The Hawk: December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020 10:00 pm


December 23, 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,

As 2020 fast approaches its end, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the everyone in the IACS community. From the first days of last spring’s closure, the empathy and commitment to student learning demonstrated by both staff and families has highlighted what makes IACS so special. I’m guessing some of you have read comparisons between year 2020 and 20/20 eyesight. My sincerest hope is that this past year has given us a clearer vision of what matters most in our lives. For me as an IACS educator, what matters the most is that we don’t just wax poetic about our school Outcomes during Quality Nights and Graduation ceremonies, but that we lean on them when things get hard. Not a day goes by that I don’t see the Outcomes in action and am filled with confidence about our path forward.

With that said, I can’t wait for 2020 to end! So here’s to ushering in a new year and seeing that light at the end of the tunnel become brighter everyday. May your break give you additional time to more closely connect with what matters most in your life.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

All School News

End of Year Annual Giving Campaign

Hopefully you’ve already received our Annual Giving Campaign trifold in the mail detailing the reasons why donating to IACS now is so important. As we wind up this challenging year we humbly ask you to consider a donation to IACS. If you are in a position to help, we would be grateful for your support.

Thank you for considering IACS as a recipient for your end of year charitable giving. Click here to donate today.

The newest edition of the Alumni Hawk is available here

A note of gratitude from our National Honor Society and Emma Chaitin on behalf of the Mitten Tree Toy Drive Project.

Is someone you know experiencing food insecurity?

Here is a list of local resources for assistance, please share with anyone that could use it.


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.

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!

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.


Please fill out the Chromebook user contract form if your student needs to borrow an IACS Chromebook and arrange with the main office to pick it up. Please come anytime between 8:30-4, but please avoid dismissal time between 2:45-3:15 pm. Families should call ahead and buzz the building when you arrive. Our main office staff will bring it to you outside, like curb-side pick-up!

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.

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Community Cookbook recipe entry link

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

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 filling out this registration form 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

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.


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

Holiday Video

IACS Concert Choir & Chorale sing “Carol of the Bells”

The Concert Choir and Chorale would like to share a Holiday Greeting with all of you! It has become a tradition for us to sing Carol of The Bells in December together.

In previous years, they may have been heard caroling through the halls and even testing out the acoustics in the stairwells. Here’s our 2020 virtual version…with 20 IACS voices!

Happy Holidays to all…. from The High School Concert Choir and Chorale!

Progress Report #2

Our 2nd Progress Report of Semester 1 was published to Aspen Family Portals on Monday, December 21st. You should see it under Published Reports at the top of your Aspen Portal. Just click on it to open or download. Contact Crystal McKiel if you need your Aspen login information. Paper copies are available upon request. Please note the school will be closed from Thursday, December 24 until school resumes on Monday, January 4th.

Breads & Cheeses of IACS

These photos show just a sample of the breads and cheeses that students in Ms.Cynar’s Culinary and Garden Science class have made at home with ingredients from the take-home lab kits.

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Yearbook Announcements

The yearbook is having a few pages displaying photos of life during remote learning, so please send any pictures you have to by January 20 (the date emailed to students earlier was incorrect). Photos can be either academic or personal, showing learning or just family time and fun. Also, there will be separate senior pages, so seniors, make sure to send plenty of pictures!

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.

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
  • Think Summer

    Boston University Summer Term Pre-College Programs

    College Counseling Department

    Despite the challenges they’ve faced this year, IACS seniors continue

    to impress with their college acceptances. Here are some we have (so

    far–more to come!).

    Photos of the Week

    HS Advisories had a friendly competition to celebrate Ugly Sweater Day.

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    The Talbot Advisory made sweet little holiday trees over zoom to celebrate the season.