The Hawk: March 19, 2021

March 18, 2021 6:48 pm


March 19, 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.

Big picture

Dear IACS Community,

As we start to see more signs of hope in our nationwide battle against COVID-19, this week’s senseless attacks in Georgia were reminded of the toll the pandemic has taken on the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities across our country. While we are lucky to have amazing scientists and health care workers developing and delivering vaccines to battle COVID-19, creating a more compassionate and tolerant world can’t be delegated to others. It starts with how we- students, staff, and families- interact with each other everyday.

I know that references to our school Outcomes might seem abstract, especially this year when our daily lives still feel upside down. But when we see acts of violence, we are called to lean in and be better community members and more effective communicators. In addition to reaffirming our commitment to stand with the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community- at IACS and beyond, I’d like to offer a few resources to read for yourself, especially if this week’s news generates additional conversations at home.

Thank you, as always, for embracing our Outcomes.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

  • Pew Research: 40% of U.S. adults report an increase in anti-Asian slurs since the pandemic

  • National Geographic: America’s long history of scapegoating its Asian citizens

  • PBS Video Resources: The history of identity, contributions, and challenges experienced by Asian Americans

  • USA Today: How to be an ally to the (AAPI) community

  • All School News

    Big picture

    New Dismissal Times for Grades 5-12

    As you know, we implemented dismissing students in waves this year in order to reduce congestion in the stairwells and hallways. We have found that our students are more efficient exiting the building than anticipated, so we are now able to shorten the dismissal times. This change will allow for more instructional time during the last block of the day and also reduce the amount of time that parents are waiting to pick up their children or carpool students.

    These new dismissal times will begin on Monday, 3/22.

    2:50 Tyngsborough Dee Bus Riders

    2:55 student drivers and other busses

    2:59 5, 7, 10, 12 Carpools

    3:00 6, 8, 9, 11 Carpools

    Early Release Wednesdays

    12:20 student drivers & all bus riders

    12:24 5, 7, 10, 12 Carpools

    12:25 6, 8, 9, 11 Carpools

    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.

    Inclusion Aides and In Person Instructional Support Staff needed

    If you would be interested in joining IACS as an Inclusion Aid or In person Instructional Support Staff, please go to our website to see postings and job descriptions for this year.

    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.

    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

    Athletics News

    Spring Sports

    The deadline to register for spring sports is Monday, March 22nd. It is very likely that we will not be able to accept late registrations. And pending roster limitations, even athletes who register by the deadline may not get a roster spot.

    As of now, we hope to offer the following spring sports (roughly April 26th-July 3rd):

    – Girls Lacrosse – HS only

    – Boys Lacrosse – HS only

    – Girls Outdoor Track & Field – MS & HS

    – Boys Outdoor Track & Field – MS & HS

    – Boys Volleyball – MS & HS

    – Coed Dance – MS & HS

    – Coed Cheerleading – MS & HS

    – Girls Softball – MS (6th-8th) & HS

    – Boys Baseball – MS (6th-8th) & HS

  • click here for further information about middle school sports and instructions to register.
  • click here for further information about high school sports and instructions to register.
  • Please contact the Athletic Department,, with any questions or concerns.

    Middle School News

    Big picture

    Seventh grade scientists demonstrated some cool science tricks related to density in class for partners on Zoom.

    Virtual Learning Kits

    Art supplies for fifth grade students in the Solomon, Schrader, Grove, Conte, Bresnahan, & Porter advisories are at the main office. Please come to pick up the materials any time at the main office next week between 8:15-4:30 or in the cafeteria on Tuesday, 3/23 or Thursday, 3/25 from 3:15-4:30. Students who attend school in-person as part of the hybrid model will have their materials distributed in class.

    A reminder that many eighth grade families of our remote students have not yet picked up the library book/class novel that students have begun. They can be picked up at the same times listed above.

    Semester 2 Progress Report #1

    The first progress report for semester 2 will be available in student and family portals by Monday. You will receive an email accompanying the progress report If you need assistance with your family portal login please contact the main office at

    School Pictures

    School pictures were delivered to students this week. Retakes will happen on Tuesday, 3/30 and Thursday, 4/1. Students who did not like their photograph should return them on that date. Students who were not on campus will also have their photos taken on that day. Any families of fully remote students can bring their student by between 3:15-4:00 on either day to have their child photographed. These photos are included in the yearbook and families can order them, if they choose.

    Title I Parent Input Session- 3/24 6-7 pm

    Come learn about how our school uses Title I funding and share your input on we use our funding in future school years to maximize our reach with our students. Email to RSVP to MS Principal Melissa Kapeckas at and she will send you the Zoom link. If you cannot attend but are interested in this topic, email Melissa Kapeckas to connect.

    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.

    Upcoming April Schedule Change: What to Expect

    Starting 4/26 (Monday after April break), students will be able to come into school for classes 5 days a week. If you have not filled out the community survey, please complete it here for each of your children. Families may choose to have their children learn remotely, attend in-person school on their hybrid schedule (or less than 5 days) with the remainder of the days learning remotely, or attend in-person school each weekday.

    Here’s what to expect and some answers to frequently asked questions:

  • The schedule: This will stay largely the same with a few key differences:

  • Wednesdays: There will be classes on Wednesdays; they will not be asynchronous. Wednesday will be a shortened version of our current schedule. All Wednesdays will be a 12:25 early release schedule.

  • Advisory: The timing of advisory will be a little different.

  • For students that remain remote or students that come to school in person for their hybrid days, any days at home, they will log on to their Zoom classes as they have been.

  • For the most part, students will continue to be having class in their advisory classroom (along with their partner advisory) with teachers rotating to their classrooms.

  • There will be at least 3 foot spacing in the classroom (or more depending upon what percent of the class stays remote) and 6 foot spacing at lunch. Lunch will take place in the cafeteria, auditorium, and outdoors under tents. All students will have some opportunities for outdoor lunches two days/week and indoors two days/week.

  • On days when your child doesn’t pass the health screening but feels up to attending classes, they can attend virtually.

  • You may change your child’s status at any time. Please just email Federico Pereyra to change your child’s status and await a response, especially if your child is switching from remote to in-person (hybrid or 5 days) so we can be certain they have seat assignments in the classroom and at lunch.

  • We will continue to offer movement breaks and outdoor mask breaks throughout the day. We’ll have some outdoor time during lunch and occasionally during advisory. We aren’t having recess this year as we’re trying to keep groups from mixing, especially in an unstructured way like recess.

  • High School News

    Big picture

    Semester 2 Progress Report #1

    The first progress report for semester 2 will be available in family portals on Monday afternoon. If you need assistance with your family portal login please contact Crystal McKiel, Paper copies can be mailed to you upon request.

    Internship Spotlight
    Junior Jesena Kalabokis is currently interning with Westford Community Access Television (Westford CAT). She is gaining experience reaching out to, interviewing and transcribing responses. Jesena is “glad to have the opportunity to give a voice to women artists, especially during the pandemic since it’s impacted the arts a lot.” Take a look at her most recent piece, celebrating women in art.

    Poetry Out Loud State Finals

    Celia competed in the virtual state finals for Poetry Out Loud on Sunday — her performance earned her a place in the top 12 performers in the state of Massachusetts! Excellent work, Celia!

    Now that the state competition is over, we can share her recitations of her three poems: enjoy!

    Round 1: “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood

    Round 2: “Song for the Last Act” by Louise Bogan

    Round 3: “Spring and Fall” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

    President’s Choice Award at National Art Educators Conference

    Marco DePascale has received the President’s Choice Award for his painting “Winter in New England”. His piece was one of 4 works selected to represent all 9th grade art from Massachusetts at this year’s National YAM exhibit during the National Art Educators Conference. His work will be virtually on display with that of other secondary and elementary students from across the country. Congratulations to Marco!

    This link is to the YAM exhibit at the conference :

    Big picture


    There is only one more month to buy yearbooks; the deadline for ordering is Friday, April 2, and they are $40 each. Please order and pay online at The online order form includes personalization options (i.e. your name and icons).

    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.

    Attention Seniors: Scholarships

    Seniors, make sure to look into these scholarship opportunities. Contact Ms. Deknatel with questions or if you need assistance applying

    IACS Scholarships

    Community Scholarships

    Photo of the Week

    Big picture

    ZOOM BOMBS OF JOY in ADVISORY!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to the Amazing Ms.Connors & Advisees!!!!!

    The Connors advisory has been spreading joy through surprise visits to physical and zoom classrooms that include signs, music and words of encouragement.

    IACA News

    IACS Families ROCK!

    We are humbled and overwhelmed at the response to the Hawk Extra requesting donations for our baskets. Thank you to all of you who have made use of the Amazon wish lists. As you requested, we’ve added a few more items so that more folks can participate in this way, as always, this is completely voluntary but is very much appreciated.

    Here is the link to the Hawk Extra and below are the individual links in case you missed it:

    5/6th Grade – Grilling~~~~~ 7/8th Grade – Fire Pit

    9/10th Grade – Gardening~~~~~11/12th Grade – College

    Questions? please contact Heather at or 978-502-9450

    Enjoy your Weekend!