The Hawk: October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020 6:48 pm


Week ending October 30, 2020

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,

Often conversations with my children sound like me asking (what I think are) thoughtful questions and receiving responses of “not much”, “okay, I guess”, or “I dunno”. So you can imagine how surprised I was when they became totally fascinated watching me bubble in my mail-in ballot last week. Their reaction generated some simple observations, ex: “Whoa, there are other people besides Donald Trump and Joe Biden running for President?”, to curveball questions, ex: “What does a Governor’s Council do?”. Thankfully, they didn’t ask me to explain Question 2 (Ranked-Choice Voting) in kid friendly terms!

This unexpected experience reminded me that our students have tons of ideas, questions, and feelings about what’s going on in the “adult world”. Even if we don’t feel confident of knowing the answers to technical questions (Kudos to you if you can explain what the Governor’s Council does!), there are simpler ways you can create conversations. Examples might include: “How are you feeling about the upcoming election?”, “Would you ever like to run for political office?”, or “If you could ask ____, just one question, what would it be?”

While I can’t guarantee how deep your conversation will be, it’s clear that next weeks’ local and national elections will generate a lot of conversations. Accordingly, it will be especially important for adults to be extra attentive listeners to your children and our students. Thank you for continuing to be the primary educators in your student’s life.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

P.S. On an Election Day related note, IACS has a normal day of school next Tuesday (Nov 3rd).


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School Breakfast & Lunch Program

USDA has extended FREE MEALS TO ALL students through June 2021. IACS is offering FREE breakfast and lunch meals to ALL IACS on-campus learners. Remote and hybrid learners can also receive free meals at either their town’s school or at IACS. Remote and hybrid learners, if you choose to pick up the meals at IACS, 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.


All School News

Opportunity to Engage

A Message from the RJC to Families of Color<<<< please watch this short video.

The existing RJC is seeking out additional members from the community to fill the committee. Specifically, we are looking for students (2 MS and 3 HS), 2 alumni, 2 parents, and 1 board member. The RJC is deliberately seeking out students and families of Color to elevate these voices and inform the process and future initiatives of this work. If you are interested in applying for a position on the RJC, please send an email to Please include a short statement of intent expressing why you would like to be involved in this work. Video submissions will also be accepted. Please contact with your submissions by November 6, 2020 in order to be considered for a position on the RJC.


Please fill out the Chromebook user contract form if your student needs to borrow an IACS Chromebook and arrange with the main office to pick it up. Please come anytime between 8:30-4, but please avoid dismissal time between 2:45-3:15 pm. Families should call ahead and buzz the building when you arrive. Our main office staff will bring it to you outside, like curb-side pick-up!

HS & MS School Calendar

We have included the pdf for the 2020-2021 HS & MS Calendar. Please see the calendar on our website for the most up to date information.


Middle School News

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Halloween Fun with the Grove Advisory!

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Pumpkin carving fun!

Virtual Learning Kits

All Middle School grades have virtual learning kits ready to go home. If you were unable to pick up the kit this week, please pick up at the main office anytime between 8:15 am-4:00 pm. Students will need materials soon!

Progress Reports

The first progress report for Semester 1 were published today to the Aspen student and family portals. If you don’t know your aspen login and password please reach out to Ning Sisouvanh at or the main office at This is a snapshot in time of current progress in Math, English/Language Arts, and either Social Studies or Science project (whichever class students are taking Semester 1).


Since our specials classes are on a different rotation, you will not see them listed on the progress report. Students just finished their first specials rotation and began their second rotation this past week. There are three sessions each semester. Final grades will be published on the semester report card.

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6th grader Phebe Karner displays her final art project. Beautiful work Phebe!

Virtual Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Please check out this padlet (virtual bulletin board) to see what extracurricular activities are starting at the middle school and how to sign up.

Got Yearbook Photos?

If you have photos of remote learning at home or fall fun, we’d love for them for our yearbook. Please send them to:

Middle School Planners

Middle School planners were sent home in virtual learning kits. Typically, we ask families to purchase these planners at a cost of $5. You can do submit your payment using this online form: Thank you!


High School News

HS Calendar Dates

October 30th – Semester 1 Progress Report 1

November 6th – Limited Screen Day #3,

Honors Drop Deadline 3pm

November 11th – No school, Veteran’s Day


Drive-In Movie Update

We had a successful launch (other than the parking lot lights coming on for a few minutes!) to our new Drive-In movie theater last weekend with some staff, 5th grade families, and grades 11 & 12. I was hoping to have another showing tonight, but the weather has not cooperated. The long-term forecast looks promising for Friday, November 6th and possibly Saturday if the demand is there. I will send a movie form out to grade 10 students today so that they can select a movie that they would like to see that night. Grade 9 students will also be able to attend the Friday night show if there is room and if there isn’t, we could have one for freshmen on Saturday night. A big thank you to Mike Battle for building the support structure for our 22 ft wide screen. The night picture doesn’t do it justice, but it is a great way to see a movie and get together safely.

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Reminder: Attendance

Please notify the main office when your student will be absent from virtual classes. Students are expected to participate in the scheduled start of each class period for attendance and agenda for that day. When students are not present for class and the school has not been notified, the family will be contacted. Students who arrive late to virtual classes should make sure to check in with their teachers via the chat feature or email.

Tech Issues

Students should report any tech or wifi issues to their teacher right away via email or chat. If the wifi is so bad that email isn’t possible, call the main office, 978-649-0432 x 0 and we can get the message to the teacher.

Some students have reported long running issues with their machines. We can help make sure students have what they need to successfully access their classes. Don’t wait! Reach out to our IT department so they can troubleshoot with you!

Need a device? Fill out the Chromebook user contract form or contact Heather Landis,, and contact the main office to pick it up.

Issues with your device (camera or mic not working? Not charging? Operating slowly?), please contact Mr. Troy, or call the mainoffice and they can connect you to Mr. Troy.

Progress Reports

Grades for Semester 1 Progress Report #1 close on Friday, October 30th. HS Progress Reports will be published to Aspen Family Portals on or around November 2nd. If you don’t know your aspen login and password please reach out to Crystal McKiel, . Printed copies can be mailed upon request.

Helpful Links for Students & Families:

2020-2021 Student & Family Handbook

2020-2021 HS Reopening Handbook Supplement

Academic Calendar for 2020-2021 – High School Specific Version

Alumni Hawk

IACS Alumni continue to practice the school outcomes after graduation. Check out the latest edition of the Alumni Hawk which features seven alumni profiles. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, send an email request to Shannon Morocco at

To receive more frequent alumni updates, follow IACS Alumni on social media. Find us on both Facebook and Instagram, @Iacsthebestalumni.

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The Joyce Advisory didn’t let the rain stop them as they met up for some hiking on the IACS trails and visited the quarry.

Happy Friday in October!

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Theatre News


Middle School auditions are for a play called “The Audition!”

High School auditions are for the plays “Clue” and “Check Please.”

We would love to have you fill out this audition form so that we can consider you for our next cast! Questions? Email

Please fill out this audition form no later than Friday, November 6.

*MANY Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of

“The Monologue Show” on an incredible production!*