The Hawk: March 6, 2020

March 5, 2020 6:48 pm


Week ending March 6, 2020

Dear IACS Community,

This afternoon the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Public Health (DPH) hosted a joint phone call to school leaders across the state. While most of the information they provided summarized practices and recommendations that were known to both of us, it was good to hear questions from the field. Moreover, we continue to receive and review real time updates from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control.

At this time, we are not seeing any increase in incidence of flu-like illnesses affecting students or staff at IACS, however it is critical that we all pay special attention to the practices that will keep us as safe as possible. Please take the time to not only review this list as these recommendations are applicable outside of school:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  4. Stay home when you are sick. When calling to report an absence, please let us know the symptoms of illness and if a fever is present. A fever is defined as a body temperature of 100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer.

  5. If you have symptoms of sudden respiratory illness with or without a fever, please contact your primary health care provider for recommendations.

  6. Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough/sneeze.

  7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

While a new type of illness can be scary, we can better protect our students, teachers, and the broader community by exercising these precautions. In addition to promoting healthy habits with our students, we have also asked our nightly cleaning crew service to give extra attention to the bathrooms/shared spaces. Additionally, our IACS facilities team is using disinfectant wipes to conduct additional cleaning during the school day to high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails. This is important not just to help prevent the possible spread of coronavirus, but to help prevent the spread of other infections that can lead to student illness and absences.

Thank you for your support of our school, our students and our teachers and staff.

Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Share Facts Not Fear- Center for Disease Control

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus-NPR

Talking to kids about Coronavirus

In Partnership,

Gayle Nutile-Pimm – Director of Health and Wellness

Greg Orpen – Head of School

Big picture

For up to date details, please use this link to the school calendar on our website.

Big picture

Information about the Nutrition Program here & links to the online cafe payments.

All School News


There is a free “Hackathon” to be held at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub on Saturday March 7th. The event is an all-day experience open to middle and high school students which includes tech workshops presented by experts in the field and includes meals for all attendees as well as prizes awarded to the winning teams. No coding experience is necessary. Learn more and register here.

What would YOU do with $10,000?!

Your family should have already received 10 tickets in the mail, However, if your student is trying to sell the most tickets (and win $1,000 for themself) please have them stop by the front office for more or see Mrs Landis in the library.

We noticed (and love) that some folks are posting the ticket link to to their social media to let family and friends how to purchase tickets online, Here is a link if you’d like to do the same, or you could use Thank you for your support and Good Luck!

Middle School News

Big picture

Fifth graders traveled to the Boston Tea Party Museum and the Old State House this week as part of their Social Studies unit on the road to the American Revolution. Thanks to all of the parent chaperones that assisted us in making this a great day for students!

Big picture

After School Art Spring Session

8-week Spring Session registration is open!

Offered on Mondays or Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:30, the after school art program allows students access to a wide variety of materials and tools in the art room in order to create work of their choosing. The fee for the session is $60 and can be paid online.

The session begins Monday, March 30 and runs through Monday, June 1. Please email with questions or to inquire about scholarships.

To register, please follow this link: Art After School Payment Form

Title I Funding Parent Input Session- 3/10

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. Due to the snow delay, the session has been rescheduled to March 10th at 7:45 in the Landberg Hall conference room. Please RSVP to Middle School Principal Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Poetry Slam- 3/26

Click here for a reminder of the details.

High School News

Big picture

IACS Student advances to state finals!

Congratulations to Andrew Shapiro! Andrew is a 2020 Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts State Finalist!

Last Saturday, Andrew was one of five students in the Newburyport Poetry Out Loud semi-finals who advanced to the state finals. Massachusetts will hold its final competition this Sunday, March 8 at the Old South Meeting House in Boston from 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM. If you have the chance, come cheer Andrew on in the place where the spoken word helped spark a revolution. Thank you to English teacher Anne Ford for all of her efforts to organize and coach our students for this competition.

Video of Poem 1

Video of Poem 2

CALLING ALL TRIVIA FANATICS! NHS, Student Gov, and the Interact Club are hosting a trivia night on Thursday, March 26th from 6:30-8:30 pm in the IACS cafeteria! All proceeds will go towards the Australian Koala Foundation! If you’re ready for a fun night filled with trivia, friends, and snacks, come join us! Tickets to enter are $7 per person and you can create groups and sign up to play trivia there!

Donations are needed in order to make this a night to remember! Possible donation items include…

  • Tablecloths

  • Raffle Basket Items

  • Gift Cards

  • The theme is koala/jungle so any decorations would have to fit this criteria!

    If you are able to provide us with any of these materials, we would need it by Wednesday, March 11th! Contact Daniella Chávez at or Hope Coleman-Plourde at to donate and/or with any questions!

    Seniors of the Month for March

    Congratulations to Teshi Wariungi and Owen Sparks for being recognized as seniors of the month for March! Teshi has been a leader at IACS since her freshman year. She is always kind and helpful to her peers, no matter what age. She has contributed a lot to the community by helping us (teachers, students, and other members) to think more about cultural proficiency and why it matters. She took the lead in forming the Color Affinity Group and is a Student Government Co-President. Teshi is the model of what distinguished community membership looks like. She is also a self-directed problem solver and an excellent communicator who is looking forward to attending Howard University in the fall. Owen is a self-professed Elon Musk groupie. We have never seen someone so invested in solar power, electric cars, computer technology, space and Elon Musk. One could be having a conversation about anything and he could probably find a way to turn the conversation towards Tesla. His dedication towards learning and his interests are inspiring. He is always a great peer to have in class and is extremely funny. Owen is undecided about his college major, but whatever he decides, we know his passion for learning will lead him to accomplish great things. Congratulations Teshi and Owen!

    SEQUINS! Friday March 13, 2020 at 7:30 in the Auditorium

    The IACS GSA is pleased to present, SEQUINS, IACS’ first ever drag inspired gender bending fashion show! Join us for a night of pride, celebration, and fun as we welcome talented performers from the IACS student body who will lend their talents to lip sync, recite poetry, monologues and more. All are welcome and encouraged-if inspired- to partake in gender bending costume and support our performers! All admission ($5) and proceeds will go to support PFLAG and Grace Madonna’s Senior Project to have menstrual products available in school bathrooms. We hope to see you there!


    The deadline for ordering yearbooks is fast approaching: Friday, April 3! They are $40, and you can pay online at

    HS Athletic Sign Ups

    This year, we are offering the following spring sports to HS students:

    Track & Field

    Softball (open to grades 7-12)


    Lacrosse (co-op with Nashoba Tech)

    Information about spring teams, including practice schedules and tryout details, can be located here. The FamilyID registration portal can be accessed here.

    All paperwork and registrations are due Wednesday, March 11th.

    Unique College Fair for Programs Geared Towards Students with Learning Differences

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Woburn Memorial High School.

    Our fair is unique in that it’s geared towards students with learning differences, but all students are welcome. Our goal is to inform students and families about the options and resources available to them after high school. We offer a wide range of colleges and universities from around New England that feature programs and supports for students who learn differently, and this year we’ve further broadened our scope with post-high school representatives from Harvard’s Next Step, MGH’s Aspire, AANE’s LifeMAP, and Easter Seals.

    The full list of presenters can be found here:

    Photos of the Week:

    Big picture

    Our Facilities Team regularly makes improvements throughout the building. One of Colin’s latest projects was to build some shelving for Ms. Stafford to hold the growing Spanish literature library for sustained silent reading in her Spanish classes.

    Drama News

    Join us and bring your family and friends to see the epic tale of passion and redemption in the throes of revolution, Les Miserables, Student Edition. Tickets are currently on sale. Please go to this page: and click on “View Performances.” From there you can click on how many tickets you desire. Tickets are currently $16 and go up to $18 on March 1st. Please join us for this masterpiece of multi-award-winning musical theatre!

    Get Ready for a Summer of Performing Arts! Mark your calendars for the weeks of July 13, 20, 27! Show Names and Camp Descriptions to come! Questions? Email See you this summer! *Camp is open to students completing grades 5 through 12.*

    Big picture

    Athletics News

    MS Spring Sports Registration

    This spring we are offering the following sports to MS athletes: baseball (6th-8th), softball (6th-8th), dance (5th-8th), and track & field (5th-8th).

    Please find information about each team (including start dates and practice schedules) and instructions to register here in the MS Spring Sports 2020 Registration Paperwork. Contact the Athletic Department at with any questions or concerns.

    All registrations are due by Monday, March 30th. Any athlete who is not registered before then (or put on a roster through the Athletic Department) will not be guaranteed a spot.

    HS Spring Sports 2020

    This spring, we are pleased to offer the following athletic opportunities to our high school students:

  • softball (open to students in grades 7-12),
  • track & field,
  • dance
  • lacrosse.
  • For more information, including practice schedules, start dates and requirements, please click here for the HS spring 2020 athletic registration packet. The FamilyID registration portal can be accessed here.

    All registration paperwork is due on Wednesday, March 11th. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the Athletic Office (

    HS Lacrosse Info Meeting

    All students interested in playing HS lacrosse this spring should attend the parent and player information meeting at Nashoba Tech on Tuesday, March 10th at 5 pm.

    Athletic Awards Nights

  • HS winter athletic awards will be Wednesday, March 25th at 6 pm in the IACS auditorium.
  • MS winter athletic awards will be Wednesday, April 1st at 6 pm in the IACS auditorium.
  • All winter athletes and families are invited and encouraged to attend these ceremonies.

    IACA News

    Friday March 6th 7pm-9pm will be the 5th & 6th grade dance!

    We are always looking for Parent Volunteers for the Dances

    You’ll need a CORI form to be on file to volunteer for any school event.

    Fun night out! Coming up 3/12/2020!

    March 12th @ 7:00pm at The Establishment in North Chelmsford (food and beverage will be available for purchase)

    Register here:

    20% will be donated back to IACA by the company running the event, April’s Way Custom Creations.

    Our 8th grade Semi-formal dance is coming up in May!

    How exciting!!!!

    The dance will be held on May 30th, we will be looking for volunteers for this wonderful 8th grade event!

    Easy Box tops!!

    If you are in Hannaford in Chelmsford, scan your receipt at the register with your Box top App to apply the box tops to Innovation Academy!

    Then put your receipt in the red tower, in the Innovation Academy slot! The red towers should be located near the registers. Every little bit helps!!!

    Casino Night is April 3rd, Do you have your tickets yet?

    Join us for IACA’s biggest fundraiser of the year, A chance to meet other parents while enjoying some dinner, casino games the silent auction and our famous live dessert auction. Tickets are $40 ea or a table of 10 for $350, so grab some friends and make a night of it.

    Tickets available online here Questions? Heather at