The Hawk: April 30, 2021

April 29, 2021 6:48 pm


April 30, 2021

This digital newsletter can be translated by clicking on the translate button on the right (or above if on a mobile device) and choosing your preferred language.

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Dear IACS Community,

As we wrap up our first week of in-person instruction, I want to express my thanks to everyone who has made the transition possible. Our families have been incredibly proactive in their communications whenever plans change as well as supporting the new policies and practices we’ve put in place this year. I’d also like to applaud our students who have been so flexible. In this week alone they had to deal with eating lunch under tents during torrential rainstorms (Thursday) and quickly evacuating the Murdoch Hall for unexpected fire alarms just before dismissal (Wednesday)!

Of course I want to give a special tip of the cap to our teaching staff. The smoothness of this week has been mostly a function of the environments being created in the classroom. Our teachers’ use of technology to connect remote and in-person students, ability to manage physical spaces safely, and recreate lessons designed for "normal times" has gone above and beyond. Next week (May 3rd-7th) marks teacher appreciation week. Please join me in recognizing the important role they have played supporting our students, this year and every year!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

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All School News

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COVID-19 Pooled Testing at school

Registration for pooled testing has just been made easier! Weekly pooled testing is voluntary and you may register at any time. The link for more information and to provide consent can be found on the main IACS webpage as well as here.

IACS Covid Dashboard

This dashboard displays data regarding the number of positive cases, separating out staff from students, and high school from middle school students.

Questions? contact: or at 978-649-0432, ext. 2104.

A reminder from the Enrollment office.

If you are not planning on Attending/Returning to IACS in the fall, please fill in and return the Record Release/withdrawal Form and the Parent Survey & mail or email it to us by May 1st.

If you have any questions please contact us by phone or email , as we are trying to firm up our enrollment for September. Thanks

Kathleen Feeney 978-649-0432 ext 2218

Marybeth Bush 978-649-0432 ext 3218

Innovation Academy seeks parents and families of students with disabilities to form a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). All parents are welcome to join and this group is not limited to parents of students on IEPs and 504 plans. The SEPAC is a parent led group that works with school administrators to advise on issues related to students with disabilities and can also serve as a source of support and advice to families within the school community. If interested please email Aimee Voleti at

HS & MS School Calendar

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.

Community Cookbook

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:

  • a google survey has been set up to collect recipesCommunity Cookbook Entry
  • email an image of the recipe or drop a hardcopy off at the main office attn: Kdrake
  • 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.

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    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 if you have any questions

    Theatre News

    Interested in Camp this summer? Please fill out this form:

    Summer Camp Registration

    We hope to see you there!

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    Middle School News

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    Sixth graders played an array of instruments this week in music class.

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    A Reminder about Chargers

    Please remind your child to pack their charger each day. Some families suggest a note taped onto the lid of their computer or a note by the door to ask “Do you have your charger?” While students can sign out a loaner computer at school when their battery dies, they miss out on class time when they have to leave the classroom.


    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has decided to shorten testing for this year so all students in grades 5-8 will have one session each of English/Language Arts testing and Mathematics testing. Students in grades 5 and 8 also have one session of Science testing. (Typically, each subject has two sessions.) DESE also recently decided to make a provision that students that are fully remote to be tested remotely.

    The schedule is as follow:

    May 18 ELA MCAS Exam for Grades 5 & 6

    May 20 ELA MCAS Exam Day for Grades 7 & 8

    May 24 Math MCAS Exam for Grades 5 & 6

    May 25 Math MCAS Exam for Grades 7 & 8

    May 27 Science MCAS Exam for Grades 5 & 8

    Please note if your child follows a hybrid schedule, please make arrangements for them to be in school on testing days. If your child is fully remote, you will receive additional information via email as the testing dates approach about remote testing arrangements.

    Families often ask us what they can do at home to help their child be prepared and do their best on the day of the exam. Ensuring your child is well-rested and has a healthy breakfast helps them do their best. Please remind your child that the MCAS test is untimed and they should take their time and check their work.

    We will do the TestNav Tutorial and the ELA practice test together, but if students want to revisit them or see the practice tests for other subjects, they can find them here:

    All fully remote students should run the Browser check for remote testing here to ensure the device they plan to use for testing meets the minimum specifications:

    Upcoming Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Presentations

    Sixth and eighth graders have begun preparing their spring gateway jury presentation. During their jury presentation, sixth and eighth graders present their portfolio to a faculty member assessor. Jury presentations are typically 20-30 minutes long. A younger peer also attends to learn about the process and provide additional support. Students share their growth in the school outcomes, using their projects in their portfolio as evidence. Following the jury presentation, students receive feedback from their assessor including a final jury grade. Successful completion of a jury presentation is a promotion requirement for sixth and eighth grade.

    Students will be working on their presentations during advisory but also will need time at home to ensure they are well-prepared and have rehearsed their presentation.

    All students have received their jury rubric and their organizer(s) via their advisory Google Classroom. Sixth grade juries will occur between May 28-June 4 and eighth grade juries will occur between June 7-11. Students will receive their specific appointment time soon. Students that are fully remote can do their jury presentation virtually or can come into school for their presentation, if preferred.

    Middle School Yearbook

    Middle School Yearbooks are $27 MS Yearbook order form

    Change of Status?

    A reminder that if you’d like to change your child’s status (from remote to hybrid or fully in person, etc.), please contact MS Dean of Students, Federico Pereyra at We ask for 2 weeks notice. Thanks!

    High School News

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    Welcome Back Video – Reminders

    Bell Schedule starting April 26th

    Folder Containing Resources for Requesting Classes for the 2021-2022 School Year

    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.

    Senior Project Spotlight

    Our Seniors have been busy this semester fine tuning their skills in research, locating sources, speaking with field experts and applying the knowledge to complete their Senior Projects. Each student chose their own project subject and submitted it for approval to their Sr. Project Teachers. Presentations will be held the next three weeks and all though we aren’t able to have the community participation that we have had past years we are confident that our students will continue to amaze us with their presentation skills and project knowledge.

    We have been very impressed with the diversity of their subjects and think you will be too.

    Full listing of Senior Project Titles

    Photo of the Week

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    The sun shined brightly for the return of all of our students this week! It has been a great week with a lot more energy back in the building!

    IACA News

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    Friday is here, Woo Hoo!