The Hawk: November 6, 2020

November 6, 2020 8:49 am


Week ending November 6, 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,

It has certainly been a turbulent and confusing week nationally and I for one am glad to see a string of sunny days in the 70’s in the forecast. As we begin this month of giving thanks, I can’t think of a year where I’ve been more grateful for all of the stakeholders: staff, students, and families. Since school opened on September 14th, literally every person connected with our school community has found new ways to support and engage in learning. As a school we’ve continued to hold student conferences, engage in rich project-based work, and yes we’re already planning on how to create the community celebrations of student work (Middle School Quality Night and High School Exhibition Night) that make IACS distinct.

In fact, these past two months have been the most practical application possible of why our Outcomes truly feel timeless. The self-direction to manage synchronous and asynchronous learning, the problem-solving to adapt when tech glitches occur, the many ways we use technology to effectively communicate, and the patience we share with each other as community members have all been inspiring.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with time to enjoy as much fresh air as possible.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School



All School News

Good Question!:

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has worked with community partners to create a series of short videos in response to common questions about teaching and learning, safety, and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families can go to the Good Question! page and click on the questions they are interested in to watch a short video reply. Videos will be added on a rolling basis.

Today is the last day to sign up for auditions for our ONLINE WINTER SHOWS!

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

Questions? Email

See more Theatre news below!

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.

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.

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.


Health Office Updates

Travel, COVID and Return to School Guidelines

With the holiday season approaching, the Health Office encourages families to follow guidelines for safe celebrations as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

In addition, please be advised of the IACS policy for return to school after travel.

The IACS policy is outlined below and can also be found in this comprehensive FAQ document.

When can a student return to school after traveling out of state?

If a student travels to a state considered restricted, as designated by MA DPH per the “lower risk” COVID states map, the following “return to school protocol” will be followed: :

  • Upon arrival back into the state of Massachusetts, the student will be asked to quarantine at home for four days (the day your return to MA is day #0).

  • On or after (not before) the fourth day of quarantine, the student should be tested for COVID-19.

  • The student may return to school when a negative COVID test result, (obtained after the four day quarantine), is received.

  • If a student chooses not to be tested, they may return to school after a 14 day quarantine.

This protocol is in accordance with theMassachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order,Department of Education and Secondary Education Protocols and theCDC (specifically in relation to the suspected incubation period of COVID -19).

Our continued gratitude goes out to the entire IACS community for your consistent cooperation and adherence to safety protocols.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Health Office with any questions. You can reach us at or at 978-649-0432, ext. 2104.

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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.


Middle School News

Halloween Costume Contest Winners! Most Creative Photo


Google Read & Write

We have added the Read & Write extension to middle school accounts to support reading. This extension will work on Google products (email, docs, slides, Classroom, etc) as well as websites. Below is a brief video to explain how the extension works. Your child simply needs to click on the Read & Write extension in the upper right corner (looks like a purple puzzle piece) and the toolbar will pop up. If the Read & Write logo isn’t easily visible, have them click in the upper right corner of their screen on the grey puzzle piece to see all the extensions. As a reminder, students should not be independently adding extensions to their school account.

We would appreciate it if you could support your child by helping them find this extension and help them practice using it. Please let me know if you have any questions. It would also be helpful to hear some feedback from you and your child about how the extension is working for them.

Google Classroom Notifications

Unlike the high school, our middle school uses Google Classroom only for assigning work, not for grading. Grades can be viewed on our Aspen family and student portal. We send a weekly email of missing assignments. We have opted to turn off the Google Guardian Summaries for all MS families since it caused some confusion about whether assignments had or had not been turned in, especially since students have the ability to click “submit it” without actually having completed the assignment. The missing work emails that come weekly on Thursdays and checking Aspen are the best ways to check for missing assignments.

Kudos to Mrs. Carrara’s 6th grade students…their children’s stories were recently shared with a partner third grade class in Hudson. Awesome collaboration!

Virtual Learning Kits

If you were unable to pick up your child’s virtual learning kit in the past two weeks, please pick up at the main office anytime between 8:15 am-4:00 pm. Students are using the supplies for classes.

Progress Reports

The first progress report for Semester 1 were published last week 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).

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: Or upload them here:

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

November 6th – Limited Screen Day #3,

Honors Drop Deadline 3pm

November 11th – No school, Veteran’s Day


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.

Progress Reports

Grades for Semester 1 Progress Report #1 were published to Family Portals on Tuesday, November 2nd. If you need help with your aspen login and password please reach out to Crystal McKiel, . Printed copies can be mailed upon request.

Attention student athletes:

Please email any pictures you have of practices, games, or teammates to Because we do not have an athletic photographer and cannot allow families to get too close to the playing areas due to COVID-19, if you do not send your photos to the yearbook then your sports will not appear there!

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

Planners are still available for purchase, $3 – Please contact Crystal McKiel to arrange for pickup.

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The Kelly Advisory took advantage of the nice weather to get together and

tie-dye t-shirts.


Video of the Week

Check out senior Tyler Donkoh-Halm’s YouTube Channel. He is an impressive musician and has multiple videos for you to view. This latest video is a cover of the Mac Ayres song, “Easy”. Keep creating Tyler!

Mac Ayres – “Easy” Drum Cover | Tyler Donkoh-Halm

Theatre News

Today (Friday) is the last day to sign up for AUDITIONS for our ONLINE WINTER SHOWS!

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.

IACS Performing Arts is entering a competition with other area schools!

Would you like to compete?

The November Challenge is open to all IACS students and is described below:

NOVEMBER – Make-up Design

  • Students design make-up for a particular character in a published play or musical
  • Submit 6 photographs, featuring the design progression from blank face to finished product (photos must be JPG files)
  • Submit a paragraph explaining the rationale for the design (200 – 250 words)
  • All entries must clearly identify the name of the student, school affiliation, title and author of the play and the name of the character

Interested? Email


Athletics News

Winter Sports Update

As of today (Thursday 11/5), we are waiting on guidance from the state regarding winter athletics. Once the state releases its general guidance, the MIAA (the high school athletic association) will convene to develop further sport-specific modifications. After the MIAA has released their guidelines, we will meet with our leagues to evaluate the feasibility of a season. If our leagues approve an interscholastic winter season, we will still need to evaluate the plans to ensure that they are appropriate for the IACS community. We expect that this entire process will take a few weeks and will keep families updated via The Hawk to the best of our ability. Although the initial start date for winter sports that was discussed in August was Monday, November 30th, that date seems fairly optimistic this point.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nolan McKinnon (athletic director) at or Grace Nealey (assistant athletic director) at