The Hawk: March 26, 2021

March 25, 2021 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk

March 26, 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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On Wednesday, over 20 students and staff from IACS participated in the 2021 Connections Conference that was hosted by Sutton High School. The conference is in its third year and the theme for this year was: Listen, Learn, Act! Fighting for Justice in our Schools and Communities. Around 700 people participated in the virtual conference and the keynote speaker was Dr. Jamila Lysicott, an Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education at UMASS Amherst.

Most of the workshops were led by adults (professors, representatives from nationally recognized non-profit groups, teachers, and local community group leaders), but there were also several workshops that were led by Innovation Academy students and we clearly had the largest group of student presenters at the conference. Science teacher and Racial Justice Committee member, Raksmey Derival, took the lead on organizing all of the presentations. Faculty members Lise Brody, Nneka Cullen, Ysabel Cruz Goutier, Debi Rogers, Julian Sciolla, and Gale Stafford were all involved as well as presenters or facilitators. Here is a list of the presentations that IACS students and faculty conducted:

  • Colorism and the Beauty Industry (Jamboard) – Anagha Babu & Sarah Wagner

  • Chemistry and Social Justice in a High School Classroom: Creating Opportunities for Student Empowerment through a Green Chemistry & Sustainability Lens – Cassera Anton, Kena Awuah-Peasah, Raksmey Derival, Bella-Kay Ndouop, Vishwa Patel, Jabela Tilahun

  • Chemistry & Social Justice Honors Project: Colorism in the Beauty Industry

  • My Personal Care Product Assignment + Safety Data Sheet Analysis & (Jamboard)

  • How to Intervene in Racist Situations (Jamboard) – Karina Camacaro, Thalyta DeMatos, Hope Coleman-Plourde, Sadie Coleman-Plourde, Elea Zegdoun

  • Institutionalized Racism in the Healthcare Industry and its Impact on Healthcare Professionals and their Patients with (Jamboard 1) and (Jamboard 2) – Spencer Evans-Cole & Manu Hegde

  • The Road to Antiracism – Rhoda Kaddu, Ysabel Cruz Goutier, Gale Stafford

  • Student presenters shared how they felt after presenting their two 75 minute workshops: complete, awesome, grateful, happy, pretty good, tired, relief, empowered, proud, powerful, shiny, and so happy. After the conference, the principal of Sutton High School sent a thank you email to Ms. Derival where he spoke very highly of our students and faculty:

    We just wanted to reach out and give your students and staff a huge, HUGE shout out. I’ve had about 10 or so staff swing by and rave about the IACS students, their presentations, the content and the skill they had running their workshops. One staff member just came by and said (she attended ‘Colorism in the Beauty Industry’) "I was getting emotional just listening to the girls talk and share – it was so beyond what I was thinking about when I was 16". The Conference Eval survey says much the same thing – IACS students & staff were superstars. You all should be incredibly proud of how you represented yesterday. I know a number of our science teachers went to IACS presentations, and I’m hoping they can learn and steal from you all.

    The leadership and courage that our student presenters demonstrated at the conference was insightful, impressive and a living example of our school outcomes: self-directed learning, problem solving, effective communication, community membership, and systems thinking. We couldn’t be more proud of the student and faculty that participated in Connections Conference 2021.

    Best-

    Erik Arnold, Ed.D.

    High School Principal

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    Post Conference Debrief with IACS students & Faculty

    All School News

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    Since announcing that IACS will open in-person learning for all grades, we’ve fielded a range of questions that we hope we can address in this document. If you have a question that is not listed in this FAQ document, please email the main office (mainoffice@innovationcharter.org) and we will add it to this list. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wm9Csxf5YNq_biQZQrvp8fxZxwFuWIxKlCNRW573MV0/edit?usp=sharing

    Special Education Parent Workshop on Basic Rights and Understanding the IEP presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs to be held Thursday April 29th from 6:30 -8:30pm. This virtual workshop will cover IEP eligibility and Development as well as Procedural Safeguards. Participants must register at IEP Workshop in order to receive the meeting link and password. This workshop is open to all and is not limited to the IACS community.

    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: healthoffice@innovationcharter.org 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.

    Community Cookbook

    Food is the universal language that unites us all! To bring our IACS community together, we are gathering recipes and related stories to create a Community Cookbook! We have extended the deadline to April 30th.

    It’s easy to participate – Submit your favorite family recipe in 1 of 2 ways:

  • a google survey has been set up to collect recipesCommunity Cookbook Entry
  • email kdrake@innovationcharter.org an image of the recipe or drop a hardcopy off at the main office attn: Kdrake
  • Once we have gathered all the recipes someone from our group will reach out to you for the related story OR feel free to submit it with the recipe.

    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

    Middle School News

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    Students played a Movement based game in Challenge this week.

    Middle School Yearbooks

    Early bird price of $20 ending soon. If you haven’t yet ordered your copy now is the time before the price goes up to the regular price of $27.

    MS Yearbook order form

    Semester 2 Progress Report #1

    The first progress report for semester 2 was published earlier this week on Monday. If you need assistance with your family portal login please contact the main office at mainoffice@innovationcharter.org.

    School Pictures

    Picture 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. These photos are included in the yearbook and families can order them, if they choose.Any families of fully remote students can bring their student by between 3:15-4:00 on either day to have their child photographed. Depending upon the weather, we’ll either be outdoors close to the patio by the main office in between Murdoch and Landberg Hall or in the Quonset Hut (behind Murdoch Hall). It would be helpful if an adult accompanies their remote student as they get their picture taken to help ensure that students are distancing and wearing their mask, if they need to wait.

    This flyer has information about ordering.

    Virtual Learning Kits

    We still have many virtual learning kits for students in 8th grade ELA and students currently taking Art. If you haven’t picked them up, please do so as soon as possible at the main office any day between 8:00-4:00 pm. Students are in need of the materials for class.

    MS Yearbook

    The early bird price of $20 is ending soon. If you haven’t yet ordered your copy now is the time before the price goes up to the regular price of $27.

    MS Yearbook order form

    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.

    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.

  • 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.

  • IACS socially distant turkeys

    High School News

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    Semester 2 Progress Report #1

    The first progress report for semester 2 was made available in Aspen on Monday 3/22. If you need assistance with your family portal login please contact Crystal McKiel, cmckiel@innovationcharter.org. Paper copies can be mailed to you upon request.

    Interact Club Packaged up Last Year’s Book Donations for Project Learn

    This week, Interact Club leaders Alyssa Abramo, Daniella Chavez, Hope Coleman-Plourde and Taylor Scanlon were finally able to sort and label books collected last year for Project Learn to distribute throughout the Lowell community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Project Learn was not able to accept donations or volunteers. The Interact Club brought the books home from school, coordinated with the organization to grab stickers and sorted more than 350 books collected by the IACS community. They are now ready to be dropped off at Project Learn! Thank you all for your donations and supporting literacy in our community.

    <3 The High School Interact Club

    Yearbook

    Final reminder: Yearbooks are on sale for only one more week! They are $40. Please order and pay online at https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/iacs/hsyearbook. The online order form includes personalization options (i.e. your name and icons). The deadline for ordering is Friday, April 2.

    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.

    Attention Seniors

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

    IACS Scholarships

    Community Scholarships

    Financial Aid Appeals and Paying for College in 2021

    Thursday, April 01, 2021 | 6:30pm – 7:30pm

    Learn the steps to appeal a financial aid offer from a panel of college financial aid administrators, and find out how colleges are offering extra assistance during this time of COVID-19.

    After the College Acceptance

    Tuesday, April 06, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm

    This webinar provides valuable guidance for high school seniors who have received their college acceptance letters and financial aid offers and are trying to make the college decision. Topics include an overview of different types of financial aid, an explanation of how to calculate the balance due at each college, and methods for paying the college bill.

    Song of the Week

    Song of the Week

    Sea Shanty Shenanigans

    IACS Sophomore, Joshua DeJesus is a pirate in his free time away from school and desired to share one of his recorded sea shanties with the Hawk readers. Enjoy!

    Click on the link below to hear it!

    Athletics News

    Spots Still Open in Select Spring Sports!

    After our initial registration deadline, there are some spring sports with open roster spots.

    Athletes who are still interested in joining a sport may register for the sports listed below. The open slots will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis:

  • HS Boys Outdoor Track
  • HS Girls Outdoor Track
  • HS Softball
  • HS Baseball
  • MS Girls Outdoor Track
  • MS Softball
  • MS Baseball
  • All other sports are currently closed for registration (this excludes a select few individuals who have already been in contact with us).

    We will leave registration open until Monday, March 29th. This will be the absolute last day to register.

    You can find middle school registration information and links here.

    You can find high school registration information and links here.

    As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

    Theatre News

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    You did it, you read the world’s longest Hawk! Way to go!