The Hawk: October 2nd, 2020

October 2, 2020 8:50 am


Week ending October 2, 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,

On Tuesday afternoon we emailed a “Hawk Extra” that included a survey about the hybrid model described in our reopening plan which was published this summer. As of Friday afternoon, we received close to 500 responses. Thank you!

We have learned so much about teaching and learning in the COVID era, not only at IACS but at other schools. In the survey, you have described what you most appreciate about our current work as well as what you’d like to see in a hybrid model. Moreover, we are grateful to read stories about your non-IACS children attending other schools, not to mention some first hand experiences from the educators in our parent community. Your feedback was pretty resounding that what has been most helpful about our Remote Plus program was the number of synchronous opportunities to keep student learning moving forward. As a school that has always valued the revision process, we too will commit to thinking about how to revise our planning to better capture the feedback. Please stay tuned for future communications about updates we’ll be making to our hybrid model.

On a related note, we continue to monitor the “traffic light map” that is updated by the state every Wednesday night. The following images show how our region has changed over the past month



The question likely on most of your minds is,”when would we change to a hybrid model?” Because we want to make any transition as safe and as smooth as possible, we will need to monitor how the color coding of the maps evolve. Additionally, we’ll continue exploring how to incorporate the feedback you’ve provided in this week’s survey. By next week’s Hawk, I’ll be able to provide everyone with updates on both fronts.

Your support this year has been a gift. Whether it’s through thoughtful survey feedback or great attendance at last night’s Middle School Virtual Open House, you give us great confidence that we’ll pull through this year together.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

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School Breakfast & Lunch Program

Details regarding the IACS Breakfast & Lunch program can be found here: SY21 Welcome Letter Breakfast & Lunch Program. Alternatively, FREE meals are available to ALL students at open sites if you prefer a closer pick up location. The open sites are typically your town’s public school. Visit meals for kids or email for an open site near you.

If you would prefer to participate in the IACS meal program, you must complete the enrollment survey. Once you complete the survey, you DO NOT need to re-enroll for future dates in September. To make changes to a submitted enrollment form email

Contact Karen Drake, Director of Food Services if you have any questions.


All School News

Join us for the hilarious Innovation Academy Middle and High School Fall Play

The Monologue Show!

It took Mr. Banks’s drama class three long months to prepare for their monologue show . . . but barely a minute to throw all their plans out the window. From the couple staging their real-life break-up to the garden-gnome thief confessing his crimes, everything that can go wrong will in this collection of hilarious tall tales.

Performances are Saturday, October 24, 11:00am and 2:00pm. Please join us on the outdoor stage near the pond, behind Landberg Hall.

We ask that each audience member:

  • Wear a mask. (required.)
  • Pay cash at the door in exact amounts. ($10 per person,)
  • Bring chairs, blankets, snacks, etc. (Anything that will make you happy and comfortable at an outdoor show.)
  • Remain 6 feet away from other people or groups at the show.
  • Feel free to video record and take photos of the show.

Please note that while we often sell snacks and gifts at the show, we will not be selling items at this particular production.

Questions? Please email We hope to see you there!



Farm-to-School News

We are very excited about the newest addition to our campus – the Farm-to-School greenhouse. While we still have some work to do, we are looking forward to having this great space for students and staff to start growing food for our meals program and classrooms! This is a project that farm to school intern alumni Hannah George, Mer McMcauley, and Bridget McAndrews worked hard to make happen last year and it is finally coming to fruition!

A huge thanks to Student Government, Vision for Innovation Academy (VIA) and families participating in the High Mowing Organic Seeds fundraiser for their financial support. And, a shout-out to the IACS facilities team for the work to put it together!

We are also happy school-grown veggies are starting to be incorporated into the weekly food kits being distributed to IACS families! Each Wednesday our current interns, Daniella Chavez and Chloe Kefauver, harvest and package radishes, lettuce, carrots, pac chio, spinach, etc. for our community along with a newsletter with recipes and storage suggestions.

Last, but not least, thank you to Joel Friedlander for donating several fruit trees to the school. Planted north of the high school parking lot, these trees will be a great part of the school for years to come.

If you have any questions, comments, or are interested in supporting this work please contact our Farm to School team at You can also follow our interns instagram at iacs_farm2school and see an overview of our program here.



Some answers to Frequently Asked Questions from our Health Office.

Updated FAQ’s from IACS Health Office

A note from the Racial Justice Committee

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


Middle School News

Being scattered in many places can’t keep our spirit down! Here’s the Kapeckas Advisory celebrating Crazy Hair and Pajama Day! As several of my advisees said, “Isn’t every day like Pajama Day?” Maybe Formal Day should be next?!

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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!

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!


High School News

HS Calendar Dates

October 8th – Virtual Back to School Night, 6-8pm

October 14th – Virtual ILP Conferences

October 21st – Virtual ILP Conferences

October 30th – Semester 1 Progress Report 1 due



Back to School Night – Virtual Edition, Oct. 8th 6pm

Parents/Guardians please join us on Thursday Night for a Virtual Back to School Night. A schedule with links to your child’s virtual class meetings will be sent to you Thursday morning. This is an opportunity to meet each of your student’s teachers and learn about the classes they are enrolled in. Each class will meet for approximately 10 minutes.

There will be a few minutes at the end of each presentation to ask general class questions. If you have specific questions regarding your child, please email the teacher to set up a separate time to discuss. Staff email addresses can be found on our website.


Congratulations to Senior Charlie Kefauver!
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Class attendance and participation is very important. Please be sure to login to class on time every block. You should not log off of your class until your teacher dismisses the class.

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Chemistry Take-Home Kits

With the help of her two sons & Mr. Sciolla, Ms. Derival put together take-home kits for all of her chemistry students so they would be able to complete labs at home. Thanks also go to Heather Landis and Crystal McKiel for their help coordinating the pickup of the kits. Science Rocks!

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Google Classroom Tip for High School Families

Mr. Hinkle has put together this quick document on How to See Grades & Missing Work in Google Classroom.

Seniors: Financial Aid Seminars for the Students/families

This year, MEFA is offering Massachusetts families many different opportunities to attend a live seminar that will walk you through the process. You can see the entire list here: If I could recommend one, I would try to attend the seminar hosted by Gail Holt on September 29th at 6:30pm.

The FAFSA becomes available on October 1st; you most likely will need to file it between December and February (every college has a different deadline)! Let me know if you have any questions–I used to work in financial aid and I can help! Jill Deknatel,, x4141


Athletics News

Last week to sign up!

Please click here to find a document outlining the specific procedures that all fall athletes must follow in order to participate. Note that the document includes links to sport-specific guidelines from the MIAA, be sure to review the MIAA document that applies to your individual sport.

Please click here to find preliminary practice schedules for each team, including start dates.

7th and 8th grade students are eligible to play high school soccer this fall. Click here for more information.

We are still accepting registrations!:

Click here to register for high school sports

Click here to register for middle school sports

Please contact Nolan McKinnon (Athletic Director) at or Grace Nealey (Assistant Athletic Director) at with any questions or concerns.