The Hawk: October 16th, 2020

October 16, 2020 8:50 am


Week ending October 16th, 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,

After weeks of amazing weather, we got much needed rain today. Hopefully many of you can take the opportunity to curl up with a book- assuming there’s a quiet place to read in your house. (I’m still looking for one…) If you’re on the hunt for a new book, you might want to pick from a selection our staff have started reading this fall as part of our ongoing professional development: So You Want to Talk About Race? By Ijeoma Oluo, How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, or We Want To Do More Than Survive by Bettina L Love.

Students or families who would like to read these selections or other books on their wishlist are welcome to borrow them from the IACS Library. Students can access a range of selections via the online resource called Sora which offers both books to read online as well as audiobooks. And if you’re looking for an even more extensive list of options, check out this resource to see additional places to find online books and audiobooks. We encourage students to reach out to our School Librarians Ms Landis and Ms Spence who are happy to help with obtaining books from the IACS library or finding items online.

So whether you’re doing a family read before bedtime or devouring a bestseller into the wee hours, I hope you have a chance to find some peace and relaxation this weekend.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School


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All School News


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.


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 ember. 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 October 16, 2020 in order to be considered for a position on the RJC.


Middle School News

MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council

The MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council will meet on Zoom five evenings this year from 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm. This year the council will be meeting on 10/28, 12/9, 1/20, 3/10, and 4/28. Parents that join the group are asked to commit to the council for one year. The purpose of the council is to assist in developing short and long-term goals for the school and to provide input and feedback. Any parent that is interested in joining should email MS Principal Melissa Kapeckas at by October 23rd.

Streamlining Communication

In an effort to streamline communication, we have begun sending missing work summary emails and class attendance reports on a weekly basis. While individual teachers might reach out to students and their families to schedule extra help sessions, we’ve asked that advisors act as the primary point of contact for their advisees to help streamline communication for families, students, and staff.

Virtual ILP (Individual Learning Plan) Conferences

Virtual ILP (Individual Learning Plan) Conferences are ongoing. We’ll be checking in about how remote learning is going and set a goal for the year together. If you have not yet signed up for a time slot, please be in touch with your child’s advisor.

Attendance Clarification

Attendance in every synchronous class is essential. Please remember to reach out to the main office if your child is unavailable to attend a class due to an appointment, etc. If you have a wifi issue on a particular day, please reach out after the fact to the teacher and the main office.

If a child is not present for more than 50% of the synchronous block (i.e. they log in late or leave early), they will be marked absent. If a child has their camera off and is unresponsive (not responding to verbal or chat responses), they will be marked absent as well.

You can log in on the Aspen portal at any time to view attendance data and we will report a weekly summary via email for any student that had absences the previous week. Thank you for supporting your child to ensure they are logging on consistently and engaging in class.


We’ve updated the middle school section of our website with some new links and pages specific to the 2020-2021 school year. Check it out:

Virtual Extracurricular Activities/Clubs Starting

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

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

Academic Calendar for 2020-2021 – High School Specific Version

October 21st – Virtual ILP Conferences

October 30th – Semester 1 Progress Report 1


Adams Scholarship Recipients 2021

This year 48 seniors, representing a whopping 51% of the Class of 2021, at Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS) earned the John and Abigail Adams scholarship. This award marks high achievement on the Math, English Language Arts, and Biology MCAS exams. To qualify for this scholarship, students have to earn Advanced on either the Math or English exam and Proficient or Advanced on the other two. Their combined score for these three exams must be in the top 25% of their class at IACS, or in the top 25% of their home district. Recipients of this four-year scholarship are granted a tuition credit each year. The amount will depend on the specific state college or university a student attends, but at UMass it is currently equivalent to $1575 per year.

This year’s recipients are: Alyssa Abramo, Adelaide Ansah, Kathryn Baird, Helena Balbat, Rian Benoit, Tom Bojsen, Delaney Brown, Nam Bui, Daniella Chavez, Elaina Chisholm, Hope Coleman-Plourde, Owen DeLuca, Micah Descoteaux, Davidson Doliver, Tyler Donkoh-Halm, James Former, Christopher Freire, Gautham Giridharan, Diego Goodrich, Joshua Goyette, Therese Guillen, Hudson Guilmartin, Mea Hevner, Parker Jackson, Rhoda Kaddu, Charles Kefauver, Emily Klein, Erin Lee, Pierre-William Lessard, Aedan Maginnis, Finnbar Maginnis, Devaleena Mak-Phoeurk, Penelope McDonald, Alexander Merkel, Sophia Paolillo, Caitlyn Pennie, Kaitlyn Pinette, Hannah Richman, Georgia Row, Hannah San Clemente, Christopher Sano, Andrew Shapiro, Nathan Smith, Dalena Soun, Isabel Stanley-Kemler, Adrienne Tuleja, Aphroditi Tziotzioura

s, and Sali Vo.

Congratulations to all for earning this recognition.

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.

ILP Conferences

Engaging with our families these past few weeks at ILP Conferences and Back to School Night has been great. Hopefully by now you have been contacted by your student’s Advisor to setup a virtual ILP Conference. This is a student-led meeting in which your child will reflect on the beginning of the school year and share with us their goals for the school year. ILP Conferences will be held virtually via Zoom. If you have not heard from your student’s advisor please reach out to them. It could be possible our contact information is incorrect.

Limited Screen-time Days

With our students spending much more time on screens than any of us would like, we have decided to pilot some days with the goal of limiting the amount of screen-time needed for students to complete their class lessons. This is not a day off for our students, since they still need to complete their assignments. This will be easier to do for some classes than others depending on what needs to be accomplished on that particular day. As a result, some classes may seem fairly typical and other classes may not even need their students to login for attendance. Teachers will communicate their expectations for the day in advance, so that all students will know what they need to do. If students are not required to login for attendance, the completion of the class assignment will serve as a record of their attendance for that day. The high school has scheduled three days so far to pilot the limited screen-time days. These are the two remaining dates:

Monday, October 19th, Friday, November 6th

We will reevaluate how they are working out after November 6th to see if it is something that we would like to continue.


Yearbooks are now on sale! They are $35 until December 31, after which they will be $40. Please order and pay online at The online order form includes personalization options (i.e. your name and icons). The deadline for ordering is Friday, April 2, 2021.

Virtual College Fair

NEACAC (the New England Association of College Admission Counselors) is hosting a virtual college fair with live meetings of college admissions reps on October 29th and November 15th from 6 to 8pm.

This college fair will allow students and families to:

*Uncover new college options through a robust search tool*

*Watch videos and download materials helpful for your decision making process*

*Ask questions!*

See the list of colleges and register here:

College Visits

Virtual College Rep meetings continue this week with Fisher College, Univ of Southern Maine, Framingham State University, St Joseph’s College of Maine, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Keene State College and Lasell University. Juniors and Seniors, visit your College Counseling Google Classrooms to learn more about these Schools as well as the ones visiting over the next few weeks and to sign up. Looking for a specific school? Reach out to Ms. Deknatel, College Counselor.

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Members of Ms. Kelly’s advisory met on campus to carve pumpkins on Thursday…

can you see the smiles under those masks?

Senior Portraits: Due to COVID cancelling school ID photos, seniors must have senior portraits taken outside of school. If a student doesn’t want to take a senior portrait outside of school, we will use last year’s school ID photo. Please send portraits to The portrait should be 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, vertically oriented, and at least 300 dpi/ppi. It should be a posed portrait in which your face is clear.

Baby Pictures: Seniors should also plan to send in a baby picture to be included in the yearbook. These can also be emailed to Please be sure the file name contains your student’s name so we know where it goes.

Parent Pages: A parent page is something parents make for their child, congratulating them and wishing them luck with whatever journey they may be venturing on to next. Parent pages will each be half a page. No matter how they are created, they should be in a landscape orientation and measure 8.5 inches x 5.5 inches. There is no additional cost for parent pages. Please email them to


Photo of the Week:

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