The Hawk: May 1, 2020

April 30, 2020 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk Distance Edition

Week ending May 1st, 2020

Dear IACS Community,

This is just a quick note from the Board of Trustees of IACS to let you know that we are thinking of you all and wishing you and yours well. We realize that these times are challenging for all of us and especially for those of you who have lost jobs or are working on the front lines. Please know that we are here if you need us.

In the spirit of helping, we have the two following questions for you.

How can the school help you? More specifically, as you may know, the Board is charged with focusing on the long-term sustainability of the school. With that in mind and in light of the current pandemic having closed the physical building through the academic year, do you have any thoughts of ways the school can best support you and your family in the long term, both academically and otherwise?

Lastly, we have heard that many of you have applauded the school for a job well done in transitioning to a distance learning platform. We’d love to hear more—not only about what the school has done well, but also on where it could improve. In the spirit of Quality Night feedback, we would love to solicit feedback in the form of “polish and praise.”

Polish: What could the school improve on?

Praise: What has the school done well?

Please Click here to Answer

Thank you all for reading. Our sincere well wishes to you and yours.

In partnership,

The IACS Board of Trustees

All School News

Additional opportunities for families to pick up personal items still in our buildings. The dates are designed to meet different family schedules and are as follows:

Saturday, May 9: 9 am – 10 am

Monday, May 11: 6 pm – 7 pm

Wednesday, May 20: 6 pm – 7 pm

Saturday, June 6: 10 am – 11 am

Friday, June 12: 9 am – 10 am (Final Date)

All of these dates have been added to our website calendar with the following reminders:

  • These visits must be brief and should not be viewed as social "meet ups".

  • In order to plan appropriate staff supervision, please email the main office (mainoffice@innovationcharter.org) 24 hours in advance if you would like to enter the building.

  • All personal belongings must be picked up by Friday, June 12th. Personal items left in school after that day will be discarded or donated so that the normal summer cleaning can occur.

  • Lost and Found: The items in our Lost & Found never cease to amaze! (See the following photo.) If you believe some of these items might belong to you, please email the main office: mainoffice@innovationcharter.org.

    Big picture

    Alumni News

    We are trying to reach out and find all of our alumni. You can help us find them by sharing our link on Facebook. Alumni, like our page and join your year of graduation Facebook group to reconnect with former classmates! You can also follow us on instagram or on Twitter. Sending along your updated email address to smorocco@innovationcharter.org will ensure you receive our Alumni Hawk newsletter and other important updates.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    Shannon Morocco – Director of Community Development

    Middle School News

    #Proudprincipal

    IACS is proud of 8th grader Tedy DiGesse! Tedy worked with 2 friends to organize a food drive for the Billerica Food Pantry. Click here to read or watch the recent news story on WCVB.

    https://www.wcvb.com/article/group-of-billerica-massachusetts-8th-graders-organize-food-drive-for-families-in-need/32228518

    Keeping a Routine at Home

    A reminder about resources we’ve created to help you create a routine at home for students to use. In particular, advisors have been concerned about some of our students’ sleep patterns, after seeing students submit work well after midnight or having a hard time meeting scheduled Zoom calls. Maintaining regular sleep patterns are important to both being able to manage school work and emotional health. If you need to work with your child on a reset, consider using these resources to help you:

    Sample Daily Schedule for 5th and 6th graders

    Sample Daily Schedule for 7th and 8th graders

    Missing Work Summaries/Navigating Aspen

    As you navigate Aspen, teachers are working to input grades as quickly as they can. They use the schoolwide codes of R for received or Mi for missing after the deadline has passed. R gets converted to a grade on our NAPD scale as the teacher grades the work.

    Last week, we launched a weekly “Missing Work summary” email and plan to send those each Tuesday or Wednesday. Based on feedback we have received about the volume of emails home, we created this support to communicate missing work to you, while minimizing the number of emails going out. If you do not receive one of these emails, it means that all of the work from distance learning is up-to-date.

    Thanks for your support in going through this email list with your child! The first round of emails led to many students and families connecting with teachers to resolve missing work.

    One common problem students have been experiencing is completing the assignment but forgetting to turn it in. Once students complete work, they should follow the directions for turning it in. For example, on Google Classroom, students have to click “turn in” for the teacher to receive notice that it is finished.

    Digital Planner Reminder

    Student Digital planners were updated for the remainder of the year. If families/students didn’t receive a link, please reach out to your child’s advisor. Here’s a short video of how your child could use it to plan their day and week.

    Middle School Yearbook

    Middle School yearbooks can be ordered here for the regular price of $27. Yearbooks will be shipped directly to homes.

    8th Grade Moving Up

    We currently have a committee of staff members working on planning a virtual 8th grade Moving Up celebration. Stay tuned for details!

    High School News

    Celebrate our Seniors!

    Our Director of College Counseling, Ms. Deknatel, has two Instagram accounts set up to celebrate our seniors. Check them out at:

    iacs_collegecounseling – https://www.instagram.com/iacs_collegecounseling/

    Iacs.seniors.2020 – https://www.instagram.com/iacs.seniors.2020/

    A couple seniors each day will be featured on our Twitter account as well. We miss all of our students, but we especially miss our seniors and being able to celebrate the end of their high school years in person. We do have some surprises for them in the works though, so stay tuned! Only 19 school days left for the seniors!

    Theatre News

    With school campus being closed for the year, the Theater Arts is announcing the following:

  • The production of Les Miserables will not occur this spring or summer, however we are exploring ways in which all students, and yes our current seniors, can come together to perform this show next academic year. You’ve all worked so hard and we want to explore every option possible to make this happen! Rhonda Hawthorne will be communicating directly with Les Mis participants.

  • We will make a decision regarding Performing Arts Camps, which normally occur the last three weeks of July, no later than the end of June. If camp is cancelled, payments will be refunded promptly to families who have signed up.

  • Normally, this is the time of year when we announce the fall show and hold corresponding auditions. These plans are on hold and will be announced at a later date and communicated to the entire community.

  • Athletics News

    The Athletic Department is working with the Business Office to process spring athletic fee refunds. All payments should be returned within the next few weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, please emailiacsathletics@innovationcharter.org. Also, student athletes who still have unreturned uniforms should contain our athletics office; these items can be returned during the visit dates listed in the opening letter.

    IACA News

    We are holding a "Meet the Community Association leaders" Zoom meeting. This is an opportunity to check out the IACA (Innovation Academy Community Association) to learn about ways you can get involved and make a difference at IACS in a NO pressure environment. We’ll be talking about how we can get ready for next year and discussing board elections and nominations. There will be 2 meeting scheduled in an effort to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

  • The first one will be: Wed May 6th at 7:00pm (30 minutes)
  • Join Zoom Meeting
    https://zoom.us/j/92447231404?pwd=ejVQT0FzQ2QzL3crOEpEbGdOOWdsQT09
    Meeting ID: 924 4723 1404 Password: 7ssE0Z

  • The second one will be: Tuesday May 12 at 12pm (30 minutes)
  • Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/93962453306?pwd=WmZKTEpCTmszUVdWTHlKd1F3MHVKZz09 Meeting ID: 939 6245 3306 Password: 5wNRUD
    We hope you can join us and learn more about what we do and how you could help.

    Big picture

    Nominations and Elections for our IACA group will be held next month, if you’d like to find out more click here:

    https://forms.gle/RkFjtgXjmAFdVmM19

    Board Positions Descriptions and a rough idea of time commitment needed.

    President (≈ 5-6 hours /month)Provides leadership to the volunteer group, creates agenda for monthly meetings, acts as a liaison to school, responding to email requests and proposals from school staff. Speaks at School events to raise awareness of what IACA does and what assistance is needed from parents. Is the face of IACA.

    Vice President (≈ 4 hours/month) Acts as the right hand to the President. Makes sure that any obligations that IACA has with the school is done. Meets with Head of School and principals over the summer to set event dates. Checks and responds to email as needed.

    Secretary (≈ 3 hours /month)Takes minutes at all meetings and provides a summary of minutes for the following meeting. Handles administrative tasks as needed.

    Treasurer (≈ 4 hours /month) Maintains budget and checkbook with oversight from Vice President. Provides updated information at monthly meetings. Prepares yearly taxes (with assistance from School Business office). Prepares and submits additional lottery commission paperwork as needed. Provides and collects cash boxes for events.

    Publicity Coordinator (≈ 4-6 hours/month) In charge of our social media outlets, making flyers, Publicizing our events, responding to comments and concerns that arise through social media. Is the voice of IACA.

    Volunteer Coordinator(≈ 3-4 hours /month) Works to grow our volunteer database, by sending out volunteer registration online forms and manning tables at other school functions to bring awareness to the need for volunteering. Is the main contact for all event coordinators to reach out to for assistance with organizing volunteers.

    Fundraising Coordinator (≈ 4 hours /month)Raises funds for the group through catalog sale fundraisers, arranges dining for a cause nights, and coordinates the book fair.