The Hawk: January 29, 2021

January 28, 2021 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk

January 29, 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,

In an effort to streamline timely and organized data regarding COVID-19 in our school community, IACS is rolling out the first version of a COVID-19 dashboard. The link to the IACS COVID-19 dashboard can be found here and will be included in all future editions of the Hawk. The dashboard will display data regarding the number of positive cases, separating out staff from students, and high school from middle school students. Please note that weekly numbers are based on the week being defined as Friday to Friday (i.e. Friday, January 22nd through Friday, January 29th). We will attempt to update positive case numbers as quickly as possible.

It is critical that as a community, we continue to do the following in an effort to decrease exposure and potential spread in our school:

1. Continue to monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of illness, complete the daily MyMedBot screening tool and stay home if your student or anyone in your family is not feeling well.

2. Report any exposure to positive cases outside of school, even if your child is remote, to the school nurse and quarantine as per guidelines (please see the COVID-19 School Attendance Protocols, which can also be found on the IACS Dashboard page).

This week IACS families of all students were emailed about the the opportunity to provide consent for the in-school Binaxnow antigen testing. As a reminder, in-school antigen testing is reserved only for students or staff who become symptomatic while at school. The complete letter sent can be found here. We are pleased that so many families have already signed up. Participation in this program is completely voluntary and if you choose not to participate there is nothing further that you need to do. If you have any questions regarding the antigen testing program at school please feel free to reach out to the health office staff at healthoffice@innovationcharter.org or at 978-649-0432, ext,.2104.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen
Head of School.

All School News

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Black Lives Matter at School is a nationwide movement that calls on all educators, families and allies to come together to create an environment where black students and educators can thrive with love, support and exuberance. This year the Black Lives Matter at School week will be from February 1 – 5. During this week, we are encouraged to take time out to reflect, take meaningful actions, and have impactful conversations about issues of racial inequalities, as well as ways our community can dismantle systemic racism and advance racial justice for all. Our hope is that this movement can create more opportunities for us as a community to have more honest and lasting conversations beyond this week about activism, racial justice, healing and reconciliation.

If you are looking for resources or ways to get more involved during this week, please visit the Black Lives Matter at School website for more information.

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 avoleti@innovationcharter.org

Re-Enrollment for 2021

Please remember to fill out your re-enrollment survey that you should have received via email, if you did not receive an email please call the enrollment office or email Kathleen Feeney.

The survey needs to be completed by January 29, slots not retained will be made available to new students on our March 1st lottery.

If you did not receive a survey, please respond in an email to us with a Yes or No that will let us know if you are returning or Undecided and hold my spot

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

978-649-0432 ext 2218 to reach Kathleen Feeney or email kfeeney@innovationcharter.org.

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 website.www.innovationcharter.org under the enrollment tab.

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.

A message from the Interact Club

Dear teachers, student service workers, administrators, and staff,

As the semester draws to a close, the Interact Club wanted to thank you for all of your incredibly hard work this semester. It has not been easy, but your commitment to students’ learning and well being has been unshakeable and we are so grateful. Thank you for being amazing!

<3 The Interact Club

P.S. If you are a student seeing this and are interested in joining the Interact (community service) Club for semester two, reach out to daniella.chavez@innovationcharter.org or hope.coleman-plourde@innovationcharter.org!

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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 kdrake@innovationcharter.org if you have any questions

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Middle School News

Analyzing and Responding to the Inaugural Poem in ELA Class

Seventh and eighth grade ELA students recently watched a video of Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman presenting her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration and they were asked to listen carefully for poetic language and phrases that had an impact on them. After discussing the meaning of the poem students were asked to reflect and write about the vision they have for our country and themselves. What is “the light they want to be”?

Several students agreed to have their thoughts published in this week’s Hawk. Click here to read their responses.

Semester Shift

Semester 2 begins February 1st.

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.

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: visit@innovationcharter.org in order to receive the Zoom link.

There is one more meeting left to join in: 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. (kfeeney@innovationcharter.org)

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 hlandis@innovationcharter.org 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: visit@innovationcharter.org 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. (kfeeney@innovationcharter.org)

    High School News

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    Principal’s Message

    The first semester has come to a close…you’re halfway there! Please check your Aspen account to see your schedule for 2nd semester. If you do want to make any changes to your schedule, you must use the google form that was emailed to you and all requests must be submitted by the evening of February 5th. Also, check out your new Google Classrooms to find out the Zoom class meeting links and any other information your teachers will be sharing with you.

    – 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:

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScFH_xW9aFFmDfU_PEtCmZp5wg4TDoeHz1JMjJaQfYfM3LYAA/viewform?usp=sf_link

    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.

    College Fair

    Attention High School Students: Tyngsborough High School is hosting a Virtual College Fair on February 4th from 6-8pm.

    When on the Virtual College Fair webpage, clicking the school logo will redirect students to the college/university website page. The night of the college fair, students/parents will use the links that say "zoom info" to enter the college rep’s meeting "booth". They can go in and out of each booth as they please.

    Although the slate is mostly set, we are still receiving RSVP’s, therefore colleges will be added as they reply.

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    Save the Date for Junior College Kick-Off Night (virtual)

    For juniors and their parents

    Tuesday, February 9th at 7:30

    Reach out to our College Counselor, Ms. Deknatel with any questions: jdeknatel@innovationcharter.org

    Topics covered will include:

  • College Process Timeline and Overview
  • Standardized Testing (SAT vs. ACT and test-optional colleges)
  • College Visits -When and How
  • Parts of the Application (Application work begins in August of the senior year with deadlines ranging from October – February of the senior year)
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Information (brief overview)
  • Parking Permits

    Parking Permits are needed for anyone driving themselves to school. Applications can be found outside Ms. Kelly’s office and turned into Crystal.

    LRTA Bus Tickets

    LRTA One Ride Bus Tickets are available for purchase for $1. Two Tickets are needed if transferring routes. Purchase from Crystal, rm 141B or Ms. MacKinnon, rm 230.

    Seniors

    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: visit@innovationcharter.org in order to receive the Zoom link.

    High School:

    Thursday, 2/11 7-8pm

    Please share with friends who are interested in learning more about IACS.