This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Twin Cities German Immersion Charter School5
Posted July 26, 2014
- a community member
TCGIS is a wonderful school that is dedicated to the students, the staff and the supportive community that surrounds it. There have been many changes that have transpired however with the dedication and devotion of the staff and administration, the school has been a raving success in the last few years. Numbers are up, the teachers are energized and motivated to move forward and the building itself is expanding. Wow! How fun to be a part of this excellent school!
My child is in 3rd grade and we are extremely pleased with her learning. This year has been challenging, getting used to the new location. And drop off and pick up have been a mess at times, but I don't think that any move to any location would be much smoother. We would have quickly outgrown the old location, and at Como we will have an actual playground! Someone else mentioned that the feel was different, and it is as parents aren't able to drop off and go in/chat every morning like they used to. Once the new building is finished I believe that will change. TCGIS is a wonderful community with caring staff and teachers and very involved parents!
My child is half way through the kindergarten year and so far we are very pleased. The lessons are age appropriate, fun and creative. He's treated fairly and has made many new friends. We love our teacher--she's great at communication and in addition to weekly emails, she will let you know how things are going--whether well or not as well--and supports collaboration between parents and faculty to provide the best possible experience for the student. Homework is (rightly) optional and prepares them for establishing the habit next year. The new building which was supposed to be ready last fall, encountered some unexpected problems so it won't be finished until this summer. However, regular communication from the director has smoothed over some of the bumps and was done so with candor and in a non-defensive way. TCGIS follows a 'responsive classroom' model which was one of the main reasons we chose them. Once some of the drop off/pick up kinks are worked out and the new building is in place, I think this TCGIS will be awesome. We feel fortunate to be at this school and are looking forward to the years ahead. It doesn't surprise me that there's a waiting list again for next year.
If your child is advanced, avoid this school unless a new director is chosen. She is vehemently opposed to advanced placement for students, even if they are way too advanced for their class. She expects that differentiation would be made in the classroom, but this is not happening. I am very actively involved with the school & parents & have heard too many complaints. My kindergartner who has been writing for 2 years was forced to trace letters, learning one letter per week, even though we requested that the teacher have children that can already write, freehand write letters, words or sentences depending on their skill level. While some mathematically advanced children could add, subtract and multiply, they had to sit through instruction to teach them the numbers 1-5. The classroom experience is complete chaos & when the disruptive students prevent any learning in the classroom, the school focuses on the disruptive students, punishing the entire classroom by taking away privileges including the ones necessary to learn! Too many children are reporting that they hate school, are bored with school and want to stay home. Aren't kindergartners supposed to learn to love school?
This school is good. But the parking and student drop off pick up is a nightmare! Also a concerned about kids attending school in a construction zone with some kind of potentially unsafe substance found.
We are very happy that we found TCGIS. We have a son in KG and daughter in 1st grade and we are very happy they love their school. We don't speak German at home but our two kids sing in German all the time. Small class size with two teachers, very involved parents, an excellent principal and awesome new location. Hope it will be the best School in MN.
We were not happy with the direction the school is going so are removing our children from the school. If you get in with the right click of parents and board members at school then you are set but if not, beware that your children are irrelevant.
We have a son entering kindergarten this year and I've been extremely impressed with everything so far, from communication (they do a weekly newsletter) to opportunities for involvement. The director has been great! Parents of kindergarteners are allowed to enter the first week of school. I'm not sure what the concern is from previous posts. If they were being bused to school you wouldn't be stopping in everyday. The new space is beautiful from what I've seen so far. They've taken great care in making it a eco-friendly and they plan to add gardens. They offer a week long camp and family day a few weeks before school begins, which is a great way to lesson first day jitters. We are looking forward to the next year. Absolutely no complaints so far.
I noticed all the reviews were 5 stars until July when this new director takes over. Hmm . Makes you wonder. Is she a typical beaurocrat concerned with her rules or is she truly interested in the kids? Should her priority be the school neighbors and trivial parking issues or creating the right atmosphere for learning? Is it good to start off fighting with the parents or would she be better off being flexible on issues that aren't worth going to war over? Lets hope this school gets better, not worse!
I really loved this school last year but I am not so sure about policies at the new location. The new location seems to have a different "spirit" from what the school exhibited last year. The school was previously a family and community oriented enterprise, a warm, embracing place where collaboration between staff, families, and others was encouraged. I hope the voice of the families is listened to in the coming school year. It would be a shame to lose such a great place.