The Hawk: January 22, 2021

January 21, 2021 6:48 pm


January 22,2021

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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Important Updates from the Health Office


As you know, IACS recently introduced MyMedBot, a daily health screening app. Use of the app proved to be an easy and effective way to screen both staff and students. Students are coming to school with a completed screening and entry into school has been quick, safe, and efficient. Thank you for your cooperation during the launch of this new process.

This past week, families received reminders from MyMedBot only on days that their student was expected to be on campus. Recognizing the value of the information obtained by this screening tool, starting next week, parents will receive a reminder every weekday and are asked to complete the MyMedBot screening on the days that your student is scheduled to be on campus AND on any day that your student has any COVID-19 symptoms, has been exposed to a positive case, or has traveled out of state. (Please be reminded that only the school nurses have access to the screening responses.) Using the app in this way will provide a quick and easy way to report an absence and will enable the school nurses to begin early contact tracing, and provide early support to families, ultimately enhancing the overall health and safety of our school community.

Antigen Testing in School

In a continued effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, IACS has also been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to offer free rapid COVID-19 testing for symptomatic staff and students in school. Next Wednesday, all families will receive an email from Gayle Nutile-Pimm, Director of Health and Wellness, regarding the use of the Binaxnow antigen test in the school setting. The email will provide families with information on consent, accuracy studies, and details on how and when the test will be used. Participation in this school testing program is completely voluntary. Parents will receive a link that will enable them to create an account and to provide consent for their students. No tests will be administered without parental consent.

Binaxnow testing will be used for students and staff who become symptomatic during the school day. Certainly, this will not change the practice of keeping students home when not feeling well. Students who test positive with the Binaxnow test will be sent home to begin isolation and the health office will begin immediate contact tracing. Any symptomatic student who tests negative will also be sent home and further guidance will be provided depending on their symptoms. All DPH guidelines will continue to be followed. I look forward to adding the availability of early testing to our safety protocols here at IACS.

if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at .

Thank you again for your continued support, communication, and collaboration.

Gayle Nutile-Pimm

Director of Health and Wellness

All School News

A reminder to all families regarding attendance:

If your student is going to be absent, tardy or dismissed please inform the main office by calling us at 978-649-0432 ext. 0 or emailing us at This applies to whether your student is attending in-person or virtually. Thank you for cooperation.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

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


As you may know, A group of Seniors from IACS are hosting a virtual bingo tomorrow January 23rd, from 1-2. They still have plenty of room for people to sign up using this link:

Thank you so much for all of the donations we greatly appreciate it. Hope to see you there!

For Questions: Contact Morgan Rico

Re-Enrollment for 2021

It’s already time to start thinking about Fall of 2021!

This year you will find your students re-enrollment form coming to you via email. Please fill out the google survey for all current IACS students.

Please be sure to complete the survey by January 29th ,slots not retained will be made available to new students on our March 1st 2021 lottery.

As always if you have any questions feel free to contact the Enrollment office.

Enrollment office

978-649-0432 ext 2218 Kathleen Feeney

978-649-0432 ext 3218 Marybeth Bush

Virtual Open House for Prospective Families

We have several virtual open house sessions coming up for prospective families ahead of our lottery. Please share this form to register with friends who are interested in learning more about IACS.

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.

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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

Theatre News

The IACS Performing Arts Program is working on three fantastic online shows: Clue, Check Please and The Audition! We are adding another to the season’s online productions: The Pandemic that Didn’t Define Them. High schoolers are welcome to audition for this piece by emailing director Nathan Smith at If you have other questions please email the program director Rhonda Hawthorne at

Middle School News

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Hybrid Transition

Students did a GREAT job learning the safety protocols and adhering to new procedures. It was great to reconnect and meet students in person!

Semester Shift

Semester 1 ends Thursday, 1/28. Students will not be able to hand in any missing work or revisions after this time, so please encourage them to do any catching up, if needed.

Students that have been in Science will switch to Social Studies (and vice versa).

Specials will also be shifting as well:

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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.

A Reminder about Dismissal

We are staggering dismissal to ensure spacing with students. We’ll start dismissing cars from the parking lot by Landberg Hall at 3:05 when the last wave of students has left the building and been escorted to their cars.

School Supply Lists

What will students need at school? Here are the supply lists:

5th/6th grade supply list

7th/8th grade supply list

Please remind your child to charge their computer and bring their charger along with their computer.

If your child needs to sign out a computer, please fill out the Chromebook user contract form and email Heather Landis at to arrange to pick it up or have it brought to your child’s hybrid classroom.

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.

Thank you to families that joined us at our community forum about the hybrid transition at the middle school. Below are links to the slide deck and a recording.

  • Recording from Community Forum
  • Slides from Community Forum
  • 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. (

    High School News

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    Principal’s Message

    We were pleased to be able to return so many students to the building this week in our new hybrid model. The students did very well adjusting to all of the new safety procedures that are in place. As a reminder, there will be no classes (in-person or virtual) on Tuesday, January 26th due to the number of students that have signed up to take the PSAT exam and the number of teachers that will be needed to proctor the exam. Next Thursday is also the last week of the semester, so I hope that all of our students will stay focused on their academics and have a strong finish to the end of the semester. Friday, January 29th is a full PD day for teachers, so there will be no classes on that day either. Students were all sent a google form if they wish to request any changes in their 2nd semester schedule…no emails please. Many students already made changes back in September, but this is another opportunity to make adjustments. All requests must be submitted by the evening of February 5th.

    – Dr. Arnold

    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.

    January Switch to Hybrid Information

    Thank you to our families that joined us for the Hybrid Information Forum for HS Families. Below you will find the Video of the forum as well as the powerpoint slideshow. This is the Hybrid Bell Schedule, very similar to our current one, that went into effect on Tuesday, January 19th.

    Video from HS Community Forum – January 6, 2021

    Slide Show from HS Community Forum – January 6, 2021


    Seniors: senior quotes, class will, and remember-you-for’s are due Friday, February 5 in the spreadsheet Mr. Macdonald shared with you (not emailed to him or the yearbook account). See your email for more details.

    High School Open House

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

    High School:

  • Thursday, 1/28 7-8pm
  • Thursday, 2/11 7-8pm
  • Please share with friends who are interested in learning more about IACS.

    Press Release of the Week:

    MCC’s Dual Enrollment Prepares High School Students for College

    In Middlesex Community College’s Dual Enrollment program, high school students receive

    valuable opportunities to enhance their academic experience. Taking concurrent courses for high school and college credit allows students to better prepare for college and to give themselves acompetitive edge in applying for – and succeeding in – higher education.

    Middlesex provides Dual Enrollment students with full access to campus resources. In the

    pandemic, this includes remote services through the libraries, Academic Centers for Enrichment

    (ACE), peer tutoring, and advising – who can help students transfer to four-year schools. Ellen

    Grondine, MCC’s Dean of K-16 Partnerships, Academic & Student Affairs, calls Dual

    Enrollment a “team effort.”

    “Beyond the opportunity to earn college credit or the economic benefits of saving families

    thousands of dollars, we aim to teach students early on how to leverage the many resources and support available to our students at MCC,” Grondine said. “We know this will contribute to their long-term academic and personal success.”

    Anne Ford, an English Teacher at Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, has been

    teaching MCC Dual Enrollment courses since she began at the school in 2018. Her classes

    include English Composition I, Classics of Children’s Literature, Modern Drama and Crime &

    Punishment in Literature. Ford believes MCC’s Dual Enrollment provides “an incredible

    opportunity” for students.

    “Students taking Dual Enrollment courses are investing in their own future,” she said. “They are

    challenging themselves to become better students now, but also setting themselves up for future success as an undergraduate. They are developing skills that will benefit them in college.”

    Ford believes there are many benefits of concurrent Dual Enrollment, including not having to

    take extra courses in addition to a normal workload, potentially boosting their weighted GPA, and taking introductory college courses while still in the comfort of familiar surroundings at their current high school.

    “It has been my experience that students rise to the challenges of Dual Enrollment courses, and

    are eager to enroll in more Dual Enrollment courses as soon as their first ends,” Ford said.

    “Through the Middlesex Dual Enrollment program, students establish their college transcript,

    expand their skills, and save money on college courses all while still in high school. Honestly,

    what’s not to love?”

    Jesena Kalabokis is a junior at Innovation Academy Charter School who has already taken

    several of MCC’s Dual Enrollment course offerings. She was interested in challenging herself as

    she prepares to enter college and adjust to new expectations.

    “I think Dual Enrollment will help me when I get to college because I will have a good idea of

    what will be expected of me,” she said. “It also might help to alleviate some of the financial

    burden that comes with college since I am already earning college credit in high school.”

    Kalabokis – who is interested in studying journalism in college – has taken Dual Enrollment

    courses that sparked her interest, including several English classes and an Introduction to

    Psychology course. She appreciates having access to these courses and has so far risen to meet the expectations required of the more rigorous coursework.

    “It’s easy to sign up for since we take the classes through our school,” she said. “You might be

    able to take less classes in college since you are earning college credit. It is a great option if you are a student who enjoys being challenged.”

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    In Middlesex Community College’s Dual Enrollment program, high school students receive valuable opportunities to enhance their academic experience. Taking concurrent courses for high school and college credit allows students to better prepare for college and to give themselves a competitive edge in

    applying for – and succeeding in – higher education.

    Jesena Kalabokis is an MCC Dual Enrollment student.