The Hawk: October 1, 2021

September 30, 2021 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk

October 1, 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.

Big picture

Dear IACS Community,

Our school is a member of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association (MCSPA), a membership organization that provides program support for virtually all MA charter schools and engages in statewide advocacy efforts. Four years ago several members from the Association visited IACS to capture students in action as part of a social media campaign. During that visit, one of the members- who had visited schools all across the state- told us, "I’ve never visited a more interesting school; I wish my kids could go here."

Fast forward to this year, the Association is working with a production company to create a short video profiling exciting work occurring at charters and we were on their "short list" of schools to visit. On Monday, a crew will be on campus capturing video in our classrooms and on our grounds. I’m also told they will be capturing some cool aerial footage from a drone! The final project featuring IACS and other member schools probably won’t be completed until November and when it’s complete we’ll be sure to share it in the Hawk. It’s rewarding- but not surprising- to receive such positive feedback about our community and to know that it is being shared with other schools.

Enjoy the first weekend of October!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

All School News

Updates from the Health Office:

School Testing Program

The Health Office continues to work with the state in efforts to begin our COVID-19 testing program. Although we signed up with the state in late summer our start date has been stalled. Talks earlier this week with a high level representative from CIC Health (the group running the state program) highlighted that the delay has been on their end due to us being partnered with a contracted group that has fallen short on delivering services to school. Since our last discussion they have reassigned us to a new program coordinator. Emails coming from CIC Health in the last 24 hours have us moving forward. It is our hope that our testing program will start within the next 2 weeks. We will keep the community updated.

You can still enroll into the COVID-19 Safety Testing Program. CLICK HERE TO ENROLL

Please be reminded that enrollment is for all three testing programs. At this time you must opt into all three programs which are:

-Weekly pooled testing,

-In -school symptomatic testing

-Test and Stay – for school related close contacts

IACS Weekly COVID-19 Dashboard

The weekly COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated every Wednesday and will be part of the weekly Hawk.

School Attendance Guidelines

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation in keeping ill students home. As part of the COVID-19 Dashboard page, we have included the state guidelines for returning to school after illness symptoms for your review and reference.

Lastly, please note that student absences do not directly reflect the number of positive COVID-19 cases in our school community. Absences are for many varied reasons including illness symptoms unrelated to COVID-19 as well as when identified as a close contact, be it due to school or out of school contact.

As always, please feel free to reach out the the IACS health office with any questions at healthoffice@innovationcharter.org

Orange and/or Red Day! 10/08/2021

On 10/08/2021 students, staff and faculty will be invited to wear the color orange or red in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and to acknowledge Indigenous People’s Day. The color orange and red have recently been associated with Indigenous communities and recognize the unfortunate mistreatment and findings of hundreds of Indigenous children in Canada’s residential programs. The Director of DEI and the IACS Student Government at IACS would like to encourage both MS and HS students, staff and faculty to wear orange on 10/08/2021 in support and solidarity with Indigenous People, Indigenous students and their communities.

Holidays and religious considerations:

October is LGBT History Month and October is Global Diversity Awareness Month

10/07/2021-10/15/2021 Navaratri

10/10/2021 World Mental Health Day

10/11/2021 National Coming Out Day

10/11/2021 Indigenous People’s Day gives recognition to those who were severely impacted by colonization and acknowledges their contribution to America.

10/15/2021 Dussehra or known as Dasara

10/18/2021-10/19/2021 Eid Milad un-Nabi,

10/20/2021 Sikh Holy Day

10/31/2021 Halloween

10/31/2021 Samhain

For more information on the holidays and religious considerations noted above, please feel free to review brief descriptions of each holiday here https://www.britannica.com and search the specific holiday you wish to learn more about.

Although Breast Cancer Awareness month is not a religious or holiday consideration, October often recognizes individuals, families and others impacted by Breast Cancer and aims to raise awareness and funds for ongoing research.

Alumni Update

Check out the latest edition of the Alumni Hawk which features updates on 10 alumni and offers opportunities to stay connected once you graduate! If you wish to be added to our mailing list, send an email request to Shannon Morocco at smorocco@innovationcharter.org.

HS Calendar Magnets

We’ve made up Calendar Magnets specifically for our HS and our MS families. If you don’t have one feel free to let us know so we can get one to you. Email: cmckiel@innovationcharter.org or the mainoffice@innovationcharter.org

Per diem Substitute Teachers Needed

Substitutes are valued members of our community that we rely heavily on to ensure your student receives uninterrupted learning. We are looking for a few more people to join our substitute teacher pool. If you or a friend are interested in learning more about becoming a substitute at IACS please fill out the availability form. Half day and full day subbing opportunities are available. IACS pays $25 per hour up to $100 per day maximum.

Absences/Tardies/Dismissals

Families should report all absences, tardies and dismissals to the main office by 8am. The main office can be contacted at 978-649-0432 or mainoffice@innovationcharter.org.

School Breakfast & Lunch Program

IACS is providing FREE breakfast and FREE lunch meals to ALL students under the USDA’s Child Nutrition Program. All students enrolled at IACS are eligible for these free meals regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022. Email kdrake@innovationcharter.org or go to the School Nutrition page for more information.

Big picture

Middle School News

Big picture

Students in the Kapeckas advisory did a team building exercise in which one student directed their blindfolded classmates about directions to construct a shape, like a triangle, using rope.

Upcoming Dates:

10/6 ILP conferences – ILP stands for Individual Learning Plan. These are student run meetings with parents/guardians and advisor. ILPs allow us as a whole team to check in about how the year is going, concerns, set goals, and reflect on those goals. Conferences can be in-person or via zoom. If you haven’t scheduled your meeting yet please reach out to your student’s advisor or to the school for assistance.

10/12 Grades Close for Progress Report #1

10/15 Middle School Picture Day (rain date of 10/22). This picture will be published in the Middle School Yearbook. Please visit Coffee Pond Photography and Yearbook’s website for photo package information and online ordering (select City & State and School). Paper Order forms will be sent home a week before picture day.

10/18 Progress Report 1 will be Published to Aspen Family Portals

Sewing Club

The club will begin IN PERSON on Monday, October 4th, Room 207 from 3:00-4:00. We will meet every Monday. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.

Please send Mrs. Baerg (dbaerg@innovationcharter.org ) an email, so she can add you to the Google Classroom!

ARIACS

This is a space for Middle School students to learn and talk about racism and how it impacts our lives and the lives of others. We will learn what being “anti-racist” means. We will share our cultures with one another and learn about the many different cultures at our school. We will talk about current events.

ARIACS meets Tuesdays from 3-4 pm beginning October 12th. Email Ms. Giasullo or Ms. Patterson to join:

mpatterson@innovationcharter.org

vgiasullo@innovationcharter.org

We Who Run the World Club

This group is an all-inclusive, intersectional feminist group that talks about the experiences of people who identify as women. Our goal is to create a safe place for students to talk and be themselves.

Every Thursday (Starting Sept. 23rd) from 3:00-3:30 in Murdoch Hall Room 408

Email Ms. Giasullo to sign up: vgiasullo@innovationcharter.org

Dungeons & Dragons

This club will begin IN PERSON on Thursdays in Room 207 from 3:00-4:00, beginning on October 7th. Please send Ms. Muhigi (kmuhigi@innovationcharter.org) to sign up.

After School Program

This year we are offering an After School Program for our 5th through 8th graders. The program provides safe and flexible supervised care. During the after school program, each day there are snacks followed by quiet time for homework. After homework time, students participate in a variety of activities based on student interest and weather – from playing outdoors to indoor activities like board games and art projects. For more details please visit our website.

Check out these photos of the Angelone & Kapeckas advisories in science class learning about the pond ecosystem by looking at the aquatic invertebrates in our school pond.

Photo credit to Ashley Pizzuti.

Big picture

High School News

Upcoming Events:

10/6 ILP conferences – ILP stands for Individual Learning Plan. These are student run meetings with parents/guardians and advisor. ILPs allow us as a whole team to check in about how the year is going, concerns, set goals, and reflect on those goals. Conferences can be in-person or via zoom. If you haven’t scheduled your meeting yet please reach out to your student’s advisor or to the school for assistance.

10/12 Grades Close for Progress Report #1

10/13 Sign-up Now for PSAT Testing for 10th & 11th Grade students – Students and Families should have received an email from Ms. Deknatel today. Read the letter here.

10/18 Progress Report 1 will be Published to Aspen Family Portals

Sewing Club

The club will begin IN PERSON on Monday, October 4th, Room 207 from 3:00-4:00. We will meet every Monday. This club is open to students in grades 7-12.

Please send Mrs. Baerg (dbaerg@innovationcharter.org ) an email, so she can add you to the Google Classroom!

The 9th grade Environmental Science classes are participating in the Dragonfly Mercury Project sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Club and the United States Geological Survey. We collected dragonfly larvae samples from the campus pond yesterday and they will be shipped out Monday to Dartmouth College for analysis for their level of mercury contamination. This data will be added to other schools in the Merrimack River Valley to get a better understanding of this contaminant in our environment.

More information about this project here. Photo credits to Bethany Mullins

Big picture

The Innovator

Our student run Innovator Newspaper has started publishing articles online! Read about mask fashion at IACS, the new COVID-19 Testing Program, and meet the new IACS High School Student Government leaders at https://theinnovator.org/.

Follow our Twitter @Innovatornews and Instagram @innovatornews to stay up to date on student news!

HS Photo of the Week:

Big picture

Hailey gets ready to spike it during another IACS Volleyball victory on Thursday!

IACA News

Meeting – Wednesday October 3rd

This coming Wednesday night, grab a friend and come to the IACA meeting to hear about upcoming events for students and families and learn how you can help out.

We will meet in the school library on the second floor.

Hope to see you there!

All the Friday Fall Feels! Enjoy!