The Hawk: February 12, 2021

February 11, 2021 6:48 pm


February 12, 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,

One of the best parts of my job is talking to non-IACS community members about our school- our connected school culture, our student-centered instruction, our engaging projects. While these conversations happen throughout the school year, the "high season" is when we run our open house events for prospective families. This week we concluded a series of six virtual open houses (3 MS & 3 HS) and without question the stars of these events were our students who shared their candid and sophisticated insights about what makes IACS so special. As I joked to our high school ambassadors 5 seconds before opening the Zoom waiting room of guests, "We’re just going to let you run the program." While I think they knew I was joking, I have no doubt they could have flown solo with the presentation.

So thank you to our open house ambassadors: Sumedha Giridharan (Grade 6), Amadeos Papa (Grade 8), Ariana DeSimone (Grade 8), Raziyah Macy (Grade 8), Matthew Kelliher (Grade 8), William Dubois (Grade 7), Evelyn Canela (Grade 8), Tyler Donkoh-Halm (Grade 12), Hope Coleman-Plourde (Grade 12), and Daniella Chavez (Grade 12). You were all amazing! And on an open house note, if you know other families who are interested in applying to IACS next year, please remind them that the deadline is Monday, February 22nd at 4 pm. Online applications for new students can be found here.

Have a wonderful February vacation. Getting to this point in the year has taken unbelievable efforts for students, families, and staff. May you find plenty of time to unplug (a week without Zoom!!!), enjoy some fresh air, and get some extra rest.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

All School News

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IACS Covid Dashboard

This dashboard displays data regarding the number of positive cases, separating out staff from students, and high school from middle school students.

Questions? contact or at 978-649-0432, ext- 2104.

Travel Reminders and Other Health Office Updates

The health office staff wishes everyone an enjoyable winter break, may it be filled with relaxation and laughter!

As a reminder, the Massachusetts Travel Ban is still in effect and thus so is the IACS “Return to School After Travel Policy”. Please be mindful of this policy if you are planning on traveling out of state next week.

Binaxnow COVID-19 antigen testing is up and running in the IACS Health Office. This testing program is an opportunity for students and staff, who become symptomatic during the school day, to be tested for COVID-19 in the IACS health office. More information about the program and the steps involved in providing consent can be found here. Please note that students will not be tested without parental consent. If you need to contact the health office over the vacation week, please email us at If you need to speak with a school nurse immediately you may reach us at 339-221-1335.

Want to spread some love this Valentine’s Day?

Sending e-cards to kids at St. Jude’s Hospital is a quick, easy and meaningful community service activity that the Interact Club will be taking part in. We encourage you as individuals or families to join us. Complete a pre-made e-card here and spread some holiday cheer!

Thank you, The Interact Club

Enrollment office reminder for Siblings

If your student has a sibling that is thinking about attending IACS next year, please remember that you need to fill out an application for all siblings.

You can find one on our

under the enrollment tab. All applications are due by February 22nd by 4:00pm.

Innovation Academy seeks parents and families of students with disabilities to form a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). All parents are welcome to join and this group is not limited to parents of students on IEPs and 504 plans. 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. If interested please email Aimee Voleti at

Per diem Substitute Teachers Needed:

We are looking for a few more people to join our substitute teacher pool. As we start to make plans for the return of students and teachers to classrooms, Virtual and In Person, we want to also have a working list of substitutes so that we can ensure that we provide your students uninterrupted learning. If you or a friend are interested in learning more about becoming a substitute at IACS please fill out the availability form. Half day and full day subbing opportunities are available. IACS pays $25 per hour up to $100 per day maximum.

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.

School Breakfast & Lunch Program

IACS is offering FREE breakfast and lunch meals to ALL IACS on-campus learners. On-campus learners do not need to enroll or use a lunch account to receive free meals. Remote and hybrid learners can also receive free meals at either their town’s school or at IACS. Remote and hybrid learners, if you would like to pick up meals for days when the student is off-campus learning, 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

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What is P-EBT?

The Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program was created in Spring 2020 to provide funds for families to buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. More P-EBT funds are being issued for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Eligible students in hybrid learning situations: you will get $58.60 per month.
  • Eligible students in remote learning situations: you will get $117.20 per month.
  • Using P-EBT does NOT impact you or your student’s immigration status. The public charge rule does NOT apply to P-EBT funds.
  • You can use P-EBT funds and also get food from grab and go student meal sites
  • For more information please go to: or check out this flyer from

    Athletics News

    Last Call to Register for Fall II Volleyball

    The registration deadline for fall II volleyball is tonight (Friday, February 12th) at midnight, all interested athletes must complete the FamilyID registration form by then. With limited roster spots, it is unlikely that we will be able to accept any late registrations. Athletes who played intramural volleyball this fall need to register again for fall II.

    MS registration paperwork can be found here

    HS registration paperwork can be found here

    IACS COVID-19 athletic procedures and sport-specific modifications can be found here

    Please contact the Athletic Department ( with any questions or concerns.

    Middle School News

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    Students in 7th grade Science were building models of molecules in person this week. They worked with a partner at home who recorded and drew the molecule for the team. Teamwork done virtually!

    Semester 1 Report Cards

    Semester 1 Report Cards were published to the Aspen student and family portal today. When you log on to the portal, you will find a pdf document on the front page with the report card document for you to view. If you need your password or have trouble logging in, please reach out to the main office or to Middle School Administrative Assistant, Ning Sisouvanh at for assistance.

    Semester 2 ILP Meetings

    Semester 2 ILP meetings approach on 2/24 and 3/3. This a chance to look at progress towards Individual Learning Plan goals, revise goals, and ensure students are on track as Semester 2 gets underway. Reach out to your child’s advisor to sign up for a conference with your child and their advisor.

    Picture Day(s)

    Picture day for Red team students on campus has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

    Retake Dates:

    Red Team March 30th

    Blue Team April 1st

    Photos can be ordered online using the following steps:

    1. Go to and click on the big red button that says “Order School Portraits and shop our exclusive products”.

    2. Using the drop-down menu, select the city and state where your school is located, then select the name of your school.

    3. Enter your child’s information, including full first name (as it appears on Aspen).

    4. Select your packages and add them to your cart. If you have another child, click “Order for Another Child” and repeat the steps above.

    Orders placed after Picture Day are subject to a $7 handling fee.

    Hybrid Status Shift

    A reminder to families that are currently remote that if you’d like your child to move to hybrid, please email our Dean of Students, Federico Pererya. We ask for two week’s notice to ensure enough time to make adjustments to schedules/classrooms to ensure proper spacing.

    High School News

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    Coming Soon: Semester 1 Report Cards!

    Semester 1 Report Cards will be published to the Aspen Family Portals on Monday, February 15th. Please watch for an email from Dr. Arnold letting you know they are ready. Do you need your aspen login information? Reach out to Crystal McKiel,

    Semester 2 ILP Meetings

    ILP stands for Individual Learning Plan. ALL parents are asked to attend ILP conferences as they are an important step in building the student-parent-advisor relationship.

  • The conference will focus on revisiting goals set in the fall: your child will talk about their strengths and weaknesses and discuss a plan for how they will make the most effective progress over the semester.

  • ILPs provide a great opportunity for advisors, students and parents to sit down together to talk about upcoming school events, mark down important dates, and discuss how the second semester is going.

  • Please be sure to schedule your ILP meeting with your child’s advisor. Your student has their advisors email address as well as they are available on our website.

  • Poetry Out Loud Competition

    The English Department had the Poetry Out Loud competition last week, and we crowned our 2021 poet laureate (well, virtually!). The judges were three teachers from other high schools in Massachusetts.

    The winners are:

    Celia Schwartz – IACS poet laureate

    Lucia Dragas – first runner-up

    Anna Vredevoogd – second runner-up

    This is a link to some excerpts from the students’ recitations along with the winner’s announcement for Poetry Out Loud. (about 3 minutes long)

    This is a link to all of the students’ recitations in the IACS Poetry Out Loud competition 2021. (just over 12 minutes long

    HS Virtual Art Kits are Ready!

    For those students attending virtual HS Art classes, the at home kits are now available for pickup. Thank you for patience. Pickup is between 8:30-4pm every school day. Not sure if you have an art kit or other materials waiting for you (ie: English, math, etc)? Your teacher will have notified you if you have materials to pick up, if you’re not sure contact Ms Landis or Ms Spence when we return from break and they would be happy to check for you.Note: We are closed for February break 2/22-26.


    Student athletes, especially in Track: Please email any pictures you have of practices, games, or teammates to by Friday, March 26. Make sure all students are wearing masks in pictures. We especially need pictures of Track, since no professional ones were taken of that; if we do not receive student pictures of that, it will not appear in the yearbook.

    Switching between Hybrid and Remote Learning

    At any point this semester, if you would like to notify us of your intent to either have your child learn in-person, or switch back to fully remote learning, please use this google form:

    To help with our planning, please give us a 2-week notice before requesting to switch to in-person learning. We do not need a 2-week notification if your child is going to return to fully remote learning.

    Free STEM Programs

    Check out these current programs for HS students who are interested in STEM. They are run by Pace University in NYC. Programs are free for high school students across the U.S. and will be running virtually! No experience needed.

    SeidenHack 2021: Hack the Oysters!

    February 26th-Feb 28th, 2021

    Seidenhack is a virtual and free three day hack-a-thon for high school students who want to get new skills, meet people, and grab a taste of the Pace University college experience. Learn to code games, build mobile apps, utilize design thinking, meet the Billion Oyster Project, and work with a team to build and present your ideas.

    GenCyber Camp CryptoBot

    July 7th-July 16th , 2021

    Camp CryptoBot is a FREE dynamic, co-ed interactive and mission-driven camp that introduces high-school students to the basics of cybersecurity. Sphero Bolt and Javascript are the platform for teaching cryptography and the 10 First Principles using various pedagogical approaches, including storytelling, hands-on labs, and problem-solving missions.

    Photo of the Week

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    Eight students in Engineering class learn about thermal imaging while spaced 6 ft apart with masks on.