The Hawk: November 13, 2020

November 13, 2020 5:40 pm
 

IACS Hawk

Week ending November 13, 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,

Last Friday Governor Baker in conjunction with the Departments of Elementary Secondary Education (DESE) and Public Health (DPH) held a joint press conference announcing updates to the state’s COVID map. (You can watch the press conference in full here. Also, you can view this week’s list of current data here.)

Shortly after this press conference, DESE released a revised guidance document which set expectations for how schools should update their reopening plans. Because IACS is a regional school, DESE has assigned Lowell as our key municipality to follow and per the revised COVID chart Lowell is classified as “red”. Per the revised regulations, schools in red communities are expected to offer hybrid programming. To that end, we are finalizing a hybrid model to allow all students, who wish to do so, to return to in-person instruction two days a week.

Over the past weeks we have made revisions to our hybrid model to incorporate more teacher-led, synchronous instruction for students, whether they are learning in-person or remotely. We will discuss these recent updates at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting and will update the community next week with additional information.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

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All School News

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 (smorocco@innovationcharter.org).

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, hlandis@innovationcharter.org, 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, Ntroy@innovationcharter.org 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: HandholdMA.org 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.

IACS Farm-to-School Fundraiser View the full list of seeds here. We encourage you to use the IACS Seed Fundraiser Order Form. For more information click here.

Help Create Our IACS Community Cookbook! To submit a recipe, fill out this Google Form by Friday, December 18th! Submit as many as you’d like. For more information click here.

 

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 kdrake@innovationcharter.org if you have any questions.

 

Health Office Updates

Travel, COVID and Return to School Guidelines

With the holiday season approaching, the Health Office encourages families to follow guidelines for safe celebrations as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In addition, please be advised of the IACS policy for return to school after travel.

The IACS policy is outlined below and can also be found in this comprehensive FAQ document.

When can a student return to school after traveling out of state?

If a student travels to a state considered restricted, as designated by MA DPH per the “lower risk” COVID states map, the following “return to school protocol” will be followed: :

  • Upon arrival back into the state of Massachusetts, the student will be asked to quarantine at home for four days (the day your return to MA is day #0).

  • On or after (not before) the fourth day of quarantine, the student should be tested for COVID-19.

  • The student may return to school when a negative COVID test result, (obtained after the four day quarantine), is received.

  • If a student chooses not to be tested, they may return to school after a 14 day quarantine.

This protocol is in accordance with theMassachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order,Department of Education and Secondary Education Protocols and theCDC (specifically in relation to the suspected incubation period of COVID -19).

Our continued gratitude goes out to the entire IACS community for your consistent cooperation and adherence to safety protocols.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Health Office with any questions. You can reach us at healthoffice@innovationcharter.org or at 978-649-0432, ext. 2104.

 

Middle School News

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The Orpen advisory recently met on campus to hike the IACS trails.

 

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: https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/iacs/msplanner Thank you!

 

High School News

PSAT Exam

The PSAT exam will be offered to all grade 10 & 11 students on January 26th. A letter will all of the details was sent to students and their family contacts today.

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:

Please email any pictures you have of practices, games, or teammates to yearbook@innovationcharter.org. Because we do not have an athletic photographer and cannot allow families to get too close to the playing areas due to COVID-19, if you do not send your photos to the yearbook then your sports will not appear there!

Helpful Links for Students & Families:

2020-2021 Student & Family Handbook

2020-2021 HS Reopening Handbook Supplement

Academic Calendar for 2020-2021 – High School Specific Version

Planners are still available for purchase, $3 – Please contact Crystal McKiel to arrange for pickup.

 

Theatre News

IACS Performing Arts is entering a competition with other area schools!

Would you like to compete?

The November Challenge is open to all IACS students and is described below:

NOVEMBER – Make-up Design

  • Students design make-up for a particular character in a published play or musical
  • Submit 6 photographs, featuring the design progression from blank face to finished product (photos must be JPG files)
  • Submit a paragraph explaining the rationale for the design (200 – 250 words)
  • All entries must clearly identify the name of the student, school affiliation, title and author of the play and the name of the character

Interested? Email rhawthorne@innovationcharter.org