The Hawk: November 27, 2020

November 27, 2020 5:40 pm


Week ending November 27, 2020

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,

In the coming days you’ll receive a mailed brochure for this year’s Annual Giving Campaign (AGC). For those who are new to the IACS community, the AGC is designed to allow IACS supporters- families, relatives, alum, community members, or other “friends of”, to make a tax-deductible donation to support the ongoing work of the school.

Last year our Annual Giving Campaign focused on expanding technology purchases. Little did we know how critical this additional computer purchase would be in order to support students last spring and this year! For our 2020-2021 campaign. We hope that money raised can offset many unique expenses that were not fully covered by COVID-related state and federal programs. You can read this section of our website to learn more.

In the weeks ahead we’ll be sending you updates about the AGC; however, if at any time you have any questions about this year’s campaign or fundraising in general, please feel free to contact me directly.

Thank you for all that you do for our community.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School



All School News

Holiday Return to School Guidance

Please click here to find a reminder about holiday travel and return to school guidance from our Health office.


Innovation Academy seeks parents and families of students with disabilities to form a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). 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. To assist with organizing the group the school will provide membership to MassPAC through the Federation for Children with Special Needs. If interested please email Aimee Voleti at


Hey everyone!

I hope you’re all excited for Thanksgiving break! Student government is planning on holding a gingerbread house competition, and wants to know who’s interested! There will be both a middle school and high school PRIZE, and houses will be judged on creativity!! Please fill out this form below if that sounds like a fun idea to you! If interest allows, expect a formal sign-up form with more details in the coming week!

Catie’s Closet Toiletries Drive

Monday, November 16 – Friday, December 11th

Looking for a way to give back to the community?

Consider helping Innovation Academy give back to an organization that serves 55,000 students in Massachusetts and New Hampshire by providing basic necessities of clothing and toiletries. They are currently in desperate need of soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

There are several ways to help:

  • Send items directly through Amazon Wish List

  • Drop off toiletries and clothing donations at IACS (box located by main office)

  • Donate directly to Catie’s Closet

Questions? Contact Shannon Morocco (

Tech Issues

Students should report any tech or wifi issues to their teacher right away via email or chat. If the wifi is so bad that email isn’t possible, call the main office, 978-649-0432 x 0 and we can get the message to the teacher.

Some students have reported long running issues with their machines. We can help make sure students have what they need to successfully access their classes. Don’t wait! Reach out to our IT department so they can troubleshoot with you!

Need a device? Fill out the Chromebook user contract form or contact Heather Landis,, and contact the main office to pick it up.

Issues with your device (camera or mic not working? Not charging? Operating slowly?), please contact Mr. Troy, or call the mainoffice and they can connect you to Mr. Troy.

IACS is hiring In Person Instructional Support Staff:

Innovation Academy is seeking full-time and part-time instructional support staff at the middle and high school to assist students with coursework and provide supervision throughout the school day since their teacher will be working remotely. Ideal candidates would have experience working in a school setting, working with young people, or be pursuing a degree in the fields of education or human services. Candidates attending college or graduate school remotely are encouraged to apply and discuss part time options. Please pass along this job opportunity to anyone you think would be interested. Candidates should apply through School Spring or send a resume/cover letter to Middle School Principal Melissa Kapeckas or High School Principal Erik Arnold.

Family-friendly help with mental health: is a family-friendly website designed for Massachusetts parents who are worried about their school-aged children’s mental health. This site is designed to help families figure if their child’s behavior is something to worry about and if so, what next steps can they take.

HS & MS School Calendar

We have included the pdf for the 2020-2021 HS & MS Calendar. Please see the calendar on our website for the most up to date information.

Calling all staff and students! IACS is starting a Community Cookbook. Click to see more info –> IACS Community Cookbook! You are invited to share recipes that you have a personal and cultural connection to. We’re even planning to host some zoom cooking classes in the spring with ingredient kits you can pick-up from school to cook some of our community recipes together.

To submit a recipe, fill out this Google Form by Friday, December 18th! Submit as many as you’d like.

We are also seeking a cover for our cookbook as well as art pieces (poems, photography, short stories, drawings, songs, etc.) around the themes of food, community and identity. Prizes include: seed packets and gardening tools, fun cooking ingredients and equipment, cookbooks, etc. Some possible prompts to explore: What is your favorite food memory? Which foods define (or don’t) you? How can food bring us together?

Submit your art to by Friday, December 18th.


Upcoming Calendar Dates

November 26-27 No School, Thanksgiving break

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School Breakfast & Lunch Program

USDA has extended FREE MEALS TO ALL students through June 2021. IACS is offering FREE breakfast and lunch meals to ALL IACS on-campus learners. Remote and hybrid learners can also receive free meals at either their town’s school or at IACS. Remote and hybrid learners, if you choose to pick up the meals at IACS, 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.


Middle School News


A few new extracurricular clubs have been added recently, including a new Virtual Dance Club starting after Thanksgiving. Check the virtual bulletin board on our PADLET for more details.

Upload your middle school pictures to the yearbook!

The below hyperlink along with the digits at the end should be used to add your photos to the middle school yearbook. Copying and pasting the entire link into the browser rather than clicking on it will ensure to bypass the ‘userid’ page.

Alternate link – The user id is – 415793951

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2020-2021 MS Yearbook Cover Competition

The Yearbook Committee is holding an art contest open to everyone in the Middle School. The winners will be featured on the front and back covers of the Middle School Yearbook. Entries may include original photographs and collages, as well as original drawings. Winning entries will also receive a free yearbook. Runner up entries will be featured inside. The theme this year is –

IACS Community Celebrating 25 years – We are in this together.

Entries may be submitted digitally or as a hard copy,

but must fit vertically on the 8 ½ x 11 cover (the size of regular printer paper).

You may submit up to three entries, include a completed cover sheet for each one with your name, advisory, grade, date submitted, an “artist’s statement” explaining your submission.

Deadline – Friday, December 11, 2020.

Submit hard copies to the main office or digitally to



Some students and families have been looking for some guidance on how to double-check what they see on Aspen (and the missing work email) vs. Google Classroom.

Here is a video from a sample student account to answer some of these FAQs and hopefully give you an additional tool for supporting your student.

Using To-Do lists on Google Classroom and following up on work listed as missing on Aspen

Middle School Planners

Middle School planners were sent home in virtual learning kits. Typically, we ask families to purchase these planners at a cost of $5. You can do submit your payment using this online form: Thank you!


High School News

Important MCAS (for juniors) & PSAT Testing Information

As you know, the MCAS exam was canceled last spring for the Class of 2022. “Postponed” is a more appropriate word than “canceled”, because the state has added a testing period for juniors in January & the first week of February in order for them to take it. Since we will have small testing groups for the 86 juniors, we will be using more classrooms and more teachers as proctors to make this happen. We will not have space in the building, or enough teachers available, to have other students in the building. To reduce disruptions, two of the testing days were scheduled for Wednesdays since they are remote days already.

For the high school, only students that will be testing will be in the building on the following days:

1/20, 1/21, 1/26 (PSAT for some gr 11 & 10 students), 2/3, & 2/4

The PSAT exam is on 1/26 and is optional for juniors and sophomores. Students have until Nov. 30th to register.

Wednesday, 1/20 ELA Day 1

Thursday, 1/21 ELA Day 2

Tuesday, January 26th PSAT – grades 10 & 11

Wednesday, 2/3 Math Day 1 – gr 11

Thursday, 2/4 – Math Day 2 – gr 11

Reminder: Attendance

Please notify the main office when your student will be absent from virtual classes. Students are expected to participate in the scheduled start of each class period for attendance and agenda for that day. When students are not present for class and the school has not been notified, the family will be contacted. Students who arrive late to virtual classes should make sure to check in with their teachers via the chat feature or email.

Attention student athletes and families:

It’s almost too late to submit fall sports photos for the yearbook! Please email any pictures you have of practices, games, or teammates to by Wednesday, November 25.


Just a reminder: senior portraits, baby pictures, and parent pages are due to by Friday, January 8. See below for details. Also, yearbooks are on sale; they are $35 until December 31, after which they will be $40. Please order and pay online at The online order form includes personalization options (i.e. your name and icons). The deadline for ordering is Friday, April 2, 2021.

Senior Portraits: Due to COVID cancelling school ID photos, seniors must have senior portraits taken outside of school. If a student doesn’t want to take a senior portrait outside of school, we will use last year’s school ID photo. Please send portraits to The portrait should be 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, vertically oriented, and at least 300 dpi/ppi. It should be a posed portrait in which your face is clear.

Baby Pictures: Seniors should also plan to send in a baby picture to be included in the yearbook. These can also be emailed to Please be sure the file name contains your student’s name so we know where it goes.

Parent Pages: A parent page is something parents make for their child, congratulating them and wishing them luck with whatever journey they may be venturing on to next. Parent pages will each be half a page. No matter how they are created, they should be in a landscape orientation and measure 8.5 inches x 5.5 inches. There is no additional cost for parent pages. Please email them to

Questions? Contact


Theatre News

We can’t YET get onstage to put on LES MISERABLES but two of our leads entertain us with their talents from the show! Check them out! Thank you, Connor Lee and Nathan Smith!

Many Congratulations to our Newest Cast: The Winter Show! MIddle and High School Students will perform in: “The Audition,” “Check Please,” and “Clue!” Keep your eyes on The Hawk for upcoming details!