The Hawk: May 14, 2021

May 13, 2021 6:48 pm


May 14, 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,

This year all of our teachers have contorted themselves in every way imaginable to create vibrant classes in a COVID-restricted world. Across the state and here at IACS, perhaps no one has been more impacted than music teachers who have found new ways to allow students to safely play instruments and sing. Thankfully, springtime has brought with it not just warmer weather, but also greater opportunities for music here at school. This morning, High School Music Teacher Julian Sciolla, sent along the following highlight of the week:

“On Tuesday, student musicians from the Middle School and High School took an in school field trip to the high school tents and shared what they have been working on this year with each other. While they would have loved playing for the community, everyone embraced the fun vibes of a more casual performance. Even though this was only the Middle School band’s second time playing in person as a group they did an outstanding job with their performance of "A Million Dreams." The High School and Middle School chorus beautifully sang messages of hope and love. Finally, the event culminated in an all out jam session hosted by the High School Instrumental Ensemble. Mrs Lane, Mrs. Porter and Mr. Sciolla look forward to getting back to public performances soon, but in the meantime hope this short montage will help remind you of the joy and hope that music can bring to us.”

IACS Music Share 5/11

Thank you Mrs Lane, Mrs. Porter and Mr. Sciolla for bringing back more music to our campus this spring!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

All School News

From the Health Office:COVID-19 Pooled Testing at school

Registration for pooled testing has just been made easier! Weekly pooled testing is voluntary and you may register at any time. The link for more information and to provide consent can be found on the main IACS webpage as well as here.

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.

HS & MS School Calendar

All Wednesdays for the remainder of the school year will be early releases. Please see the calendar on our website for the most up to date information.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. Eligible households can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on their broadband service and associated equipment rentals

  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

  • Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. Households can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on Wednesday, May 12. The program will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

    Bussing Information:

    Information about Transportation will be sent out next week via email. Be on the lookout!

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    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 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.

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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 if you have any questions

    Middle School News

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    Fifth graders in the Caffrey/Pendleton advisory recently had a PJ and stuffed animal day. Don’t they look cozy?

    Save the Date- Eighth Grade Moving Up

    Our virtual 8th grade Moving Up Ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 11th, at 7 PM. While most of the ceremony will be pre-recorded, we have been able to maintain all of the traditions of the in-person event and will share it on the school’s Facebook page using Facebook Live to provide a shared experience for our students and families We will also be releasing our traditional Moving Up Messages Book through a special virtual presentation (each 8th grade student receives a personalized message of congratulations and encouragement from a member of our staff) that you will be able to download and keep.

    Progress Reports

    The final round of Progress Reports was published in the Aspen Student and Family portals on Tuesday. If you need assistance with your family portal login and password please contact the main office at


    The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has decided to shorten testing for this year so all students in grades 5-8 will have one session each of English/Language Arts testing and Mathematics testing. Students in grades 5 and 8 also have one session of Science testing. (Typically, each subject has two sessions.) DESE also recently decided to make a provision that students that are fully remote to be tested remotely.

    The schedule is as follows:

  • May 18 ELA MCAS Exam for Grades 5 & 6
  • May 20 ELA MCAS Exam Day for Grades 7 & 8
  • May 24 Math MCAS Exam for Grades 5 & 6
  • May 25 Math MCAS Exam for Grades 7 & 8
  • May 27 Science MCAS Exam for Grades 5 & 8
  • Please note if your child follows a hybrid schedule, please make arrangements for them to be in school on testing days. If your child is fully remote, you will receive additional information via email as the testing dates approach about remote testing arrangements.

    Families often ask us what they can do at home to help their child be prepared and do their best on the day of the exam. Ensuring your child is well-rested and has a healthy breakfast helps them do their best. Please remind your child that the MCAS test is untimed and they should take their time and check their work.

    The TestNav tutorial and the practice tests are found at:

    Upcoming Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Presentations

    Sixth and eighth graders have begun preparing their spring gateway jury presentation. During their jury presentation, sixth and eighth graders present their portfolio to a faculty member assessor. Jury presentations are typically 20-30 minutes long. A younger peer also attends to learn about the process and provide additional support. Students share their growth in the school outcomes, using their projects in their portfolio as evidence. Following the jury presentation, students receive feedback from their assessor including a final jury grade. Successful completion of a jury presentation is a promotion requirement for sixth and eighth grade.

    Students will be working on their presentations during advisory but also will need time at home to ensure they are well-prepared and have rehearsed their presentation.

    All students have received their jury rubric and their organizer(s) via their advisory Google Classroom. Sixth grade juries will occur between May 28-June 4 and eighth grade juries will occur between June 7-11. Students will receive their specific appointment time soon. Students that are fully remote can do their jury presentation virtually or can come into school for their presentation, if preferred.

    Virtual Learning Kit for Remote 8th graders

    All fully remote 8th graders will have a virtual learning kit to pick up at the main office- a copy of Romeo & Juliet and materials for art class. Please arrange to pick up the virtual learning kit at the main office anytime between 8:00 – 3:50.

    Change of Status?

    A reminder that if you’d like to change your child’s status (from remote to hybrid or fully in person, etc.), please contact MS Dean of Students, Federico Pereyra at We ask for 2 weeks notice. Thanks!

    Middle School Yearbook

    Last chance to submit pictures of your middle schooler for the Middle School yearbook. Include your student’s name and their advisory and let us know what they are doing in the pictures. Send your submissions to

    For this year’s yearbook we are accepting pictures of your student doing remote learning from home, doing a project for school/home, playing a sport, learning a new skill, spending time with their family.

    Also, if your student missed the picture day at school, please send in a headshot to be included in the yearbook if you haven’t already done so.

    Last day for submission Sunday, 5/9/21

    Yearbooks can be ordered on the school website. Please find the link below for your convenience.

    MS Yearbook Order Form

    Theatre News

    Online viewing of our winter shows!

    We are excited to present our winter shows online! "Check Please" is coming soon! Please enjoy the others here:

    Questions about any of the above? Please contact

    High School News

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    IMPORTANT: MCAS Information & Room Assignments

  • Testing will be held for all 10th graders & those 11th graders that chose to take it on Monday, 5/17 and Friday, 5/21.

  • ALL 9th, 12th, and some 11th graders will be remote and will have asynchronous assignments in google classroom.

  • MCAS information & Room Assignments can be found in this document.

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    Progress Reports

    The 2nd round of Progress Reports was published in the Aspen Student and Family portals on Monday afternoon. If you need assistance with your family portal login and password please contact Crystal McKiel, Paper copies are available upon request.

    Course Requests are due June 1st

    The Program of Studies lists all of course offerings for next Fall. Students need to request all of their courses via Aspen by June 1st. This folder contains Resources for Requesting Classes for the 2021-2022 School Year. Please reach out with any questions.

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    Interested in Free College Credits over the Summer?

    IACS has recently been awarded a grant by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Student Opportunity Act to provide up to 50 free dual enrollment classes to our students this summer through Middlesex Community College. Students in the Class of 2021, 2022 and 2023 were emailed details of this program on Thursday, so please check your email if you haven’t already read about the program. Thank you to Heather Landis for securing the grant for our students.

    All the Friday Feels!