May 7, 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.
Dear IACS Community,
As we wrap up our second week of in-person programming, I continue to be grateful for how our students, families, and staff have all supported each other in this time of transition. As both an school administrator and Massachusetts resident, I’m grateful that New England is leading the nation in vaccination rates and that that our state COVID positivity rates are at 1.5%.
Indeed there is much to feel optimistic about, however I’ll share advice I often give students and colleagues this time of year: Focus and Finish. Normally, I’m beating that drum about academic responsibilities, but I’ll also apply that advice to our COVID mitigation strategies at school. With that in mind, here are a few reminders from our Health Office:
Continue to keep students home who have had any illness symptoms within the last 24 hours. Even mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or upset stomach can be related to COVID-19 and will need to be screened out by the school nurse.
Please remember that all siblings of a student with illness symptoms should also remain at home until the ill student is cleared by the school nurse. In both of these instances, our school nurses can be valuable resources with questions you may have.
The IACS health office offers two, free, COVID-19 testing programs which require separate consent processes:
Weekly pooled testing: Sign up here to participate in this quick, self-administered screening test that gives results of all participants in 24 hours.
Symptomatic COVID-19 testing. Sign up here if you’d like your student to be tested should your student develop symptoms during the school day. This test is not meant for students who developed symptoms while at home.
Supporting these efforts will help ensure that we continue to make public health- in school and beyond- as strong as possible.
Head of School
All School News
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 978-649-0432, ext. 2104.
A reminder from the Enrollment office.
If you are not planning on Attending/Returning to IACS in the fall, please fill in and return the Record Release/withdrawal Form and the Parent Survey & mail or email it to us by May 1st.
If you have any questions please contact us by phone or email , as we are trying to firm up our enrollment for September. Thanks
Kathleen Feeney email@example.com 978-649-0432 ext 2218
Marybeth Bush firstname.lastname@example.org 978-649-0432 ext 3218
Innovation Academy seeks parents and families of students with disabilities to form a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). All parents are welcome to join and this group is not limited to parents of students on IEPs and 504 plans. The SEPAC is a parent led group that works with school administrators to advise on issues related to students with disabilities and can also serve as a source of support and advice to families within the school community. If interested please email Aimee Voleti at email@example.com
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.
IACS Spirtwear Fundraiser
Thank you to the IACS community for participating in the IACS gear fundraiser. Together, we were able to donate $766 to UTEC, an organization in Lowell to help at-risk youth. Miss Booth visited the location to drop off the check and learn more about the programs they offer. You can visit https://utecinc.org/ if you are interested in the amazing work they are doing.
We will have a curbside pickup event for the gear on Thursday, May 13, from 3-4pm between the middle and high school buildings. If you or your student are unable to pick up at this time, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again!
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:
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 email@example.com if you have any questions
Middle School News
Sixth graders played an array of instruments this week in music class.
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 – 4:30.
A Reminder about Chargers
Please remind your child to pack their charger each day. Some families suggest a note taped onto the lid of their computer or a note by the door to ask “Do you have your charger?” While students can sign out a loaner computer at school when their battery dies, they miss out on class time when they have to leave the classroom.
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 follow:
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.
We will do the TestNav Tutorial and the ELA practice test together, but if students want to revisit them or see the practice tests for other subjects, they can find them here: http://mcas.pearsonsupport.com/student/
All fully remote students should run the Browser check for remote testing here to ensure the device they plan to use for testing meets the minimum specifications: http://mcas.pearsonsupport.com/student/
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Middle School Yearbooks are $27 MS Yearbook order form
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 email@example.com. We ask for 2 weeks notice. Thanks!
Guest Speaker Talks Civics with 8th Graders: Special thanks to Attorney Mike Hamman, a public defender in Manchester NH, who joined Mr. Lozeau’s 8th grade civics class. Attorney Hamman spoke to students and fielded questions about students with their rights and the landscape of the judicial system.
High School News
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 and Class of 2022 were emailed details of this program on Thursday, so please check your email if you haven’t already read about the program. If there are available spots for members of the Class of 2023, the information will be sent to them as well. Thank you to Heather Landis for securing the grant for our students.
The 2nd round of Progress Reports will be 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Project Spotlight
Our Seniors have been busy this semester fine tuning their skills in research, locating sources, speaking with field experts and applying the knowledge to complete their Senior Projects. Each student chose their own project subject and submitted it for approval to their Sr. Project Teachers. Presentations will be held the next three weeks and all though we aren’t able to have the community participation that we have had past years we are confident that our students will continue to amaze us with their presentation skills and project knowledge.
We have been very impressed with the diversity of their subjects and think you will be too.
Photo of the Week
Mr. Sciolla took advantage of some nice weather to have the Instrumental Ensemble practice outside.
Friday is here, Woo Hoo!