The Hawk: August 27, 2021

August 26, 2021 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk

August 27, 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,

It was so fun to see students, families, and staff mingle at this week’s ice cream socials. While a little less heat and humidity would have been ideal, the strong turnout was a reflection of how eager we are to reconnect as a community.

I realize that my Hawk letters have been COVID-focused for the past 18 months and I promise to fill this space with more stories from the classroom and beyond, but there are some important housekeeping items to address. This past Monday night our Board of Trustees approved a universal masking policy that was also endorsed by DESE the next day. IACS, as well as all other public schools in Massachusetts, will follow a policy where adults and students of all grades wear masks whenever they are indoors. This policy will remain in place, at a minimum, until October 1st. Any student with physician-verified medical conditions, disabilities, or other health and safety factors that would prevent adherence to this policy must communicate any request directly to our health office this week.

Today I also sent a letter to families information about the statewide COVID testing programs which will be available to all students and staff. These voluntary programs will no doubt help our entire community stay as safe as possible. To learn more about those programs, you can review the letter about COVID testing programs and you can sign up for the testing program here.

If weekend forecasts are accurate, it looks like the heat and humidity will break and I hope your entire family can take advantage of the more comfortable weather. On behalf of the entire IACS staff, we can’t wait to see everyone Tuesday morning for the first day of school!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

Important Dates

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All School News

Transportation:

LRTA

We want to remind families whose students would like to take the LRTA bus (Route 17) that this year IACS will cover the ticket costs for students. At the beginning of the year students riding the bus will be given individual tickets, but we will transition to granting monthly passes. For questions regarding the LRTA bus program to/from IACS, please contact Transportation Manager, Marybeth Bush (mbush@innovationcharter.org).

Carpool

Families who complete the form will get a link to an interactive map of carpooling families to enable you to quickly find contact information for IACS families near you. We’ll also share the data with you in spreadsheet form. Both digital formats will update in real time as other families complete the form, so check back often if you do not see anyone that lives around you. Feel free to contact anyone on the list that looks like they will be a helpful match for you!

Share your information using our google form and you will be added to the list of parents that would like to carpool.. (Please note that once you submit your information, it will be shared with everyone else who joins the list.)

School Messenger

IACS Families should enroll in School Messenger to receive text notices of school closures, student absences and other school notifications.

To do so: Text Y or Yes to 67587

Absences/Tardies/Dismissals

Families should report all absences, tardies and dismissals to the main office by 8am. The main office can be contacted at 978-649-0432 or mainoffice@innovationcharter.org.

School Breakfast & Lunch Program

IACS is providing FREE breakfast and FREE lunch meals to ALL students under the USDA’s Child Nutrition Program. All students enrolled at IACS are eligible for these free meals regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022. Email kdrake@innovationcharter.org or go to the School Nutrition page for more information.

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Middle School News

First Day of School

Tuesday, August 31st

The building opens at 7:45 AM and class begins at 8 AM.

Chromebooks

All students will need to have a laptop or a Chromebook. If your students need to borrow an IACS Chromebook please fill out the Chromebook user contract form. Chromebooks can be picked up at the Library Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 3:00 pm (starting 8/31, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm), if possible please avoid dismissal time between 2:45 pm – 3:15 pm.

School Supplies List

Click here for 5/6

Click here for 7/8

Planners

Planners will be distributed by advisors to 5th and 6th graders on the first day of school. We ask families to purchase these planners at a cost of $5, you can make a payment via credit card using this online form here, cash, or check made out to IACS. Thank you!

Email and Aspen Credentials

We are hoping to issue accounts for our Aspen database for new students and families by Monday. Returning students and families keep the same password. Reach out to our main office or MS Admin Assistant Ning Sisouvanh if you need your password reset or a reminder of what it is.

MS Yearbooks

If you haven’t picked up your Middle School yearbook yet (from last year), you can get it at the Main Office Monday through Friday from 8 am to 3 pm (starting 8/31, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm). Please contact Ms. Pakala at rpakala@innovationcharter.org if you have any questions.

MS Picture Day

Friday, October 15th. This picture will be published in the Middle School Yearbook. Please visit Coffee Pond Photography and Yearbook’s website for photo package information and online ordering (select City & State and School). Paper Order forms will be sent home mid October.

After School Program

This year we are offering an After School Program for our 5th through 8th graders. The program provides safe and flexible supervised care. During the after school program, each day there are snacks followed by quiet time for homework. After homework time, students participate in a variety of activities based on student interest and weather – from playing outdoors to indoor activities like board games and art projects. For more details please visit our website.

High School News

First Day of School

Tuesday, August 31st

The building opens at 7:45 AM and class begins at 8 AM. We will have copies of class schedules for students.

Schedule Changes

Schedules are available in your Aspen student and family portals. If you need your Aspen login/password please reach out to mainoffice@innovationcharter.org or cmckiel@innovationcharter.org.

Requests for a schedule change may be made from starting Monday, 8/24 until 9/9. The schedule change request form will be sent to students on Monday, 8/24 via email. This form ensures that all requests are tracked and not lost in email.

BYOD & School Supplies

The HS is BYOD, Bring your own device. We ask all high schoolers to bring a computer to school. This letter provides an overview of why we believe this program is good for our school and how families can acquire a device to support their students. We do have Chromebooks available to borrow for a day or for the entire year through our library borrowing program. You may request one by completing this Chromebook Loaner Contract.

The High School doesn’t issue a list for school supplies. The majority of the teachers will let you choose the organizational style that works best for the student. Any specific teacher requests will be communicated the first week of school.

Planners Planners are $5 (cash or check made out to IACS) and you will be able to get them through your advisor during the first week of school or from Ms. McKiel. You are not required to have an IACS planner. You can also pick one up at Walgreens, Staples or wherever.

Parking Permits Parking. Students driving themselves to school will need to get a parking permit. Permits must be renewed each school year. The form to apply for a parking permit can be found here. Please make sure you complete all questions. Any forms you are unable to attach to the form may be brought to Ms. McKiel.

Upcoming Events:

HS Picture Day – Thursday, September 16th. This will be the picture student IDs and Yearbook pictures for underclassmen. Paper Order forms will be sent home the week of. Here is more information about Online Ordering

ILP conferences – Wednesday, September 22nd (no internships) and October 6th.

Back to School Night – Thursday, September 23rd

Athletics News

Fall 2021 Athletics Registration

Tryouts and practices for all levels of high school fall sports began Monday (August 23rd) however, students may still sign up. If your student is planning to participate, please be sure to register them as soon as possible. Note that all athletes must have a submitted registration and valid physical on file to participate.

High School Fall Sports

We offer the following fall sports to high school students. All sports are open to athletes in grades 9-12:

  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Soccer
  • Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Cross Country
  • Girls Volleyball*
  • Tryouts and practices for all high school fall sports began Monday, August 23rd.

    Please click here for further details and instructions on how to register.

    We are still accepting registrations for high school sports.

    Middle School Fall Sports

    We offer the following fall sports to middle school students:

  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Soccer
  • HS JV Girls Soccer (open to athletes in 7th and 8th grade)
  • HS JV Boys Soccer (open to athletes in 7th and 8th grade)
  • Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Cross Country
  • Coed Volleyball
  • All sports, except for HS JV soccer, are open to athletes in grades 5-8. We have a no-cut policy at the middle school level and encourage students to try new sports.

    Please click here for further details and instructions on how to register.

    All middle school athletics registrations are due by Friday, September 3rd. However, middle school practices will begin on or after the first day of school so athletes may not attend practice until they have fully registered (which includes submitting an updated physical).

    Please contact the Athletic Department (iacsathletics@innovationcharter.org) with any questions or concerns.

    *Boys volleyball is offered as a spring sport for high school students

    IACA News

    It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Ice Cream Social!

    Are you interested in finding out more about IACS and how you can help support our students and our school? Join us at our first IACA meeting on September 8th at 6:30pm in the school library on the second floor.

    Bring a friend and come see what it’s all about!

    The first day is just around the corner!