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.
Our family is so grateful for the constant dedication of our new director at TCGIS. She has worked tirelessly, juggling more hats than most anyone could handle. With several new staff, and a very large construction project to oversee, her energy and professionalism is astounding. I've been a long time parent and supporter at TCGIS, and I have never been so pleased with the school as I am now under her remarkable leadership.
I would recommend this school to anyone who wants more for their child than the run-of-the-mill district school experience! We are very happy with our daughter's first year at TCGIS. The school provides a very attentive, meaningful and supportive learning environment. The teachers are outstanding. Our daughter was very quiet, shy and withdrawn in the beginning, but grew tremendously in her confidence, social skills and academic skills over the course of the year. Her individual needs were met daily and her talents were nourished in a way that wouldn't happen in a typical district school because of the small class sizes and the interns in each classroom. The teachers are allowed to do projects and activities that aren't allowed in a typical district school, like Holiday parties, and treats from home on students' birthdays.
This school has a wonderful community, small classes, and a devoted staff. Our kindergartener is picking up German quickly even though we are not speakers at home. There are two adults, including one native speaker in every classroom. The classes are generally not over 25 students. The music program is very creative, and the after school programs have a lot of interesting variety. The kids get plenty of recess and have regular gym class. They also start learning Spanish in 5th grade. Parental involvement is exceptionally high.
All 4 of our children attend here, and we have been with TCGIS for 7 years. We have enjoyed volunteering in different programs that are a part of the School & PTO. I continue to be amazed when I hear my children speaking and singing in German, since we do not speak it at home. German is spoken in School throughout the school day. In third grade English class is introduced. Our oldest has been learning Spanish since 5th Grade, in addition to German and English--something we just couldn't find in our local public schools. We have hosted a couple of the German-speaking interns in our home. This came in handy for explaining homework in German, and it was interesting and fun getting to know them & about various aspects of German life and schooling directly from a German native! We are excited about the School moving to the Como neighborhood this next school year (2013-14.) There will be outdoor play space and larger auditorium/multipurpose spaces that have been lacking in our current building. The School has great leadership and caring teachers. 1 Con: There tends to be more teacher turnover than public schools due to the nature of having some native Germans who eventually return home.
Great balance of keeping kids interested in learning and academics. Our Kindergartener is thriving despite having no German roots or ties. By having him think in another way (ie German) during the day, he is being challenged and his mind is more flexible and creative. The teachers are supportive, caring, and have performed beyond my expectations. My kid came home one day telling me about balloons and how they change shape when weather changes (ie ideal GAS law concept!) or how he can make a "battery from a lemon!". We love conceptual based learning, and so far so good! The community at the school is also very supportive. Parents are very involved and truly care about the school and making it excel. My son is eager to go to school because it is "fun." He learns, uses his imagination, and plays whether it is during Sport/gym ("parachute game"), music class (exploring different instruments, types of music from all over the world, putting on performance at Carnival of Cultures), or learning math concepts in German! We really enjoy the International feel of the school. Great on-site afterschool activities as well (chess, musical instruments, yoga, etc). My boy loves Kinderclub too!.
Our daughter will be entering second grade this fall, and can't wait for school to start. Her teachers have been wonderful - they really care about the children. We love the small class sizes, and individual attention she receives. Although German is the language of instruction, the school has a truly global feel, with children learning art and music from around the world. Our daughter has made wonderful friends, who have the nicest parents. We have not yet felt the pressure to buy certain things just to fit in. The kids play imagination games on the playground, along with other fun free play - balls, cones, hula hoops - good 'old fashioned' fun and movement. I'm excited that she will get to learn Spanish starting in fifth grade, too. We'll be sending our younger two children here in a few years, as well. The school is searching for a new permanent principal, so that aspect is currently up in the air, but I have faith that the board will make a good selection to lead this growing school forward, and continue this truly global education for our children.
This language immersion school has as its mission educating children for global citizenship. In its relatively short existence, the founders, administrators, faculty, staff, parents--and students--are successfully fulfilling that mission. The school is characterized by a rigorous, German-based curriculum; strong leadership; active parent involvement; commitment to the arts and to service; and a lovely community. It is an excellent school that is easy to recommend to prospective parents.
My daughter started at TCGIS in 1st grade and is now in 4th grade. She speaks highly of her learning experiences and brags to others about her school. As a parent, and public school teacher myself, her attitude speaks volumes about the success she feels as a learner. She has excelled in learning German, spoken and written, and is a confident learner in English, math, science and arts classes. The small class size as well as teacher and intern in each classroom has been wonderful. TCGIS is a great fit for our daughter.
TCGIS provides a great learning environment for kids. Our two children are thriving, and impress us with what they are learning, not just concerning the German language. Each and every staff member is devoted and caring. Individual learning styles and personalities are met with respect, and the small class sizes ensure that problem areas are noticed and help is given. The international community is fun and supportive, which makes it easy for us as parents to identify with our kids' school. And that in turn helps our children to give their best.
I am so pleased and proud to be a part of TCGIS! My daughter loves attending, and misses it on the weekends! I love the small classes, and especially that every class has an intern. The staff is nurturing and supportive. My community school would have been easier, but I know that TCGIS is the best fit for my daughter and family
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