student attends one synchronous session and completes schoolwork, they are considered present for the day. 
  • Missing multiple sessions in the same subject area can have a detrimental impact on your child’s learning. Contact the teacher if your child misses a scheduled session.
  • If your middle school student submits school work but had no interaction with their teacher for that subject or period, the student is considered absent for that period on synchronous instruction days (M,T,Th,F).

Questions? Please contact the Front Office (, 651-492-7106)
Schedules: September and October
Below are the schedules for September and October shared in the Fall Learning Plan presentation in August. The schedules for November and December have not been finalized. Those schedules will be made by a joint committee which includes administration and school board members. (Click on the images below to see larger versions.)
Grades K-4 have Connection Weeks for the rest of September.
Grades 5-8 have distance learning for the rest of September.
Two weeks of distance learning for all students after fall break allow a quarantine period after family travel.
Kinderclub: Distance Learning Days in October
Kinderclub has bookings available for Tier 2, 3 and Non Tier Families for October (Full Day School Care, Before/After Care and Fall Break Days). Please email Michaela ( to reserve the days you need.
Fall Universal Screening Process Now Underway
Our fall screening for students will continue until October 2nd. Universal screening is an important part of our multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework at TCGIS. It allows us to identify those students who are on-track to meet grade-level standards in reading and math, and also to identify those students who may need some additional support to meet grade-level goals by the end of the year. Please watch for an email with important information about your child's screening schedule. Please reach out to Jessie Kember ( with any questions or concerns. We appreciate your flexibility and patience as we navigate fall screening during this unprecedented time.
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
Printed Materials Pickup: Fridays from 2:00-3:15pm
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.
Library Updates: Our library has a Facebook page!
There is a new Facebook page for the TCGIS library! Give us a "like" and follow along for library and enrichment updates, storytimes, and some surprise guests! 

Due dates for current library books
Grades K-4: books are due by Oct 2 if your child would like new books the week of Oct. 5-9, before fall break.
Grades 5-8: books will be due the first week of November. If your child finishes their books before then and would like another book to read before November, please email and they can return their books and get new ones.

Reminders for overdue books from last school year will be emailed this week. If your child has not yet returned their books from last year, there are bins outside the library and a library drop-off bin every Friday at materials pick-up. 
How COVID Impacts TCGIS Finances: Kinderclub
Did you know that TCGIS is incurring unusual expenses this year? An example of this is the state mandate to provide childcare free of charge for Tier 1 essential workers. Kinderclub normally breaks even or produces a small profit. This year, Kinderclub is forecast to cost the school approx $190,000 directly out of the school budget. Please consider making a donation to offset these expenses. Thank you for your ongoing support of TCGIS!
Parent Council Election: vote by midnight Sunday
It's time to elect the 2020-21 Parent Council!
Click here to vote for your class/homeroom representative. Learn about the nominees here. Each FAMILY has ONE vote PER child; if you have more than one child, one parent may vote in each child's class. The Election closes at midnight on Sunday, Sept. 27.
The first 2020-21 Parent Council meeting is Monday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Further below you'll find an update from the September Parent Council Meeting.
PSA: In-Person Voting Now Open in Minnesota
Election day is November 3, just 39 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
Car Pick-up: Tap "Announce" when you're in line
If you pick up your child(ren) by car on Van Slyke, please remember to tap the "Announce" button in your Pikmykid app when you arrive. This lets the dismissal staff know you have arrived and we can send your child(ren) to your car.
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:
Voluntary Family Contact List: Sign-up is now open
Enrich your family life with more German at home
Stream your child(ren)'s favorite shows and movies in German
Did you know that most streaming video services offer the option to change the language of the program? The process is relatively simple; simply click on these links to find instructions: Disney+, Netflix, AppleTV and Amazon Prime Video. Watching familiar shows in German will help your child(ren) further develop their ear for the language and build their vocabularly while doing something they enjoy!
Looking for ways to keep your child(ren) engaged with German? Check out the updated German Enrichment Page for excellent resources for kids of all ages. Looking for some screen-free enrichment? Visit the Audio page for podcasts and audio books, or the Fun Stuff page for a photo-club, recipes for kids, science experiments and art projects. There really is something for everyone, so please take some time to visit the enrichment site with your kids!
A Carpool Tool for TCGIS Families
If you're interested in exploring carpooling to/from school, fill out this google form by Sept. 20, even if you signed up last year; we will update the list every year. Your address and limited contact information will be used to populate a Google map similar to the one on this page. After Sept. 20 we will follow up with families who choose to participate. We will update the Google map monthly if parents choose to consider carpooling at a later time.
Parent Engagement Opportunities
PTO Updates: Fall Plant Sale & Fall Auction
Fall Plant Sale
The plant sale starts tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 25! Click here for all the beautiful holiday greens Gerten's has to offer.

Fall Auction & Strudel Sale
Yes, the Fall Auction is still happening!! We are looking for people to think outside the box with their donations this year. We will not be auctioning any in-person events, so let's get creative! The deadline to register your Virtual Gatherings and Great Stuff is October 4. Sorry, this year, late submissions will not be accepted. 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!
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.
Lernen macht Spaß! Learning is fun!
Is your child motivated by earning points and playing games? Check out the Anton App for grade-level learning units for which students earn coins they can use to play games or dress up their avatar. Subjects include German, Science, Math, Music and Language Arts. Find more recommendations like this on our TCGIS German Enrichment Page!
Vienna Community Arts: Visit our New Website
Vienna Community Arts offers music instruction for continuing and new students at TCGIS in Piano, Violin, Classical Guitar, Ukulele and Voice. Learn more when you visit their newly launched website:
School Board Announcements
Share the TCGIS message in different languages!  
In an effort to promote our school's goal of increasing diversity, the TCGIS school board Communications Committee wants to use videos in languages other than German and English to share what makes our school great. We are seeking volunteers to speak for the school in languages commonly spoken in Twin Cities immigrant communities such as Amharic, Arabic, Hmong, Karen, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, etc. Please contact Rich Iwen at if you can participate in this outreach program.

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.

September School Board Meeting: Thur, Sept 24, 6:30pm. Click here to join Zoom.
(Meeting ID: 841 8447 4178, Passcode: 4xY5jK)
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,
Executive Committee: Wed, Oct 19, 6:30pm, contact jalkatout@tcgis.or
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
October School Board Meeting: Thur, Oct. 22, 6:30pm. TBD
Community Events
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. 24: Board Meeting (Zoom)
Sept. 29: 2nd Grade Curriculum Night (Zoom)
Sept. 30: Middle School Curriculum Night (Zoom)
Oct. 1: 4th Grade Curriculumn Night (Zoom)
Oct. 2: K-4 library books due
Oct. 4: Deadline to register items for PTO Auction
Oct. 5: Parent Council Meeting
Oct. 12-16: Fall Break (no school; Kinderclub open)