April 2, 2021
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.Dear IACS Community,
In this week’s Hawk letter, I wanted to share one of the highlights of my year, which occurred over February vacation. Our Theater Arts Director, Rhonda Hawthorne, has been a huge fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda long before Hamilton made him the most famous writer, director, and actor on Broadway. In fact, our students first performed In the Heights in March in 2014, a reprise with guest Broadway performers in 2016, and a third time on stage in New York City in 2019. Plus, our students performed 21 Chump Street in 2018 and Bring it On in 2019.
Fast forward to this year, Rhonda was able to connect with Lin-Manuel and asked if he would ever join a Zoom Q&A with current students and alumni of our program. He graciously accepted the request and I had the honor of listening to him engage with our students who asked incredibly thoughtful questions. I could not have been more proud of, and happy for, our students. No doubt, it was an experience they won’t ever forget and this picture says it all! (FYI: Lin Manuel Miranda is in the green sweatshirt, 2nd row.)
Thank you Rhonda for making this happen and deep gratitude to Lin-Manuel Miranda for giving his time to inspire our students in ways that can’t be measured. On a Theater Arts note, please scroll further down in the Hawk to learn about how your student can enroll in Drama Camp this summer.
Head of School
All School News
HS & MS School Calendar
Friday, 4/16 will be an early release. We’ve switched it to help ensure that we are prepared on campus for the transition to fully-in person students arriving after April break. All Wednesdays for the remainder of the school year will be early releases. Please see the calendar on our website for the most up to date information.
In Person Learning FAQ
Since announcing that IACS will open in-person learning for all grades, we’ve fielded a range of questions that we hope we can address in this document. If you have a question that is not listed in this FAQ document, please email the main office (email@example.com) and we will add it to this list. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wm9Csxf5YNq_biQZQrvp8fxZxwFuWIxKlCNRW573MV0/edit?usp=sharing
EmbraceRace is an organization that supports caring adults of all colors supporting efforts to raise children who are inclusive, informed, and brave when it comes to race. They have many resources for families including a free webinar series. On 4/12, there is a webinar on “Breaking Down Structural or Systemic Racism for Our Children”. They have a great mailing list with resources for families.
Updates from the Health Office:
Warmer weather, Allergy Season and COVID-19
Season allergy season is upon us. This year in particular it will be very important that students who have seasonal allergies, receive their allergy medications consistently at home. Since runny nose, and headaches are symptoms of both seasonal allergies and COVID-19, keeping students symptom free from their allergies will be an important step in being able to keep students in school.
The health office will not be treating headaches and nasal congestion with any type of medication as we do not want to mask any symptoms that can also be associated with COVID-19.
Return to School After Travel Policy
Please be reminded that students who travel outside the state of MA for more than 24 hours will need to be tested upon their return to the state and receive a negative result or complete a 10 day quarantine, before returning to school. Here is the complete policy.
COVID-19 Pooled Testing at school
Registration for pooled testing is voluntary and you may register at any time. Here is the information about COVID-19 pooled testing at school and instruction on how to register and give consent for your student.
Returning to On-Campus Learning
If your student has been a remote learner and will be transitioning to on-campus learning, they will need to complete a daily health screening every morning before entering school. The daily health screen is completed by using the MyMedBot app. Information about MyMedBot and how to set up an account was sent out to all families in January and can be reviewed in this letter. If you have not set up an account, please check your email for an invite email from MyMedBot.
Miss Booth and the Interact Club have worked together to design limited edition IACS gear to both raise money for a local charity and promote school pride in the community. The order form will be open until April 16th and orders will be delivered to campus in the beginning of May. This order form is open to all middle school students, high school students, families, staff and community members. Please reach out to Sarah Booth, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/iacs/interact?token=824870653
Food is the universal language that unites us all! To bring our IACS community together, we are gathering recipes and related stories to create a Community Cookbook! We have extended the deadline to April 30th.
It’s easy to participate – Submit your favorite family recipe in 1 of 2 ways:
Once we have gathered all the recipes someone from our group will reach out to you for the related story OR feel free to submit it with the recipe.
School Breakfast & Lunch Program
IACS is offering FREE breakfast and lunch meals to ALL IACS on-campus learners. On-campus learners do not need to enroll or use a lunch account to receive free meals. Remote and hybrid learners can also receive free meals at either their town’s school or at IACS. Remote and hybrid learners, if you would like to pick up meals for days when the student is off-campus learning, enroll in this program by completing this survey. You do not need to complete the survey if you have already enrolled. Email email@example.com if you have any questions
Middle School News
Upcoming Quality Morning Presentations
One way students at IACS practice the outcome of effective communication is by regularly presenting their work to a variety of audiences. In a typical year, we host an event called Quality Night where students present one of their projects to families who attend. This year, because of the pandemic, we’ve made some adjustments to the format, but we’re excited that all fifth and seventh graders will be presenting on the morning of April 14th through their advisory Zoom.
All students will be paired with an older buddy who will give them feedback on their presentation. Later this spring, when sixth and eighth graders present their portfolio at their jury presentation, their fifth or seventh grade buddy will accompany them to learn about the jury process.
Families of fifth and seventh graders can help their students prepare by ensure they have completed their Quality Night organizer and made notecards to prepare and listening to their presentation and offering feedback. Thank you for your support!
Miss Picture Day? Want to be in the Yearbook?
If you missed both picture day and retake day, students can still be in the yearbook! Please submit a head shot to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the student’s name and advisory.
Middle School Yearbook
The early bird price of $20 is ending soon. If you haven’t yet ordered your copy now is the time before the price goes up to the regular price of $27.
Hybrid Status Shift
A reminder to families that are currently remote that if you’d like your child to move to hybrid, please email our Dean of Students, Federico Pererya. We ask for two week’s notice to ensure enough time to make adjustments to schedules/classrooms to ensure proper spacing.
Upcoming April Schedule Change: What to Expect
Starting 4/26 (Monday after April break), students will be able to come into school for classes 5 days a week.
Here’s what to expect and some answers to frequently asked questions:
The schedule: This will stay largely the same with a few key differences:
Wednesdays: There will be classes on Wednesdays; they will not be asynchronous. Wednesday will be a shortened version of our current schedule. All Wednesdays will be a 12:25 early release schedule.
Advisory: The timing of advisory will be a little different.
For students that remain remote or students that come to school in person for their hybrid days, any days at home, they will log on to their Zoom classes as they have been.
For the most part, students will continue to be having class in their advisory classroom (along with their partner advisory) with teachers rotating to their classrooms.
There will be at least 3 foot spacing in the classroom (or more depending upon what percent of the class stays remote) and 6 foot spacing at lunch. Lunch will take place in the cafeteria, auditorium, and outdoors under tents. All students will have some opportunities for outdoor lunches two days/week and indoors two days/week.
You may change your child’s status at any time. Please just email Federico Pereyra to change your child’s status and await a response, especially if your child is switching from remote to in-person (hybrid or 5 days) so we can be certain they have seat assignments in the classroom and at lunch.
We will continue to offer movement breaks and outdoor mask breaks throughout the day. We’ll have some outdoor time during lunch and occasionally during advisory. We aren’t having recess this year as we’re trying to keep groups from mixing, especially in an unstructured way like recess.
We are very excited to be putting up our 3 winter shows! CLUE, Check Please! and THE AUDITION! Please keep an eye on future Hawks for the days and times that the online shows will be released!
High School News
College Counseling Webinar
Navigating the College Search for Students Who Learn Differently presented by Ferne Bork of Landmark College. May 4th at 7:00pm via Zoom (link to be provided after registration).
Designed for students and families, this webinar will give you the tools you need to determine college fit and will help you prepare for a successful transition. Ferne will provide information about what to consider, the questions to ask, the legal landscape, and the wide range of accommodations, supports, and programs that exist in post-secondary education today. You’ll hear a little about Landmark – where it fits among the many options- and get plenty of time for questions.
Ferne Bork is the Regional Enrollment Representative for Landmark College and mom of a student who has ADHD.
Career Exploration provided by the 4-H program at UMASS
Virtual Summer Opportunities Fair
Phillips Academy Andover is holding a virtual summer opportunities fair. You will find it housed on their website at pspaandover.org/sof, showcasing programs of interested vendors. While the scale is smaller than usual, program information – including both in-person and virtual offerings – are described and contact information provided.
Final reminder: Yearbooks are on sale for only one more week! They are $40. Please order and pay online at https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/iacs/hsyearbook. The online order form includes personalization options (i.e. your name and icons). The deadline for ordering is Friday, April 2.
Seniors, make sure to look into these scholarship opportunities. Contact Ms. Deknatel with questions or if you need assistance applying
Tuesday, April 06, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm
This webinar provides valuable guidance for high school seniors who have received their college acceptance letters and financial aid offers and are trying to make the college decision. Topics include an overview of different types of financial aid, an explanation of how to calculate the balance due at each college, and methods for paying the college bill.
Photo of the Week
Farm to School Interns are Busy!
The Online Auction opens on Wednesday April 7th!
Watch your mailbox next week for the Silent Auction Booklet and social media for a link.
YES, we have RED SOX tickets to bid on!
"Hoppy" Friday Everyone, hope you have an "eggcelent" weekend!