The Hawk: December 18, 2020

December 17, 2020 6:48 pm


Week ending December 18, 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,

By now I hope that you have successfully dug out from yesterday’s snow and certainly hope that your student(s) was able to help with the heavy lifting. In speaking with my advisory this morning and receiving several emails from families, it sounds like yesterday’s day off allowed for students and families to experience a nice change of pace. As mentioned in the cancellation letter, we will elect to use our remote programming for some days when the weather forces us to close campus.

On a scheduling note, our Board of Trustees voted this past Monday night to begin our transition to a hybrid model on Tuesday, January 19th and also designate Friday, January 15th as a staff Professional Development day where classes are cancelled. The all school calendar on our website has been updated to reflect these changes. In an effort to educate families about key information regarding our hybrid programming, we’re holding two Family Forums for you to learn more about health protocols, daily procedures (before/during/after) school, and academic programming. The dates are as follows:

  • High School Family Forum: Wednesday, January 6th at 6:30 pm

  • Middle School Family Forum: Thursday, January 7th at 6:30 pm

  • On the morning of each event, all middle school and high school families will receive a Zoom information for their respective meetings. In the meantime, if you would like to submit a question in advance of these meetings, please fill out the following form. Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    In partnership,

    Greg Orpen

    Head of School

    All School News


    The holiday break is quickly upon us and is most welcome by many of us in the IACS community! It is important that families continue to communicate with the health office over the extended break. Please email the health office at with updates of positive COVID-19 cases or identified close contacts within their family. The health office will be checking its email regularly and following up with families to answer questions and offer guidance as needed.

    A reminder that verification of student flu shots are required for all students by 12/31/20 per MA DPH. Please send proof of having received the vaccine to the health office at

    May you enjoy a safe and restful holiday break; please remain mindful of the IACS Return to School After Travel Policy.

    Here is some updated information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that you may find helpful:

    December Holiday Guidance

    How to make COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Easier

    Thank you again for your continued support and open communication over the last few months, it is greatly appreciated and has helped tremendously in keeping our community safe.

    Stay Safe,

    Gayle and Alison

    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.

    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.

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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

    ms chorus

    The Middle School Chorus members would like to share a holiday greeting with the IACS Community. Although we cannot sing in person, we have been learning to use Soundtrap so we can sing and record together through our screens! Enjoy the recording!

    Happy Holidays from Mrs. Lane and The Middle School Chorus!

    January Switch to Hybrid Information

    Please read through this document to learn about what the shift to our hybrid model in January will look like at the middle school.

    Also, please mark your calendars for an information session on the hybrid transition on Thursday, January 7th at 6:30 pm. The Zoom link will be emailed to all middle school families on the morning of 1/7 for access by all that are interested in attending.

    High School Transition

    It is that time of year that eighth grade students and families are looking ahead to high school.Eighth graders continuing onto High School at IACS do not need to reapply.

    For students and families that are interested in learning more about our high school program, we are offering three virtual open house events. Attendees must register beforehand by emailing: in order to receive the Zoom link.

    There will be the choice of 2 more identical events:

    Thursday, 1/28 7-8pm

    Thursday, 2/11 7-8pm

    Please specify which date you would like to attend in your email.

    For students applying to technical or private schools, please ensure that you ask teachers directly about letters of recommendation and provide at least 2 weeks notice.

    Please contact Kathleeen Feeney in the enrollment office to request transcripts that are sent along with your application. (

    Watch for information on students re-enrolling at IACS in mid-January.

    Virtual Learning Kits

    A reminder that if you received an email to pick up your child’s virtual learning kit and haven’t yet, they will need those supplies soon! Please come by the main office any weekday between 8:15-4:00 pm. If you call from the parking lot, the main office staff will gladly meet you at the door.


    High school students from our National Honors Society are offering free tutoring services for middle school students who would like help. Tutoring will be completely virtual with flexible scheduling. For more information or to arrange for a tutor contact Caitlyn Pennie at .

    High School News

    Fall Sports Photographs

    Thanks to VeraAnn Photography for these great photos from our fall sports season. The photos are free to download.

    January Switch to Hybrid Information

    Please read through this document to learn about what the shift to our hybrid model in January will look like at the high school. More information will follow in the next couple of weeks as well as a town meeting opportunity for parents and students to get questions answered.

    Progress Report #2

    Round 2 of Progress Reports will be published to your Aspen Family Portal by Tuesday, December 22nd. An email will be sent to families when they are ready to be viewed. Please contact Crystal McKiel if you need your Aspen login information.

    See the Creativity of our H.S. Students on Arts @ IACS

    The HS Art and Music Departments proudly present Arts @ IACS, a new digital gallery designed to show the creative works of IACS students. You can follow us and see the wonderful work of our creative student body on Instagram at arts_at_iacs, on Twitter at @Arts_at_IACS, or at our Arts @ IACS Google page

    Do you have a student who would like to show their creative work?

    All IACS students, regardless of if they are currently enrolled in an art or music class, are welcome to submit images or videos of their visual art, craft art, music, and performances to Arts @ IACS. All artistic mediums are welcome, work can be made in or outside of school, and can be old or new.

    To submit any visual/craft/performance students should email images or videos to Mr. Barry-Grove at

    To submit any music or musical performances students should email Mr. Sciolla or Mrs. Lane at or

    Student Planners

    Start the new year organized with a student planner. It makes it easier to see what is due when. Contact Crystal McKiel to arrange pickup.

    Attention Seniors:

    Make sure to fill out the Cap & Gown form that Ms. Kelly sent you via email last week. The gown will be based on the sizes you input so please be careful to enter the right information. Your gowns will be blue with a blue/white tassel.

    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.

    HS Helpful Links:

    HS Student & Family Handbook 2020-2021

    Extra Help Schedules

    2020-2021 HS Calendar

    Work Permits

    College Counseling Page

    ART of the WEEK

    Just a few samples from the amazing art that you can view on the Art Department website.