The Hawk: April 17, 2020

April 16, 2020 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk Distance Edition

Week ending April 17, 2020

Dear IACS Community,

Another surreal week is coming to a close and I hope this week’s edition of the Hawk finds you in good health and spirits. I know that everyone is wondering about the likelihood of a May 4th return to school, but we do not have any new information to share. Yesterday, Governor Baker stated that he will be making an announcement "sometime soon."

As you hopefully know by now, IACS will have three days of Distance Learning next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (April 21-23); this choice was preferred by 80% of families who responded to our community survey. Thanks also for the thoughtful feedback you provided regarding the launch of our Distance Learning Plan. Over 420 families responded to the following three questions:

IACS has supported social & emotional needs of my student(s) during the school closure:

  • Strongly Agree: 42%
  • Agree: 46%
  • Neither Agree nor disagree: 11%
  • Disagree: 1%
  • IACS has created a Distance Learning Plan that is clear for my student(s) to understand:

  • Strongly Agree: 35%
  • Agree: 51%
  • Neither Agree nor disagree: 10%
  • Disagree: 4%
  • In my experience so far, the academic expectations of our Distance Learning Plan seem…

  • Not enough work: 13%
  • Right amount of work: 72%
  • Too much work: 7%
  • While these results show that we’re off to a good start, please know that the comments you provided as well as the insights from our faculty will help us improve. I know the phrase "we’re all in this together" might seem cliche by now, but it really does apply to all of our efforts to redesign school as best we can. As always, thank you for your ongoing support.

    Here’s hoping mother nature cuts us a break by not dumping too much snow tomorrow, right?

    In partnership,

    Greg Orpen

    Head of School

    All School News

    Virtual Support Groups for Families

    The Brookline Center for Community Mental Health has established free daily support groups for families during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here for their flyer, which is updated each week.

    Reducing Notifications from Google Classroom

    We’ve heard from many of you that your email inboxes are overwhelmed – we know the feeling! We recommend that you consider changing the settings and notifications for individual classes.

    a. For STUDENTS: Your student may already have done this but if they did not, every time a teacher posts something on Classroom, they receive an email notification. See these See these screen shot directions or watch a How To Video.

    b. For FAMILIES: To manage email summary settings, you need a free Google Account. You don’t need a Gmail address to create a Google Account. To create one with your current email address, see Create your Google Account.

    If you have a Google Account: Go to https://classroom.google.com/gs, where you can see the students connected to your account and manage the frequency of your emails.

    If you don’t have a Google Account: You only get weekly emails and cannot change any settings.

    Middle School News

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    A Special Thank You Shout-Out to Seventh Grader Breandan Smith. Breandan is on a roll using his 3D printer to make face mask extenders. These extenders allow people wearing masks more comfortably by clipping the ends on the back of the head instead of around the ears. He began with a pattern, but has adapted it on his own after receiving feedback from some health care workers who had tried them out. Breandan has shared the extenders with staff at the Lowell General Hospital and Lawrence General, along with nurses and social workers who have requested them through Facebook. Kudos to Breandan for living the IACS four outcomes….using his self-direction to be a good community member, problem-solving to optimize his design, and using effective communication to spread the word of the extenders to those that can use them. We are proud of you!

    Where to find assignments posted for all classes

    Assignments for all classes are posted on our website, https://www.innovationcharter.org/middle-school/, linked from the heading All Assignments. You can also find our Distance Learning Plan on the same page, linked from the heading Plan and Expectations. Student assignments are also updated each week in their virtual digital planner which was shared by their advisor.

    Middle School Yearbook

    With the unprecedented events regarding school closure, we want to document this year in our Middle School Yearbook. As we are not able to capture pictures of spring activities we need your help. Although the pages will look different, we would like them to represent what is happening at home. Please send in creative pictures of your middle schooler working from home – doing something around the house, selfies with the family, pets – anything fun and creative to document this time.

    Please email pictures by April 20th to msyearbook@innovationcharter.org. Mention your student(s) name in the subject line.

    The early bird sale has been extending to April 20th. Middle School Yearbook can be ordered online at Middle School Yearbook Order and Payment Form for the early bird price of $20 through April 20th.

    Eighth Grade Childhood Pictures

    Here is your chance to show your friends what you looked like as a wee one.

    Share a picture from your childhood in the 2019-2020 MS Yearbook.

    Did you look like you? Did your personality come through?

    Were you adorable, goofy, serious, funny, sloppy, stylish or mischievous?

    Find that picture and submit ASAP. Do you recognize older siblings below?

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    8th Grade Personal Pages! Create a Memory for the Yearbook

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    Create a personal page, by yourself or with friends, and be immortalized in the 2019-2020 IACS Yearbook! Represent yourself with drawings, images and words.

    Email digital files to msyearbook@innovationcharter.org

    Use these guidelines for correct dimensions and collaboration –

    Quarter page: 1 person – create on 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper

    Half page: 2 to 3 people – create on 5 ½ x 8 ½ (fold printer paper in half)

    Full page: 4 + – create on 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper

    List names of group members and Advisory (you may be represented in only one submission)

    DEADLINE: Friday April 24, 2020, NOExceptions!

    Where to find assignments posted for all classes

    Assignments for all classes are posted on our website, https://www.innovationcharter.org/middle-school/, linked from the heading All Assignments. You can also find our Distance Learning Plan on the same page, linked from the heading Plan and Expectations. Student assignments are also updated each week in their virtual digital planner which was shared by their advisor.

    High School News

    Senior Class Zoom Meeting

    Dr. Arnold and Ms. Kelly met with the senior class on Zoom yesterday. About half of the class was able to make the meeting and it was fun to “see” everyone again. We talked about important topics, such as a backup plan for graduation and prom if they can’t occur in June, and less important topics such as quarantine hair styles (or lack thereof:). If public health restrictions do not allow for us to get together on June 4th for Prom and June 6th for graduation, we are looking into trying to reschedule those events for the first week in August. Nothing is definite yet, but we will keep everyone updated as we learn more.

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    Video of the Week

    Here is some solid advice by an expert in the field of home cleaning…

    Good Morning IACS with Dr. Arnold

    2020-2021 Scheduling Process

    Check out the new Program of Studies for next year. More information will be coming on the course offerings and how to make your course requests through Aspen…stay tuned.

    Theatre News

    Get Ready for a Summer of Performing Arts! Mark your calendars for the weeks of July 13, 20, 27! Show Names and Camp Descriptions to come! Questions? Email rhawthorne@innovationcharter.org. See you this summer! *Camp is open to students completing grades 5 through 12.*

    Athletics News

    Spring Athletics Update

    As of now, the MIAA has proposed an abbreviated spring season if we return to school on May 4th. We plan to follow these guidelines, but please understand that these may change in the coming days.

    We would still like all students interested in spring sports to register: MS paperwork can be located here and HS paperwork can be located here. However, please hold off on payment for now.

    Our coaches have written training plans for the month of April to keep athletes engaged and prepared for the season. These plans have been posted to team webpages on the IACS website.

    As always, please contact the Athletic Department at iacsathletics@innovationcharter.org with any questions or concerns.

    IACA News

    We’re grateful to all who participated in the IACA Casino Night Silent Auction, whether you placed a bid, shared the link on your social media, made a donation, were a sponsor, purchased ad space, sent in an item for a grade level basket or you enjoyed perusing items as a fun distraction, whichever way you participated, it is appreciated. Thanks to you all, we raised over $12,000 to benefit the students of IACS! We are humbled that you would take time away from all that you having going on now to make this project a success. Thank you!

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